remember those luscious apricots from the last post?  i couldn’t stop thinking about how good they’d taste with cream cheese on top of some sort of pastry, but i also couldn’t figure out what kind of pastry this combo reminded me of.  then i finally remembered kolaches.  i’m not sure they ever traditionally combine apricot and cream cheese, but those were my two favorite flavors and i always hated having to choose which one i wanted.  so, why not make one with both?  i hunted around the internet until i found this recipe which looked pretty easy and like it would probably taste like i remembered from the “czech stop” between dallas and san antonio.  seriously.  that place looks like a regular old gas station, but if you’re ever making that trip, you must stop there and eat some kolaches.  and get some for the road.  do it for me.  i miss them.

it was a fairly easy recipe to follow.  the most exciting bit was that the yeast treatment was different than most breads i’ve baked before (1.5 tablespoons of yeast + sugar + only 1/4 cup water?  weird. )  it specified to mix the yeast “in a tall glass” so i did.  good thing too– the yeast was bubbling over the top of my (apparently not quite tall enough) glass before i was ready to add it to the dough!  the dough was a very soft and sticky dough, but i was able to roll little egg-sized balls of it without too much problem.  the recipe also called for the apricots to be chopped and stewed, but i wanted the beautiful curve of the apricot half, so i just cut them in half and nestled them on top of the kolache “nest.”  sadly, i’ve learned that the apricot skin is just tenacious enough to make them a bit difficult to eat when baked like this.  but no less delicious.

i also learned that if you eat them too soon after you take them out of the oven that hot apricot and cream cheese will burn the heck out of the roof of your mouth.  but it will taste so good that you won’t be able to stop yourself from finishing off the kolache anyway.  and you will pay the price of an ouchy mouth for more than 48 hours afterwards.  but you will still think it was worth it.

i don’t remember if i had kolaches before we moved to texas, but after making these, i remembered that they used to serve “kolaches” in my school cafeterias there.  although i’m pretty sure that there they just modified some brown and serve rolls with a spoonful of filling,  they were still mighty tasty.  they might have put a glaze on top too.  it’s all coming back to me now.  delicious, soft, sweet and sticky white-bread goodness.

my mom told me that her aunt used to make these for a sunday morning breakfast treat for the family every once in awhile.  hmmm….. these may need to get added to the semi-regular repertoire.  mr. happy stuff especially liked the all-cream-cheese ones.  yummmmmmm…..

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