Category Archives: Kolaczki

Making Kolaczki

These cookie-like kolaczki — which in my understanding are a Polish version — are some of the easiest of the breed: essentially a cream cheese pie crust tube full of jam. Make yours by combining the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl or in the bowl of a mixer.

Beat on medium speed until they’re well combined and fluffy.

Add the flour and salt and stir everything together until a dough begins to form. Don’t stir much more than this lest you activate too much of the flour’s gluten.

Collect the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate it for at least an hour, up to 3 days. When you’re ready to make the cookies, take the dough ball out of the fridge and let it warm up on the counter for about half an hour. This will soften it a bit. Remove it to a board that’s been liberally dusted with powdered sugar.

Press down hard on the dough to get it spreading…

…and roll it out into a large sheet. The thickness will depend on how big you want your kolaczki. For small kolaczki, roll the dough extremely thin, less than 1/8 inch. For larger ones, you can roll the dough a little thicker, about 1/8 inch. Why is the dough thickness important? Because a thick piece of dough folded into in a small shape will open up in the oven.

Once the dough is rolled, cut it with a pizza cutter into squares between 2 and 3 inches across. If they’re not perfect that’s OK. A gang of Polish bakers isn’t going to storm your house and check. I don’t think.

Cut’em the other way…and you have your squares. Re-roll your scraps into the next sheet.

And shape. For a typical kolaczki, you want less than a teaspoon of filling. This is too much. For best results, use several different of fillings. Today I’m making apricot, raspberry (untraditional) and fig (eve less traditional).

Now fold in one side…

…then the other. You can stretch the corner and tuck it under for extra insurance against opening, but as I said, dough thickness is they key. This dough is actually a bit thick for the size.

If you prefer a square, fold the points in toward the center. You’ll need a very thin dough to pull off that shape, but it’s a nice variation.

Lay them out on a sheet pan. They won’t rise much so you can lay them close to one another. Let them sit for at least fifteen minutes to relax any activated gluten that may have developed. This will prevent shrinkage and even further decrease the risk of opening. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bake 10-20 minutes depending on size, until they’re golden brown. Cool them on a rack and serve. Or, roll them in powdered sugar and then serve, if you’re really hard-core.

Filed under:  Kolaczki, Pastry | 27 Comments

Kolaczki Recipe

Wait, you spelled the word differently in this post. Yes, that’s right. It’s the Polish spelling (or so I understand) because this is the Polish version. Or at least it’s the Chicago Polish version. Or one of them at any rate. Polish kolaczki are envelope-like cookies, made with a cream cheese short crust and jam. To make them you’ll need:

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
7.5 ounces (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
pinch salt
about twelve total ounces of filling(s) of your choice
powdered sugar for dusting

Combine the butter and cream cheese and beat them together until they’re light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and stir until blended. Bring the dough together in a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a minimum of an hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. When you’re ready to shape the kolaczki, dust a rolling surface with powdered sugar. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out into a sheet about 1/4 inch thick (it will be stiff at first but be patient). With a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 2″ squares. Spread a small amount of filling in a stripe along the dough square diagonally, from corner to corner. Fold in the other two corners to make a sort of tube shape.

Lay the kolaczki on a cookie sheet and bake on a middle rack for about 15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove them to a rack. Dust them with powdered sugar and serve.

Filed under:  Kolaczki, Pastry | 19 Comments