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I AM of Czechoslovakian descent, and baking kolaches is my specialty. These sweet yeast buns with fruit or poppy seed filling are a true Czech tradition. They are also popular in other Slavic nations, which sometimes use the spellings kolacky or kolachke. From a young age, I’ve enjoyed baking. But it wasn’t until we retired from farming and moved to town that I started making large quantities of kolaches. The Cherry Kolaches recipe I’m sharing reflects my filling preference. But I also make apricot, apple, pineapple, prune and poppy seed kolaches. I make my fillings from scratch, but you can easily use canned filling instead.
When I was in college, my roommate's mother sent these flaky horns in a holiday care package. I've been making them ever since. When I mail them to my parents, I put an equal number in two tins labeled "his" and "hers" so there's no squabbling over who gets more. — Tamyra Vest, Scottsburg, Virginia
Our Home Economists added an Irish touch to these traditional dessert treats—with mouthwatering results! The old-fashioned pastry mixes up quickly before baking. Then a smooth green filling of whipped cream and pistachio pudding fills the round shells easily —thanks to a simple instant mix.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
“My family loves this. It's on the table every Christmas morning and it travels so well to ladies brunches at our church. The original called for individual filo leaves and was very time consuming. Once, by mistake, I bought the puff pastry sheets and found that it was much faster.” Susan Dancy - Tallahassee, Florida
We always made cream puffs for special occasions when I was growing up in a family of seven. My favorite filling, then and now, is whipped cream and nutmeg-spiced peaches. —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario
My twin sister and I (we're 18) love to bake together, and this was one of the first yeast breads we tried. Any day becomes a special occasion when these rich buttery twists are on the menu! But plan ahead...the dough needs to rise overnight.
-Charys Rockey, Rochelle, Texas
My family always loves it when I make this wonderful dessert. Old-fashioned strudel was too fattening and time-consuming, but this revised classic is just as good. It's best served warm from the oven. —Joanie Fuson, Indianapolis, Indiana
My failed attempt to make a triple-layer strawberry malt mouse resulted in this scrumptious dessert. I don't use puff pastry often, but it was simple to work with. My husband declared it one of the best desserts ever.
Refrigerated crescent rolls let you make these fruit-filled pastries in a hurry. My family loves these turnovers for breakfast, but they’re so delicious, they’d be welcome any time of the day. Feel free to experiment with other pie fillings as well. —Elleen Oberrueter, Danbury, Iowa