PINEAPPLE CREAM CHEESE KOLACHES

Kolaches originate from Czech and Slovak pastries. The “KOLO” portion of the name literally means circle in Old Slavic. Kolaches were first brought to the United States by Czech immigrants who settled in Texas. Most Czechs have a definite opinion that Kolaches should only ever be filled with NON-meat fillings, despite the popularity of many Texans filling them with sausage.

Try substituting the pineapple for cherries, peaches, apricots or lemon curd!  The sky is the limit with the flavor combination.  These can be made savory also by using an herbed cream cheese and omitting the sugar!  If you use an herbed cream cheese you only need half as much ricotta cheese.

PINEAPPLE CREAM CHEESE KOLACHES – yields 16 kolaches

DOUGH
1 cup WHOLE milk
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 LARGE egg
2 LARGE egg yolks
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant or rapid rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • Grease large bowl. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the milk and melted butter until smooth.
  • Add whole egg and egg yolks. (Butter may clump and that’s okay!)
  • In your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
  • Add milk mixture and knead 2 minutes on low speed until dry ingredients are incorporated.
  • Increase speed to medium and knead 8-10 minutes until dough pulls from sides of bowl, but is still stuck on the bottom.
  • Transfer dough to greased bowl and cover with cheesecloth or saran.
  • Place bowl on middle shelf in oven.
  • Pour 3cups of boiling water into a loaf pan and place on lower shelf in oven.
  • Close oven door and let rise 1 hour until doubled in size.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
  • Punch down dough and transfer to lightly floured surface.
  • Divide dough into quarters and then each quarter into quarters until you have 16 equal sized pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a ball and place 8 on each baking sheet evenly spaced apart.
  • Cover each tray with saran.
  • Replace the water in the loaf pan with fresh boiling water and move to the bottom of the oven.
  • Place baking sheets on oven shelves.
  • Close oven doors and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

CHEESE FILLING
6 ounces softened cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Wondra flour
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3/4 cup WHOLE milk ricotta cheese

  • Beat cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add sugar, flour and lemon zest, beating until smooth.
  • Add ricotta, beating JUST until combined.
  • Cover and refrigerate until needed.

STREUSEL
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces COLD

  • Combine flour, sugar and butter using your hands until it resembles wet sand.
  • Cover and refrigerate until needed.

FRUIT FILLING optional in place of cream cheese filling
10 ounces of frozen fruit – pineapple, cherries, apricots blueberries…
5 tablespoons sugar and
4 teaspoons cornstarch

  • Combine ingredients in a small saucepan cooking and stirring constantly until bubbling and thickens – about 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and cool completely.

ASSEMBLY

  • Remove baking sheets and loaf an of water from oven. Discard water.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease and flour the bottom of a 1/3 OR 1/2 cup metal measuring cup.
  • Using the measuring cup press evenly down to make a deep indentation in each dough ball.

1 LARGE egg
1 tablespoon WHOLE milk
1 small can crushed pineapple drained WELL

  • Whisk together until smooth.
  • Brush each dough ball with milk and egg wash mixture.
  • Fill each kolache with 2 tablespoons of filling and spread evenly from side to side.
  • Top with a spoon full of pineapple
  • Sprinkle evenly with streusel topping around the edges. Avoid the filling as possible.
  • Bake 25 minutes until golden brown. Rotate baking sheets halfway through.
  • Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

GLAZE (optional, but recommended)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract

  • Whisk together 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth.
  • When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, dip into the glaze; if you like, flip them so the tops they’re completely covered.
  • Put on racks to let the glaze harden.

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