Kolaczki are rich and flaky, pastry-like cookies filled with jam. These are traditional Polish cookies, although styles, recipes and name spellings may vary across other regions. They are a great cookie for holiday baking and special events. All you need is 5 simple ingredients and a bit of time!
- 8 oz full fat cream cheese (softened at room temp)
- 1 1/2 c butter ( or 3 sticks, softened at room temp. I prefer salted butter for this recipe but unsalted can be used)
- 3 c all purpose flour
- 3/4 c jam, fruit preserves, pastry filling or other filling of your choice. SEE NOTES.
- 2 Tbsp water or 1 egg white, in a small bowl set aside
- Powdered sugar for rolling and dusting
- In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter using a hand mixer. Mix until light and fluffy.
- Add the flour. With the mixer on low speed, carefully mix in the flour until 95% incorporated. At that point, stop using the mixer and finish by hand using a spatula.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, shaping into a disk and chill for 1 hour minimum. If chilling for longer, you may need to let the dough come to about room temp before rolling.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350° and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Prepare the work surface & rolling pin by dusting with powdered sugar.
- Roll the dough out to slightly less than ¼" thick.
- Cut the cookies into 2x2 squares using a 2x2 cookie cutter or by hand.
- To cut by hand...
- Start by cutting off the edges of the dough so that all the sides are squared off and you have clean lines.
- Using a ruler, measure out 2 inch increments on the bottom side of the dough.
- Use a pastry wheel, slice the dough in straight lines vertically.
- Bring the ruler to the alternate side and measure in 2 inch increments going across, left to right.
- Slice the dough crosswise to form squares.
- Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet.
- Add about ¾ tsp of jam onto each cookie by either spooning it on or using a piping bag.
- Now it's time to fold the cookies. Dab two opposing corners with the water or egg white. Bring one of the corners to the center, grab the other side and slightly stretch it over the middle to the opposing edge of the cookie. Press firmly on the seal and tuck the dough slightly into the side.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly golden brown on the edges.
- Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Store kolaczki in an airtight container for up to 4 days (baked cookies DO NOT freeze well).
- Before serving, dust with powdered sugar.
Recipe by Owlbbaking.com
More on the jam filling...
A common problem with using jam for the filling of these cookies is that the jam melts and spreads all over the cookie when it bakes.
There are two reasons why this happens. The cookies either get overfilled or the jam is too thin and runny to hold up to the heat of the oven.
Using pastry filling is actually best and recommended. Pastry filling is already thickened and can withstand the heat in the oven.
If you don't have pastry filling on hand, the next best thing is fruit spread or whole fruit preserves. I tested this and it holds up a bit better than regular jam without having to thicken it yourself.
If using a standard jam, then you will need to cook it down for a few minutes in a pot to thicken, before adding it to the unbaked cookies. This will help avoid a jammy mess and keep your cookies looking pretty & perfect!
I also tried cooking jam with corn starch to thicken it, but I did not prefer the texture. After baking with the cookies, the corn starch version was a bit gummy and leathery.
Do NOT use regular jelly for this recipe. It will melt and burn in the oven!
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 208
- Sugar: 4.5
Keywords: Kolaczki, Polish Cookies, Polish Desserts