1 1/4 cups half & half cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 pkg active dry yeast
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups cold butter
2 egg whites
2 8-oz cans almond paste, cut up
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 can (7.5 oz) Hot Pepper cheese
1 Tbsp water
1 cup sliced almonds
In a microwave, heat the cream and sugar on high for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the yeast and beat until smooth. Set aside until foamy.
Cut the butter into pieces and mix into the flour until crumbly. Beat 1 egg into the yeast mixture and add to the flour mixture. Mix together.
Place dough onto a well-floured surface and roll into a rectangle. Fold dough into thirds, give dough a quarter turn, and roll into another rectangle. Fold into thirds again, turn, and repeat, flouring surface as needed. Repeat rolling process several times until butter is incorporated and dough is no longer sticky. Cut dough in half. Wrap each half and chill for 4 hours, or until firm.
In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the almond paste, beating on low speed. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
ASSEMBLY: Roll each half of dough into a 12” square. Spread ½ of the filling onto each square. Cut each square into three 12” by 4” strips. Along half the length, lay sliced Hot Pepper cheese. Fold in half length-wise, pinching edges closed. You may roll out again to flatten so strip is about 2 1/2” by 12”. Cut into 3 equal-sized pieces. Cut pieces 4 times in about 1/2” widths to within 1/2” of folded edge; fan slightly. Place on greased baking sheets. Let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour.
Lightly beat remaining egg and water together; brush over dough. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 375° F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.