For this month’s Recipe ReDux, members were challenged to share a story of classic cookware – something special passed on to us from the kitchen of a loved friend or favorite relative. Here’s my problem with that: I moved from Chicago to Boston right after college. Although I came home for holidays, the last thing I had room in my suitcase for was cookware. I also got married less than two years out of school, and having absolutely nothing for our house meant we were fortunate to get some great brand new gadgets and essentials for our kitchen. No old spoons or pans for me. I’m really not sure where all of the treasured classics went, but I’ll bet if I checked around in my sisters’ kitchens (they stayed in Chicago near the relatives) I’d find quite a few things 🙂 . My grandmother was an amazing gardener, and a wonderful cook, and in my opinion, the most important things I inherited from her were my love and passion for both cooking and gardening. She gave me one of her crystal vases, which is full of flowers from my garden all summer.
She also gave me a few special serving pieces for my kitchen. One of them is this tray, which I display on my shelf.
She made lots of special Polish dishes, but those I remember having most often were pierogi stuffed with either sauerkraut or cheese, and a cookie/pastry-like treat, which I completely forgot about until just now. They’re called kolachki and we had them for every holiday or family gathering. Sometimes they were folded over like this, but more often, she made them round with jam in the middle.
They had either apricot or raspberry filling, and I always grabbed the raspberry ones. My grandmother passed away many years ago, and most of my family has moved to San Diego, where I can’t imagine anyone eats kolachki, because they’re pretty full of fat and sugar from butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and preserves, and that’s just not how they eat anymore. My how times have changed, and now that I’m thinking about it, I kind of miss some of those foods. This recipe for Kolachki is the one that my mom wrote out for me a million years ago when I first moved out on my own. I made it just a tiny bit healthier by substituting low fat Greek Cream cheese for regular cream cheese, and using low sugar preserves. I’m so happy to share it with you!
Polish Kolachki Cookies
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 2 8 ounce packages Greek Cream Cheese
- 2 1/2 cups flour plus additional for rolling
- Fruit preserves
- Confectioner's sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking pan with a silpat or parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese together on medium-high speed, until fluffy.
- Scrape down sides of the bowl, and with the mixer on low, add flour and continue to mix until dough is smooth.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Roll dough out to 1/8-inch thickness, and cut into rounds.
- Add about ½ teaspoon of fruit preserves to the center of each cookie.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until golden on the bottoms. When cool, dust with confectioner’s sugar.
- These are best eaten the same day.
What’s your favorite food memory from when you were young?
Make sure you check out the other treasured pieces from member’s kitchens and their special recipes!
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