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Kolache Cookies

Any time there’s a gathering you want something really special to serve. Cakes are great, but in many families cookies are the star of the show. They’re certainly easier to serve than cakes and require no utensils to enjoy- making them ideal for family get togethers with lots of people.

These Polish kolache cookies are a staple dessert in many areas. This cookie has been spelled different ways, but the pronunciation is “co-watch-key” in Poland and “co-latch-y” in the US. However you say it or spell the name, these cookies are simply divine.

Kolache Cookies

They have a rich cookie dough base that’s not sweet. This is countered with a dollop of sweet jam or preserves in the middle. Together they make the ideal combination and I can speak from experience here that one is never enough of these fabulous cookies.

The base recipe only has 6 ingredients- making it super simple to buy for and to prepare. The only bother about these cookies is that you have to chill the dough before you can make work them into shape.

Kolache Cookies

To make these cookies you’ll need to chill the dough first as it is very soft. That’s thanks to some cream cheese in the mix which gives it just a bit of a lovely tart flavor. Once chilled roll the dough out and then cut into squares.

If you have a hard time eyeballing equal squares then you can make a template or you just can wing it like I did. You want the squares to be about 2 1/2″ long on each edge and about 1/4″ thick. These do puff up a bit in the oven so there’s no need to make them thicker unless you just like them that way.

Kolache Cookies

To give some variety I made one batch of these cookies filled with apricot preserves and one with black currant jam. You can use whichever jams you like for these cookies. I would advise jams and preserves over jellies so that the filling doesn’t run out onto the pan when baking. The thicker ones do best with the high temperature.

On that note, you only need a little bit of jam on each square. Over-filling can also cause these to leak. An optional last step is to dust the cookies with some powdered sugar, but I love them plain, too!

Kolache Cookies

Now you can taste what generations of Polish families consider an essential part of festive celebrations.

Yield(s): Makes about 2 dozen cookies

3h 20m prep time

18m cook time

91 calories

4.7
Rated 4.7 out of 5
Rated by 106 reviewers

Allergens: Milk, Wheat, Gluten

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Ingredients
  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons jam of choice
  • powdered sugar for dusting, optional
Preparation
  1. Combine cream cheese, butter, flour, vanilla, and granulated sugar in mixing bowl until smooth. Or pulse in food processor. Roll into ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to overnight. Dough will be very soft.
  2. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Sprinkle flour on work surface. Divide dough in half. Place one half back into refrigerator. Roll out first half to 1/4” thickness. Cut into about 12 squares each roughly 2 1/2“ square. Re-form the dough and re-roll as needed.
  3. Place squares on lined jelly roll pan. Place a dollop of jam in the center of each square. Fold over 2 corners to meet in middle. Repeat for remaining dough and jam using as many flavors of jam or preserves as you wish. Re-roll any spare dough into new squares.
  4. Bake each sheet or cookies for 15-18 minutes. Allow cookies to cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to cooling to cool completely for 1 hour. Optional: sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar in sieve before serving.

Recipe adapted from Caroline’s Cooking.