Thursday, October 20, 2011

Caramel Apple Kolaches

I am so excited that this post is participating in The Improv Cooking Challenge hosted by Lady Behind the Curtain
The Improve Cooking Challenge

Some things just speak to you.  You know?

There's just something about fresh apples...

and gooey caramel sauce.

It holds a special place in my heart. <3

I've actually blogged about kolaches before.  I defined what a kolache is...and what it isn't.  Today's recipe is not a traditional kolache, because of the filling, but oh my goodness is it good! 

(adapted from recipes found in Texas Monthly and the HoustonChronicle as found on The Homesick Texan)
Makes 18 rolls

1 package of active dry yeast
1 cup of warm milk
1/4 cup sugar
4 cups of all-purpose flour (original recipe calls for 3 cups.  I have needed 4 cups every time I've ever made them.)
2 eggs
3/4 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, 1/2 cup of melted butter (reserve 1/4 cup for brushing on the pastry) 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) 

  • fill with one tablespoon of fruit filling (recipe to follow
  • Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Brush with melted butter when you take them out of the oven and serve warm.

  •   Drizzle with caramel sauce.  (recipe to follow)

  • Drool, then enjoy!

Apple Filling 

1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup water
4 cups peeled & sliced apples (about 4-6 apples)
1 tsp lemon juice

  • Mix sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a 2 quart saucepan.  Add water, apples, and lemon juice.  Stirring constantly, cook over medium-high heat until it thickens and then boils.  Continue to stir and boil for about 5 minutes.  Add water if necessary.

Caramel Sauce

Cook time: 10 minutes


  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 6 Tbsp butter 
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


1 First, before you begin, make sure you have everything ready to go - the cream and the butter next to the pan, ready to put in. Making caramel is a fast process that cannot wait for hunting around for ingredients. If you don't work fast, the sugar will burn. Safety first - make sure there are no children under foot and you may want to wear oven mitts; the caramelized sugar will be much hotter than boiling water.


2 Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on. Note that this recipe works best if you are using a thick-bottomed pan. If you find that you end up burning some of the sugar before the rest of it is melted, the next time you attempt it, add a half cup of water to the sugar at the beginning of the process, this will help the sugar to cook more evenly, though it will take longer as the water will need to evaporate before the sugar will caramelize.

caramel-sauce-2.jpg caramel-sauce-3.jpg
caramel-sauce-4.jpg caramel-sauce-5.jpg

3 As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted.


4 Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. Note than when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably. This is why you must use a pan that is at least 2-quarts (preferably 3-quarts) big.

5 Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature. (Remember to use pot holders when handling the jar filled with hot caramel sauce.) Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.

Yield: Makes a little over one cup of sauce.


  1. Mmmm...I love homemade Kolaches! My favorite are Apple & Cherry! These look fantastic!

  2. My Czech grandmas' kolaches are to die for and I think these are too! They look divine!! ~Megan

  3. Haley, these look delicious! I can't wait to try these...thanks :)

  4. These look scrumptious! I've never made kolaches before - thanks for the recipe and inspiration :-)

  5. Amazing! This is on my weekend recipe to do list! Yeeuuumm!

  6. I LOVE your recipe!!! Thanks for participating in THE IMPROV COOKING CHALLENGE! I can't wait to see what you make next month with Pumpkin and Cream Cheese!

  7. I am completely drooling over those rolls.

  8. Can't wait to try this recipe. It's been so much fun to take part in the Improv Challenge. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next month.

  9. These are so unique and look so yummy.

  10. Looks delicious and I love how you showed the process of making them.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my Improv Cooking Challenge recipe: Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  11. Yum! These look really fabulous! Great recipe!

  12. I have never heard of kolaches before. These look so amazing!! I can hardly wait to try them! What a great idea for this month's challenge!

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