Polish Kolachki Cookies
For this month’s Recipe ReDux, we were asked to share a story of a special piece of cookware 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 the holidays, the last thing I had room in my suitcase for was cookware.
I also got married less than two years out of school. Having absolutely nothing for our house meant we were gifted 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 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, .In my opinion, the most important things I inherited from her are 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
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
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 sticks
- 16 ounces Greek or reduced fat Cream Cheese 2 packages
- 2 ½ cups flour plus additional for rolling
- Fruit preserves
- Confectioner's sugar for dusting
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking pan with a silpat or parchment paper.
- 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.
- Roll dough out to ⅛-inch thickness and cut into rounds with a 1 ½ - 2 inch cookie cutter or small glass.
What's your favorite food memory from when you were young?
Can these be frozen?
I've never tried to freeze them before, and I feel like freezing them would affect the texture. Freezing isn't recommended for cream cheese because it turns gritty. If you want to try it, I would freeze the raw dough. Thaw, cut and fill them afterward. Let me know if you try it and I'll post your results for others who may be curious!
I have been making Kolachki’s
for years now, they happen to be my favorite cookies.
I like to use solo fruit to my cookies and I always freeze them.
I don’t add powdered sugar and they freeze perfect.
Thanks so much for sharing your tips Angela!
Thank younfor sharing your recipe. The dough works beautifully.
Can you please share how you get them not to blow up(expand) in the oven and your pictures look like the jam doesn’t melt. I’ve also tried them pinched together but they open up even when I use water to seal. What am I doing wrong? Thank you!
I know what you mean about blowing up! I think the key is to make sure the dough is still cold when you get it into the oven, and cut the cookies into very small rounds. I use a small cookie cutter that's about 1 1/2" in diameter. They'll puff up, but they'll flatten out a bit when they cool. I've never pinched them (too much work!) but I know many people do. on Make sure you just use a very little bit of jam if it's running. I use preserves which are thicker and fruitier. You can probably also add the jam right after they come out of the oven. Hope that helps!
Use SOLO apricot preserves. They won’t run
Thanks for the tip!
These sound just like the one's my mother made when I was younger. She's gone now but making things like this always always bring back those happy memories.
Hello. I love these kind of cookies but never did the round way. How big do i cut them for the round? Thank you. Can't wait to make them.
Hi Sheila - I think you can make them any size you like. I prefer them on the smaller size, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. I use a small biscuit cutter to cut the dough.
This dough is awesome, the very best around. They make take a while to make, but well worth it. We have been making them for years.
I agree Betty! I have such fond memories of making (and eating) these when I was young! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
My hubby's family is Russian Polish, so it has been fun learning about Polish recipes. Love your Kolachki Cookies, and love the simplicity of the recipe. You have such beautiful memories of your Grandmother to hold dear, and your kitchen treasures are gorgeous! Take care, Terra
Thanks for visiting Terra! One of my favorite things about food and cooking is the memories you make 🙂
Hey there Anne!
What a sweet story to share about your grandmother! Like you, I moved away right away from home, so I don't really have any treasured heirlooms. But I do have lots of memories of my grandmother's cooking and gardening.
Have you ever been to Poland before? I might have a chance to visit next year. I definitely need to try these kolachki cookies, I don't think I've ever had anything like them before.
Hi Christine - I've never been to Poland, but hopefully some day. My mom was born there and finally went back a few years ago. The language thing would be hard for me unless she came with. I know about 3 words even though my mom and grandmother always conversed in Polish. Thanks for visiting!
Love this post! What a beautiful plate and I've heard about kolachki cookies but have never had the pleasure of sampling.
Thanks Deanna 🙂 I haven't even thought about them in forever, and that first bite brought me right back!