Czech Pastry – Koláče

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Czech Pastry – Koláče

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This is one of the best Czech desserts – Koláče.  Koláče are sweet, fruit or cream cheese filled pastries and are a tradition in Czech families.  In my quest to save time, I’ve visited many Texas bakeries and doughnut shops that claim to bake koláče.  Some were good.  Some were not so good.  I’ve even cringed at the sight of pigs-in-a-blanket touted as koláče.  Ugh!  Those are NOT koláče — they’re klobásníky, which many believe are a Texas invention.

While there are many imitations of this Czech dessert, the interpretations of koláče that I have found are nothing like my mom’s or those I found in the Czech Republic.  The recipe below is the real thing:  delicious, authentic Czech koláče like my mom used to make.  I spent hours watching her make large, 12-14 inch koláče with poppy-seed, prune, apricot, and cream cheese fillings sprinkled with posypka.  She would often decorate the top with almond slices placed in intricate patterns and serve it sliced like a pizza.  During my 3 month stay in the Czech Republic, I would visit an amazing bakery down the street from my grandmother’s apartment and purchase small, individual sized koláče (about 3-4 inches in diameter) like those pictured.  I never, ever, saw koláče that were square-shaped while growing up in a Czech household or while living in the Czech Republic.  I’ve only seen that shape here in Texas koláče bakeries.

Koláče Recipe:

  1. Prepare the same dough used with the Vánočka.  Allow it to rise in a warm location for 60 minutes.
  2. Punch dough down, place on a floured surface, and divide into 32 pieces.  Roll into balls and flatten with a floured rolling pin.
  3. Place flattened dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.

    **Click to Enlarge**

  4. Flatten the centers of the dough with the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in flour.  This will give you a nice, mini “pizza” shape with a rim around the edge to surround the filling.
  5. Brush the rim of the dough with whisked egg.
  6. Pipe the desired filling into the center and spread with a knife or spoon.  My ABSOLUTE favorite filling is cream cheese (see recipe below).  I place the cream cheese filling in a gallon-sized zip top bag and cut off one corner of the bag to pipe it in.

    **Click to Enlarge**

  7. Sprinkle with posypka (see recipe below).
  8. Let rise 10-15 minutes.
  9. Bake in a 350 o F oven for 15-20 minutes.  Cool and enjoy!

Cream Cheese Filling :

16 oz softened cream cheese
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the above ingredients. Mix until creamy.

Posypka :

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon melted butter

Combine the above ingredients until it resembles a dry meal.