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Cherry Cheesecake Kolaches

I've been baking for 50 years. Since my granddaughter loves cherry cheesecake, I decided to try to put that kind of filling in kolaches— a traditional Czech pastry. It worked great, and now friends and relatives ask me to bring these kolaches to every get-together.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. + rising Bake: 15 min.
  • Makes
    1-1/2 dozen


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 cup warm whole milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup mashed potatoes (without added butter or milk)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 12 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon whole milk


  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the milk, butter, sugar, potatoes, egg yolks and salt; beat until smooth. Add enough flour to make a very soft dough. Do not knead. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll out about 1/4 cup of dough into a rope about 8-9 in. long. Tie in a knot; tuck one end on top and the other end under bottom of knot. Repeat with remaining dough. Place in greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Make a deep depression in each roll.
  • In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla. Spoon 1 tablespoon into each roll. Make an indentation in cream cheese filling; top each with 2 to 3 cherries from the pie filling (discard remaining cherry sauce or save for another use). Let rise until almost doubled, about 40 minutes.
  • Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over kolaches. Store in the refrigerator.

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