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Welcome to my Blog 'In The Kitchen With Don'! Thank you for your visit and come back soon!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I am a lucky man in that I have friends from many different cultures.   I also love to read about other cultures and ways of life, not to mention studying ethnic cookbooks.    I don't know why, but I have an especial interest in the Slavic cultures and have friends of Polish, Czech, Slovak and Ukrainian backgrounds.   The Slavic cultures have delicious foods and  you can tell they share a common heritage.   One of my favorite pastries is one called "vatrushki", which comes from the eastern side of Ukraine, near the Russian border.   It is very much like the Czech and Bohemian pastry called a kolache.     I found this recipe online, on a website that no longer exists.   I'm happy I copied this recipe down before it disappeared into cybespace!

2 cups warm milk
3/4 cup melted butter
2 pkgs. yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour

Beat all together until smooth and elastic, then allow to rise in a warm place until doubled. Divide the dough into about 16 small balls and place on a buttered cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Allow to rise about 20 minutes or so. Then form a depression in the center of each ball of dough, using a shot glass or another small glass or even your fingers. Fill the depression with jam or pie filling or cream cheese filling (see below). Bake at 300 degrees about 15-20 minutes or until just lightly colored. Don't allow to dry out. Cool on a rack until completely cooled. If you like, you can dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with a powdered sugar and milk glaze. Enjoy!

Cream cheese filling:
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
2-3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
(a drop of almond extract, optional)
1 egg yolk
a tablespoon of flour

Beat together until smooth.