Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sourdough Surprises: Mocha Hazelnut Cream Cheese Kolaches

Somehow, I've developed a talent for getting free stuff from the internet. This time it wasn't just a sample – it was a whole jar of Jif Mocha Cappuccino Hazelnut Spread and a $2 off coupon for another jar. It's especially funny as I had an unopened jar in the pantry. So, it was time to find a recipe to use it. Sourdough Surprises picked kolaches – a filled Czech pastry – as their challenge for November. I needed a filling and I needed to use the spread. Hopefully it was a match made in heaven.

I did, unfortunately, pick a day to bake when a front was coming through (meaning extra humidity, the need for extra flour and not always the best results with yeast doughs) but I had to give it an old college try. I adapted the Homesick Texan recipe for sourdough, and used a cream cheese and mocha hazelnut mixture for the filling. (I also forgot to melt any butter for when they came out of the oven, so they didn't have a glossy finish).

The recipe:
Kolaches (adapted from TheHomesick Texan)
1 cup sourdough starter
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups of all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup of melted butter
1 teaspoon of salt

In a large bowl, combine yeast, warm milk, sugar and one cup of flour. Cover and let it rise until doubled in size.
Beat together eggs, melted butter and salt.
Add egg mixture to yeast mixture and blend.
Stir in about two more cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time. The dough should be soft and moist.
Knead dough for about 10 minutes on floured surface. Don't worry, it’s a joy to knead as the dough is smooth and highly malleable.
Put dough in a greased bowl and let rise covered until doubled in size—about an hour.
After dough has risen, punch it down and pull off egg-sized pieces. In your hands, roll pieces into balls and then flatten to about three inches in diameter. Brush with melted butter.
Place flattened pieces on a greased cookie sheet, cover and let rise again for another half-hour.
After second rising, with your finger gently make an indention in the center of the dough (be careful not to flatten it too much) and fill with one tablespoon of filling.
Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes and enjoy!

Kolache filling
1/2 cup Jif Mocha Hazelnut spread
2 oz Neufachetel cheese, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Beat all three ingredients until fairly smooth.

The only negative I have to say is that they tasted a little chewy and dry...but so goes it (typically) when I bake on a humid day. The pastry was lightly sweet and the filling just rich enough.

I'll keep these in mind for a less humid day (if I get the time to bake on a less humid day.) Now to finish off that jar of Mocha Hazelnut spread...

Check out our other awesome Kolaches!