Tag Archives: filling

Pumpkin Pie Filled Kolacky

This traditional Czech/Polish pastry has acquired an American twist!  Kolacky (or Kolaches) are cookies traditionally filled with a variety of fruit, poppy-seed or cheese fillings.  My family serves them at most holiday dinners and they are the perfect bite-sized treat after any feast.  This time, I made them with a homemade pumpkin pie filling.

The baking season has really kicked in this week since I was invited to attend the Chicago Food Swap this weekend.  The Chicago Food Swap is an organization that meets monthly to swap homemade and homegrown food in the Chicago area.  No money changes hands and it is free to participate, plus it is a great way to form friendships and trade inspiration.  I am baking a few varieties of goodies in preparation for this event.  My baked goods will be stored and transported using Sweet Stackers.  Special for the November swap, I will get to showcase my Stackable Food Storage System and even raffle Sweet Stackers as a door prize.

These homemade Pumpkin Pie Kolacky are on my swap list and I will probably be making more for Thanksgiving dinner.

Pumpkin Kolacky

Click to get my PartyKitchen Kolacky Recipe

Pumpkin Pie Kolacky Filling

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

  • 2 tablespoon sugar

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 tablespoon egg, beaten

  • 1 tablespoon milk

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Place a teaspoon dollop of filling on kolacky dough.  Bake in 400° oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cookie storage container

Sweet Stackers – economical and versatile system to convert your containers to multi-level and maximize food storage.  The Stackable Food Storage System allows you to store and transport layers of baked goods in one container.  Available in 4 trays sizes made to fit major brand food storage containers.  Visit sweetstackers.com to learn more about this product.  Sweet Stackers are available to purchase on Etsy.

Cookie Stackable Food Storage






Triscuit Berry Cheesecakes – savory & sweet dessert bites!

Today I entered the Triscuit Summer Snackoff and a chance to meet Martha Stewart!  Why not…she is someone I would love to meet and I always have Triscuits in my pantry.

This recipe was inspired by my Star Spangled Tartlets – a bite-sized dessert that I made for the 4th of July.  Instead of using pie crust to make tartlets, the similar ingredients could be used as a spread or topping on the Triscuit.  These would make a great savory-sweet appetizer or dessert to make up in a pinch!  The sweet berry pie filling and cheesecake spread paired nicely with a savory Rosemary & Olive Oil Triscuit.  My husband even said it was like a party in his mouth with all of the different flavors.  It actually take a lot to impress him.

Ha!  So wish me luck!!


Triscuit Berry Cheesecakes

• 2 cups fresh mixed berries (strawberry, blueberry)
• 1/3 cup water
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 2 TB corn starch
• 2 TB butter
• 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
• 2 tablespoons butter , softened
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
• Box of Rosemary & Olive Oil Triscuits
• sliced almonds to garnish
Place the first 5 ingredients in a heavy saucepan, bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and cool.

Using an electric mixer, on high, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Lower the speed and add vanilla, then gradually add the sugar.

To assemble: Place Rosemary & Olive Oil Triscuits neatly on a serving platter. Spread cream cheese mixture on each cracker and top with a dollop of berry filling. Place a few sliced almonds on top to garnish.

Creamy Blueberry Filled Cupcakes

If you are looking for a light, creamy, not “too sweet” cupcake filled with a fruity surprise, then this cupcake is for you!

My baby turned 3 and we celebrated her day with cupcakes!  She absolutely loves blueberries, so I wanted to incorporate blueberries into her birthday cake and cupcakes.  I developed this creamy blueberry filling because I wanted a filling that retained some fresh whole blueberries.  Everyone was pleasantly surprised when they took a bite, revealing the creamy blueberry filling.  The fresh whipped cream frosting complimented the cupcakes nicely.

Whipcream and Blueberry Filling Birthday Cupcakes

Fresh Blueberry Cream Filling

  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring blueberries, water and sugar to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer.  Some berries will split open and a sauce will form.  Add heavy cream and whisk in cornstarch one tablespoon at a time.  Whisk constantly for approximately 8 minutes until thickened.  Remove from heat and cool.  Chill before filling a cake or cupcakes.

Creamy Blueberry Filling Birthday Cupcakes

A cupcake plunger make it easy to uniformly scoop out the center of each cupcake.  Replacing it with a dollop of filling.

Hope you enjoyed!

Ballerina Cupcakes

My little ballerina turned 4 years old and we had a ballerina themed birthday party for her.  This party theme was so pretty in pink, with a pink rosette ballerina birthday cake and matching cupcakes.  I made these darling cupcake picks that looked like a leotard and tutu.  The leotard was made out of two pieces (front and back) of white cardstock taped to a cake pop stick.  The tutu part of the dress was made from ruffle lace trim, glued to the card stock leotard and embellished with a satin ribbon bow.  So simple and beautiful.  Once they were complete, I realized that these would make a beautiful centerpiece for a princess party or bridal shower.  I displayed the cupcakes on a glass cake stand and elevated the birthday girl’s cupcake on an inverted champagne glass.  The cupcake fit perfectly on the base of the stemware.

The cupcakes were filled with a surprise in the middle.  Cupcake can be filled with many different things, but since the cake was filled with a strawberry pastry or cake filling, I thought I would change-up the cupcakes.  The cupcakes had a whole strawberry inserted into the cupcake.  Oh and were they a big hit with both the kids and adults!

The happy baker was so excited to use a new tool in my kitchen – a cupcake corer.  This made the whole process so easy to scoop out a perfect chunk of cupcake to insert a whole strawberry.  The cupcakes were then frosted with pink cream cheese icing using a large star-shaped decorator tip in a swirl rosette pattern.

Filling cupcakes with Strawberries

Who wouldn’t want to sink their teeth into one of these?

Strawberry filled Cupcakes

Look wHoo’s 2! – the cake

The owl theme turned out to be quite fun and my little girl is still enjoying her decorations.  A few days ago I posted the owl cookies that were made for the birthday party.  This post contains how to make this owl cake and some decoration ideas for my daughter’s birthday party.

Owl Shaped Birthday Cake

Preparation for decorating the cake, can be done days in advance.  This is the part when you need to get creative with embellishment for the cake.  To make the eyes and beak for the owl, I used Wilton’s Candy Melts.  Melt a handful of white chocolate wafers.  Then place a large spoonful of white chocolate on wax paper.   Spread into a circle that is approximately 2 inches in diameter, then offset and place one round chocolate-colored wafer for the dark part of the eye.  Make second eye mimicking the first.  For the beak, I melted a small handful of yellow Candy Melts, then spooned into a triangular shape about the same size as the eye.

Owl Eyes - made from melted chocolate wafers

To make the cut-out shape of the owl cake, I baked two 9 inch rounds using a Devil’s Food cake box mix.  I gently sliced each round cake into half to make two layers with filling in between.  Overlap the two bottom layers and cut a semi-circle out of the body layer, so that the head is nested into the body.  Cut the shape for the head and ears out of top cake round.  Spread filling.  Then place the top layers on, trimming to the shape of the bottom layer.

Pineapple Filling

1 can (16 oz.) crushed pineapple

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Drain pineapple reserving the juice.  Add water to the pineapple juice to make 1 1/4 cups.  In a saucepan, combine the pineapple liquid, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice.  Stir until the liquid boils and thickens.  Cool completely, then mix in the crushed pineapple.  Refrigerate.

Owl Cake - using two 9" rounds

For the chocolate frosting, I followed a recipe from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa).  It was delicious, but next time I would cut back slightly on the ground coffee.  It does enhance the chocolate flavor, but for a kid’s palate it could be reduced a bit.

After frosting the cake, I placed the eyes and beak in place.  Then used blanched almond slices as the ruffled chest feathers, starting from the top to bottom and leaving room at the bottom to write a birthday message.

Chocolate Owl Cake

Was actually super easy and turned out darling!  I refrigerated the cake overnight and my daughter was hanging on the fridge in the morning because she knew the owl was in there.

I found a few cute things in the dollar bins at Target for Valentine’s day that matched the owl theme.  This little felt purse was perfect to hold the balloon weight.  I stuck a few festive metallic picks into the weight to fill in this arrangement.

Owl Balloon Decoration

I Love to Reuse!  Why keep buying birthday banners to match a theme when you can simply reuse a basic banner every year?

I have been reusing the same two Happy Birthday banners since my kids were born.  These banners actually say Happy 1st Birthday and each one comes in a different set of colors for girl and boy.  Every year I change the “1st” circle piece to their current theme.  For this party, I created this cute little owl out of card stock to match our color scheme and used a few heart shaped stickers to make the ruffled feathers.

Happy Birthday banner

Happy 2nd Birthday kiddo!!

Kolacky – Czech Cookies

The holidays are among us and let the baking begin!

According to Wikipedia:  “Kolache (also spelled kolace, kolach, or kolacky, from the Czech and Slovak plural koláče, sg. koláč) is a type of pastry that holds a dollop of fruit rimmed by a puffy pillow of supple dough.”

Kolacky are my favorite baked treat because the filling comes in so many fruit flavors, poppy seed and even cheese.  My Mom makes them for any holiday and I am carrying on the tradition.   They are really the perfect dessert after a huge dinner because they are tiny like a cookie.  I made these for a Christmas event at my church and I will be making another batch for Christmas.


Raspberry and Apricot Kolacky

This recipe can be made ahead of time and they freeze well, but because of the jelled filling they can not be stacked on top of each other.  That lead me to design a new product called Sweet Stackers – Stackable Food Storage System.  Sweet Stackers are stackable trays that fit inside a typical 3″ deep container.  They will separate your food items in two or three layers depending on the size of your food.  Perfect for Kolacky or any food that you can not stack!

Kolacky Recipe

1 1/2 C sifted all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 C butter, softened

1 – 8 ounce cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon sugar

1 egg yolk, beaten

various pie and pastry fillings (I used Solo brand, apricot and raspberry pie and pastry filling for this batch)

Sift the flour and baking powder together.  With an electric mixer, cream butter, cream cheese, milk and sugar.  Add the egg yolk, then gradually add the flour mixture.  Once the dough comes together, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for several hours in the refrigerator.  I usually chill the dough overnight.

Preheat oven to 400°.  Divide the dough in half and leave the remaining half in the refrigerator until you are ready to work with it.  (note: work with this dough quickly and keep any dough that you are not using chilled).  Flour your rolling pin and work surface extremely good and keep it well floured once you are working the dough.  Roll the dough until about 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick.  Cut round pieces with a floured 2″ round cookie cutter or edge of a juice glass.

kolaches dough

Dough is chilled, rolled and ready to cut

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Make a depression with your thumb gently in the center of each piece and place a dollop of filling into the center.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

kolaches cut and filled

Kolacky are ready to bake!

Hope you enjoy them!

U-Pick Blueberry Pie

Ahhh….back from a fantastic family vacation in Michigan!  We did a bunch of fun things besides being at the beach.  The day before we left we visited Andrew’s U-Pick Blueberries, a nice family farm with tons of berries ready to be picked.  We made it 45 minutes before their stand closed and picked 7 lbs of blueberries to bring home.  While picking, I day-dreamed of what to do with them…jam, pie…yum!  The kids enjoyed getting lost in the dense bushes!

Here was my first stab at Blueberry Pie!

Flakey Pie Crust – easy and really turned out flakey and delicious!  (yield 1 pie crust, double the recipe to make a double crust pie)

1 1/2 C flour

2 TB sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/6 C cold shortening (Crisco) – note: measure 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons

1/3 C cold butter

1/4 C water

Combine all dry ingredients and cut in shortening and butter until pea-sized crumbs are achieved.  Add water and mix until the dough comes together.  Roll dough evenly until it is 1/8 inch thick.  I then refrigerated for 15 minutes, which made the dough easy to work with.

Kitchen tip:  I rolled my dough in between two sheets of wax paper that were dusted with flour.  Wow!  This really makes it easy to lift into a pie plate without sticking to the surface or rolling pin.

Note:  I doubled the recipe to make a double crust pie.

Blueberry Pie Filling:

4 C blueberries

2/3 C sugar

7 TB corn starch

3 TB water

2 TB lemon juice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/5 tsp allspice

Place all the blueberries in the pie crust.  Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the blueberries.

The pie is ready to bake, unless you want a top crust.  Roll out dough for a top crust and place on top.  Pinch the sides together all the way around the pie and make slits in the top of the crust to vent.

Yay for new kitchen gadgets!  (Thanks Mom!  Kitchen gadgets are the best gifts!!)  I used a silicone pie shield which worked perfect so the pie crust didn’t brown or burn.  If you don’t have  a pie shield, then cover the crust edges with aluminum foil all the way around to get the same results.

Bake 375° for 1 hour, until crust is golden and the filling is bubbling.

The crust turned out perfectly golden brown!  Can’t wait to serve up a warm slice with dab of vanilla ice cream!