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Cheddar-Apple Ladder Coffee Cake

Servings: 3 coffee cakes

Ingredients:

2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm (110°) water
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
5 1/2 to 6 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 21-ounce cans apple pie filling, divided
2 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin cheddar cheese, divided and shredded

Cooking Directions:

Proof yeast in warm water in bowl of electric stand mixer. Add buttermilk, eggs, 2 1/2 cups flour, butter, sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend 1/2 minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle but still soft and slightly sticky. Turn onto well-floured surface; knead 5 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes.

Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Roll one part into a 10x15-inch rectangle. Spread 2/3 of a can of pie filling down center of rectangle (long length) in strip about 3 inches wide. Sprinkle 1/3 of cheddar over apple filling. With scissors, make cuts 2 1/2 inches deep at 1-inch intervals down both sides of rectangle length. Fold strips, alternating sides, over filling, giving braided effect. Press strips to seal near ends. Repeat with remaining 2 parts of dough and ingredients. Place coffee cakes on baking sheet and let rise, covered with towel, in warm place until double, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven 350°F and bake 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

Frost with your favorite butter icing and sprinkle with almonds, if desired.

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