Sfogliatelle Filling

This filling is mostly used for sfogliatelle riccia, but works nicely as a bake-in filling in other applications. It’s a touch on the fussy side, but the results are worth it. You’ll need:

2 cups whole milk
pinch salt
4.5 ounces (3/4 cup) semolina or 3.5 ounces (1/2 cup) durum flour
7 ounces (1 cup) ricotta cheese
4 ounces (generous 1/2 cup) sugar
2 egg yolks
3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) candied citrus peels or candied cherries, finely chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Making Adzuki Bean Paste

This staple Asian pastry filling is best made from scratch, since store bought is not only hard to find, it’s of highly variable consistency, texture, color and sweetness. Make it yourself and you can control all those factors, and it’s not difficult. Think of it as a sweet Asian version of refried beans, though now that I think about it, adzuki paste’s starchy sweetness reminds me more of thick mashed sweet potatoes. Excellent! Begin by soaking about a three cups of dried adzuki beans (available at Asian markets and/or your nearest Whole Foods in the bulk section) in water for about six hours.


Making Chocolate Filling

Bake-in chocolate fillings are strange animals because no matter what you do the chocolate is going to seize and go grainy, at least to some extent. Bar chocolate, chocolate sticks, ganache, chocolate chips, chocolate pastry cream…none of them will be the same after all that high oven heat. Which means a bake-in chocolate filling will never be creamy. Assuming you can accept that, and I have a feeling you can, proceed.


Chocolate Filling

I can see the demand for chocolate kringle is high enough that I need to take some action here! Also I don’t have a bake-in chocolate filling on the site anywhere. The time is now! This is basically a chocolate rugelach filling, but use it however you see fit!

6-7 ounces (about a cup) cup finely chopped dark chocolate
4.5 ounces (2/3 cup) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons melted butter, cooled


Making Raisin Filling

The method for this extremely sweet, ultra-aromatic filling is a little unorthodox, but if you can suffer through a little stirring, it’s a snap. Start by rehydrating your raisins. Place them in a microwave-safe bowl and pour in water to cover. Zap them for 3-4 minutes until the water boils, then set them aside for half an hour. This, by the way, is a great technique anytime you want to add raisins that can actually be chewed easily to a filling.


Raisin Filling Recipe

This filling is great for kringle, but also a lot of other things. I love cardamom and raisins together. Talk about a classic Scandinavian flavor, this is it!

1 cup golden raisins
4 ounces (1/2 cup) very soft butter
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons cream, warm
8 ounces (2 cups) powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped almonds


Prune Filling

Another fantastic kolache filling that works just as well in Danishes. Funny how that works, isn’t it? You need:

2 cups dried prunes
water or prune juice to cover
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch ground cloves


Cottage Cheese/Farmer’s Cheese Filling

Great for kolaches or blintzes, this recipe would certainly have been a farmer’s cheese recipe back in the Old Country. In the States fresh country cheeses like that are harder to come by. Cottage cheese a a reasonable facsimile. Either need to be combined with cream cheese to keep them from weeping. If you’d like a lighter fat version of this, use all cottage cheese/farmer’s cheese and stir in 1/4 cup of tapioca powder.