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Czech pastry the star at Ellicott City's Kolache Kreations

You don’t have to know how to pronounce kolache, or spell it for that matter, to indulge in the pastry that originated in central Europe. All you need to know is that the Czech dessert is now at Kolache Kreations in Ellicott City, via Houston, Texas, thanks to Ileana Fernandez, who is actually Hispanic. So Howard County, isn’t it?

“There are multiple kolache franchises in Houston, hundreds even. You can also find kolache in doughnut shops,” says Fernandez, mother of three young children, who with her husband, Robert, moved to Ellicott City five years ago. There is a large population of Czech immigrants in Texas, and some towns hold kolache festivals to celebrate the pastry and its heritage.

Fernandez was surprised not to find the pastry in Maryland and saw an opportunity. So she opened her own shop near Kiwanis-Wallas Park on Route 144 in a charming white cottage that once housed a consignment shop.

Fernandez bakes the kolache in both sweet and savory varieties. The sweet ones are circular and open-faced, their centers oozing a strawberry, cherry or cream cheese filling. She also makes two kinds of savory kolache — one with breakfast sausage and cheese in the morning and a kielbasa and cheese (she uses cheddar, pepper jack or a mozzarella/provolone blend) in the afternoon. The savories are rolled up inside the dough.

“People like to take them home to reheat for dinner,” says Fernandez, who admits she can’t resist kolache filled with cream cheese. One kolache can be reheated in about 10 seconds in the microwave, according to the shop’s website. Prices range from $2 for a sweet variety to $2.25 for a savory version.

Kolache Kreations also offers a few traditional desserts like cinnamon buns and crumb cake delivered from another local bakery. The shop sells coffee, plain or specialty, smoothies, ice cream and candy.

Customers can eat at the two café tables inside or take their kolache to go.  

A small, eclectic gift shop fills the adjoining room, its shelves stocked with jewelry, painted gourds, candles, potpourri and small toys.

Kolache Kreations, 10455 Frederick Road. 410-988-3193.

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