This recipe for round Eastern European kolacky uses baking powder, cream cheese, and butter in the dough to make a flaky pastry topped with sweet fruit preserves or sweet cheese.
These pastries are also spelled kolaczki in Polish. They can be made in a wide variety of shapes, including foldovers and rolls filled with fruit preserves. This recipe takes the easier, but still traditional, route and makes a pastry simply topped with the preserves or sweet cheese filling as you desire. You can use a round cookie cutter as shown or make them into squares, diamonds, or other shapes.
You'll have to plan ahead a little, as you'll need to refrigerate the dough for a few hours or overnight before you roll it out, top it, and bake it. That can make it a project to complete with your kids or grandkids. Children enjoy making the thumbprint in the cookies where you'll add the sweet filling.
- 1 cup butter (softened)
- 1 (8-ounce) cream cheese (softened)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 jar of fruit or sweet cheese filling (or Czech sweet roll fillings or sweet pierogi fillings)
- Confectioners' sugar
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese, milk, and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Then, beat in the egg yolk.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder and stir it into the butter mixture to make a stiff dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it several hours or overnight.
Heat oven to 400 F.
Roll out the dough between lightly dusted sheets of parchment paper to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 2-inch cookie cutter.
Place the pastries on ungreased baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Make an impression in the center of each pastry with a flour-dusted thumb or the back of a spoon. Spoon on about 1 teaspoon of filling. Repeat with remaining dough and any scraps, rolling them out, cutting cookies, and filling them.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the cookies from the baking sheets and cool completely on wire racks.
Store the cookies in an airtight container. Sprinkle them with confectioners' sugar just before serving.
You can use any fruit filling you wish, but the consistency should be firm and not runny or you won't end up with the pastries nice topped with the topping.
Source: Solo Foods, used with permission.