Each time we go to Texas to visit Mario’s family there are a few stops you can bet we will make. On the top of the list of course is Whataburger! I must have my Whataburger fix but that’s for another day’s post. At some point during our visit we will inevitably stop at Shipley’s to get our kolaches. These little pockets of tasty bliss are more or less an oversized pig in the blanket. Kolaches are a Czech/Slovak pasty usually filled with fruit. For some very bizarre reason, that I can not seem to figure out, large swaths of Czechs settled in Texas. Some say that the terrain of the area was reminiscent of their homeland but I can’t really get behind that explanation. The Czech Republic is replete with verdant pastures, rolling hills and majestic pine forests none of which remind me of the 100 degree hot, flat and dry Texas towns. But I digress.
When I saw a post recently on Eatocracy for holiday nut kolaches I immediately was reminded of our little Texas treats (which I’ve come to find out are kind of a misnomer). Yesterday, while the snow was falling and the temperature dropping I decided that it was the perfect time to get out the flour. I took the short 2 minute walk across the street to my friend Tony’s place for an afternoon of holiday cheer. We popped open the wine, we turned up the Christmas music and started baking.
The recipe called for walnuts but since I am not a big fan I opted to swap those for pecans. (a bit of advice, when chopped pecans cost $13 a bag grow your own pecan tree!) Ironically, the only place I’ve ever seen a pecan tree orchard was in Texas. So we mixed, melted, stirred and rolled 6 perfectly shaped nut rolls. After our pizza and wine, the nut rolls were baked and cooled and ready for eating. The only thing missing was some whipped cream or ice cream but now I know for next time!