‘Show him the spiced plums, mother. Americans don’t have those,’ said one of the older boys. ‘Mother uses them to make kolaches,’ he added. Leo, in a low voice, tossed off some scornful remark in Bohemian. I turned to him. ‘You think I don’t know what kolaches are, eh? You’re mistaken, young man. I’ve eaten your mother’s kolaches long before that Easter Day when you were born.’
– Willa Cather’s novel My Antonia (1918), about Bohemian immigrants in Nebraska in the 1880s
Sometimes there is a fine line between cakes, breads, and pastries. The Czech koláč (koláče plural) –- the hacek mark over the letter “c” makes it a guttural “ch” -— consists of a large sweet yeast dough round topped with pools of a sweet mixture (or several types), while its diminutive koláček (koláčky plural) denotes smaller individual versions. In America, the names were anglicized, depending on the part of the country, as kolache or kolacky (typically used for both large and small cakes as well as both plural and singular).
Here follows the Rittinger Family Recipe from the Houston Chronicle Article: