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Author Notes: Most people have probably never heard of kringles, but they are a big thing in southeastern Wisconsin. Kringles are a type of filled pastry. The most famous come from Racine. My grandma made a version of kringles, and this is based on her recipe. It's the only recipe I have that she hand wrote on a recipe card for me, so it's near and dear to my heart. She would most commonly fill hers with a butter-brown sugar-nut filling or an apricot-nut filling. You can also fill it with thinly sliced apple or any pie filling. The texture is best at room temperature, so try to resist the tempation to slice into it while it's warm. It's also best eaten the first day, but not bad the second.
Makes 3 rectangular kringles
For the Dough
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) rapid rise yeast
- ¼ cup warm water
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (plus additional for rolling)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup frozen unsalted butter
- ½ cup milk
- 1 large egg
- Combine yeast and water in a small bowl to “soften” the yeast.
- Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in a medium sized bowl. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the butter into the flour mixture. Be especially careful when you get toward the end of the butter, and feel free to cut the end into small pieces instead of grating. Using your whisk like a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour for 30 to 60 seconds until the butter is completely coated with flour, and it resembles a coarse meal.
- Add the milk and egg to the yeast and water mixture, then whisk to combine.
- Pour the wet ingredients onto the flour mixture, and fold to combine. When the mixture is almost combined, use your hands to knead it together for several turns to finish. It should be a firm and somewhat sticky dough. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. When dough is ready preheat the oven and make the filling.
For the Filling, Assembly, and Glaze
- For the Filling:
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cups walnuts, finely chopped
- ¼ cup maple syrup (Grade B if you've got it)
- ¼ cup sour cream or crème fraiche
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- For the Glaze:
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream or crème fraiche
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 to 4 teaspoons milk (if needed to thin)
- Preheat oven to 350º F with racks in the upper middle and lower middle positions.
- Over medium-low heat melt the butter in an 8-inch skillet (not non-stick or cast iron.) Once the butter has melted, increase the heat to medium. Cook butter until the solids just start to brown.
- Add the chopped walnuts, and cook, stirring frequently until they are golden brown and smell toasty, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add the maple syrup, and cook, stirring continuously until the vigorous boiling has slowed, about 45 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream, lemon juice and salt. Set aside while you roll out the dough.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Lightly flour a counter top. Take one portion of the dough and roll it between your hands into a cylinder, approximately 6 inches long. Place the cylinder onto the floured counter, and lightly dust it with flour. Press it flat with your hands, then using a rolling pin, form it into a rectangle about 8 inches wide and 15 inches long. Use small amounts of flour if needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the counter or the rolling pin.
- Stir the filling, then spread 1/3 of it lengthwise down the center of the rectangle in a 3 to 3 ½ inch wide strip, leaving about ½-inch of dough uncovered on each end. Fold one long side of the uncovered dough over the filling. Brush off excess flour. Apply a small amount of water to the other long side of dough, then fold it over the filling, onto the other folded dough. Gently press to seal, and brush off excess flour. Brush each short end with water, then fold it over to completely seal in the filling.
- Gently gather up the kringle by sliding and wiggling one hand under each end, so you are supporting at least half of the dough. Transfer to a flat baking sheet (or underside of a rimmed one) flipping it so the seams are on the bottom.
- Repeat to form the remaining 2 kringles. 2 will fit on one baking sheet, so they can be baked at the same time.
- Bake for 17 to 19 minutes, or until golden brown, switching racks and rotating the pans after 10 minutes to promote even cooking.
- While the kringles are baking make the glaze. Combine the powdered sugar, sour cream, vanilla, and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk until smooth. If too thick to drizzle, add 1 teaspoon of milk at a time until you reach desired consistency.
- Once the kringles are golden brown, remove from the oven and slide them onto a cooling rack. Set the cooling rack over the sink or a sheet pan to contain the mess of glazing. Drizzle with the glaze. Allow to cool to room temperature, then slice and serve.
- Alternate filling options: 1.) Combine 1/3 cup melted butter with ½ cup brown sugar and 1 cup chopped toasted nuts. 2.) Chop enough dried apricots to make ½ cup. Soak in water until softened, then drain. Combine 1/3 cup melted butter with ½ cup brown sugar. Spread the sugar mixture on the kringle, then sprinkle with the apricot pieces and some chopped toasted nuts.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Walnuts
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Walnuts & Sage