Dessert/ Recipes/ Sweet Treats

The Secret Family Kolache

kolaches and coffee ready to eat
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Grandma Dorothy’s Kolaches:

The secret family Kolache recipe comes from my husband’s grandmother, Dorothy. Unfortunately, I never got to meet her but my husband says that we would have loved each other. From what I’ve been told, Grandma Dorothy would make these often for her three rambunctious rough and tough little grandsons. Nathan says, when she was baking, it was like every surface in her kitchen was lined with these delicious pastries just waiting for them. Travis, my brother-in-law and the youngest of the three boys says that Grandma Dorothy knew he didn’t like the actual cherries and so she would make ones only with cherry jelly, just for him. She loved them more than anything in the world and when I joined the family, listening to the stories about her made me feel like I was getting to know her too.

The Secret Family Kolache Origin Story:

Fast forward a few years to me now into my second trimester with the twins when soon to be uncle Travis who (was a mere 22 years old at the time) sends me a letter in the mail that says, “TOP SECRET” and “FOR YOUR EYES ONLY” (don’t worry I asked him if I could share it with you and he was more than excited for us to work on that together.)

The TOP SECRET letter read:

Your mission, which you have no choice to do but to the best of your baking ability is to study the Kolache recipe, Conquer and Destroy it… aka make them taste yummy in 2Lt Houston’s tummy …I have spent some time reviewing your records and I am please to say that you are just the woman we’ve been looking for. One mission I would like to bring up is when you were able to decipher the sour cream raisin pie recipe. Quoting Col Houston (aka Dad) “your best work yet”. I have looked over the recipe and noticed that the dough needed to rise several times in a “warm place out of drafts”. That is why we sent you to Alabama. No doubt you will be able to find many warm places down there. Good Luck and God Bless you on this mission.

Mission Accepted:

I was honored. Travis has always been a great cook and so I was surprised that he wanted me to take a swing at it first before he did. I looked over her hand written and typed recipe card again and again. There was a items, that I had no idea what they were: “cake yeast?” See, her original recipe wasn’t just for kolaches: it shared the dough portion for multiple recipes so deciphering the five pages was rather confusing at first. But after a lot of research, I felt confident enough to give it a go.

I waited for the perfect day to whip them up for my husband after he had a long week of studying for a flight exam. He was blown away. He actually said it was like a Ratatouli moment when he was transported back into her kitchen and he was just a boy. I don’t think he actually knows what kind of a honor that was for me to be able to give that to him.

Sharing the love:

After that first successful mission, I texted pictures back to the family and everyone was excited to see Grandma Dorothy’s loving recipe back in full swing. As I neared the end of my second trimester, I flew home to Wisconsin for my baby shower and my in-laws drove me back down with uncle Travis in tow to help us set up the rest of the goodies I had just received from the shower. I knew that Nathan, Travis, and his parents were going to go golfing at one point during their short stay. That’s when I was going to surprise them with Grandma Dorothy’s Kolaches. They came out perfect! Everyone was overjoyed to sink their teeth into the sweet and fluffy made with love Kolaches of Grandma’s once again.

A tradition was born:

After that, Uncle Travis started making them often back home in Wisconsin for everyone since we lived 2000 miles away. But every single time he visits, we make Kolaches together. It didn’t t matter if its just him, or now with his whole family of five. It’s tradition and a beautiful one at that. Travis, thank you for believing that I could do Grandma Dorothy justice and for allowing me to be apart of those special memories by making new ones with me.

Uncle and girls ready to make Kolaches
Every time Uncle Travis visits we know its Kolache making time!

Ingredients for Kolaches:

  • 2 cups Milk (warmed to about 100º)
  • 3/4 cup Butter (melted) + more for basting
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg + 2 egg yolks, well beaten
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 yeast packets
  • 5 1/2 – 6 cups sifted flour
  • 1 can of Cherry pie filling

Ingredients for Streusel Topping:

  • 1/2 cup each of Butter, Sugar, and Flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Ingredients for Powdered Sugar Icing:

  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tbsp milk or water

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • The described method is very important in this recipe. Follow exactly.
  • It does take longer than most recipes but it will be worth it (I promise!)

Directions:

Start by mixing the warmed milk, sugar, yeast, and allow it to rest and foam for 10 minutes.

Next, stir in the butter, eggs, and sugar. Follow by mixing in the sifted flour and let the dough rise in a warm place away from drafts.

After 1 hour punch the dough down and allow to rise again 45 minutes to 1 hour. You want it to be at the same size as right before you punched it down.

letting the dough rise and punch down to rise again

After the second time of rising you will punch down the dough again and transfer to your floured pastry board.

Butter your baking sheet with a pastry brush and melted butter.

Roll out dough to about 1/4″ thickness. Cut out the kolaches using a biscuit cutter or a cup, if you don’t have one.

Place onto the buttered baking sheets and brush with melted butter. Place plastic wrap loosely over top the baking sheets and set aside allowing them to double in size.

While they are doubling in size, make up the streusel topping by mixing the butter (softened not melted), sugar, flour and cinnamon with a pastry cutter. You want it to be crumbly.

After the dough had doubled, use your finger tips to press the centers down about 3/4″ from the edges and sprinkle the streusel in the base. Top the Streusel with the cherry filling and sprinkle the remaining streusel on top.

Bake at 350º for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on a cooling rack while you prepare the powdered sugar icing. TIP: for extra easy clean up, place tin foil beneath the cooling racks so as the icing drips off you aren’t left cleaning up icing from your table or counter.

making up the icing

When the Kolaches are still slightly warm drizzle the powdered sugar icing on top.

drizzling the icing

Serve immediately or store in an air tight container for a few days. They are the best on the first day but slightly warming them up in the microwave a few seconds helps bring them back to their perfection even on day three.

lets eat these delicious kolaches
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kolaches and coffee ready to eat

The Secret Family Kolache


  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 25 Kolaches 1x

Description

A recipe passed down through generations, this beautiful pastry takes time and love to bring it to perfection, but is worth the wait.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups Milk (warmed to about 100º)
  • ¾ cup Butter (melted plus more for basting)
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 packets Yeast
  • 6 cups Flour (sifted)
  • 1 can Cherry Pie filling
  • ½ cup Butter
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ½ cup Flour
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tbsp Milk or Water

Instructions

  1. Start by mixing the warmed milk, sugar, yeast, and allow it to rest and foam for 10 minutes.
  2. Next, stir in the butter, eggs, and sugar. Follow by mixing in the sifted flour and let the dough rise in a warm place away from drafts.
  3. After 1 hour punch the dough down and allow to rise again 45 minutes to 1 hour. You want it to be at the same size as right before you punched it down.
  4. After the second time of rising you will punch down the dough again and transfer to your floured pastry board.
  5. Butter your baking sheet with a pastry brush and melted butter.
  6. Roll out dough to about 1/4" thickness. Cut out the kolaches using a biscuit cutter or a cup, if you don't have one.
  7. Place onto the buttered baking sheets and brush with melted butter. Place plastic wrap loosely over top the baking sheets and set aside allowing them to double in size.
  8. While they are doubling in size, make up the streusel topping by mixing the butter (softened not melted), sugar, flour and cinnamon with a pastry cutter. You want it to be crumbly.
  9. After the dough had doubled, use your finger tips to press the centers down about 3/4" from the edges and sprinkle the streusel in the base. Top the Streusel with the cherry filling and sprinkle the remaining streusel on top.
  10. Bake at 350º for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on a cooling rack while you prepare the powdered sugar icing. TIP: for extra easy clean up, place tin foil beneath the cooling racks so as the icing drips off you aren't left cleaning up icing from your table or counter.
  11. When the Kolaches are still slightly warm drizzle the powdered sugar icing on top.
  12. Serve immediately or store in an air tight container for a few days. They are the best on the first day but slightly warming them up in the microwave a few seconds helps bring them back to their perfection even on day three.

Notes

  • Method is very important in this recipe.
  • It does take longer than most recipes but it will be worth it I promise!
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Bread, Dessert
  • Cuisine: American, Czech

Nutrition

  • Calories: 243

Keywords: dessert, pastry


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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Rosalia Q. Figueroa
    October 24, 2022 at 12:06 pm

    5 stars
    I tried this recipe, and it was really good, but I have questions I want to ask; how can I reach you?
     

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