It’s a KOLACHES Chanukah…& other BAKED Donut Treats!

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Who says JELLY donuts are a must-have Chanukah treat?

In my book, these Czech inspired donuts called Kolaches, are the ULTIMATE treat to serve on Chanukah!

Seriously, FORGET jelly donuts…they NEVER really have enough jelly to make it worth the calories, and I find are always a bit disappointing in the pastry department. The truth is, I like a little bit of a more sophisticated treat. A pastry that is soft and buttery, filled with a sweet center that is there with every bite you take, can you say YUM? These Kolaches are the perfect blend of a donut, sweet roll, & cheese danish….the ULTIMATE Baked Chanukah Treat!

Now I readily admit, they are a bit of a patchke, there are two risings and you need patience, but in its entirety, these kolaches are a very easy recipe to make. AND, if you really love yourself a JELLY donut, because I know I secretly do to, just add a huge dollop of your favorite strawberry jelly on top of these kolaches after they are baked! A better Chanukah donut I challenge you to find!

I also added a BAKED CHANUKAH CINNAMON DONUT recipe, for those of you who are traditionalist and want a NON – FRY option for your Chanukah donut.

Let the Chanukah Donut Binging BEGIN….Happy Chanukah All! Sarah

Chanukah KOLACHES

(adapted from Cooks Country)

Ingredients:

For the Dough:
1 cup whole milk
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, plus 2 large yolks
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 packet (2 1/4 tsp.) instant or rapid rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
For the Cheese Filling:
6 oz cream cheese, room temprature
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
For the Streusel:
2 tbsp. + 2 tsp. flour
2 tbsp. + 2 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces & chilled

1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp. milk

Directions:
Prepare your Dough: Whisk milk, melted butter, eggs & yolks together in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup (butter will be a little clumpy)
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In a separate stand mixer bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, & salt together. Fit stand mixer with dough hook, add milk mixture to flour mixture, & knead on low speed until no dry flour remains, about 2 minutes.
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Transfer dough to greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place dough on lower middle rack & place a loaf pan on bottom. Pour 3 cups of filing water into loaf pan, close oven door and let dough rise until doubled, about 1 hour. (your oven is off – not on!

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Once dough has risen the 1st time: Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Punch down dough and place on a lightly floured counter. Divide into quarters and cut each quarter into 4 equal pieces.
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Form each piece into rough ball by pulling dough edges underneath so top is smooth, tight ball. Arrange 8 balls on each prepared sheet and cover loosely with plastic.

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Place sheets on oven racks. Replace water in loaf pans with 3 cups boiling water, close oven door,and let dough rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.

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After 2nd rise: Remove sheets and pan from oven. Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour bottom of a 1/3 cup measuring cup. Make deep indentation in center of each dough ball by slowly pressing until cup touches sheet. (perimeter of balls will deflate slightly)

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Prepare your cheese filing: using a stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, and lemon zest on slow speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add ricotta and beat until just combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate till ready to use.

Prepare your streusel: Combine flour sugar, buttar in bowl and rub between fingers until mixture resembles wet sand. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until ready use.

Gently brush kolaches all over with egg mixture. Divide cheese filling evenly among kolaches (about 1 1/2 tbsp. per kolache) and smooth with back of spoon.

Sprinkle streusel over kolaches. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let kolaches cool on pan for 20 minutes. serve warm or cold.
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BAKED CINNAMON DONUTS
(adapted from Foolproof by Ina Garten)

For this recipe you will need to have a donut pan.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
for the topping:
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 2 donut pans well (use a flour spray if you can)
Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir in the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the baking pans, filling each one a little more than 3/4 full. Bake for 17 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then tap the donuts out onto a sheet pan. For the topping, melt the 8 tbsp. butter in a sauce pan. Combine the sugar & cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip each donut first in the butter and then in the cinnamon sugar, either on one side or both.