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Easy Kolacky Recipe – Polish Christmas Cookies You Need To Try!

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A tray of Easy pastries on a cooling rack.

You may be surprised that the most famous Polish cookies, kolacky, are… not that famous in Poland. I was shocked by how popular are kolacky among Poles living abroad (especially Americans). Being born and raised in Poland, I’ve tried these cookies several times, however, they definitely weren’t the most popular among my family and friends. 

When I tried to bake kolacky for the first time, I quickly understood why so many people love these cookies. The dough is easy to make, you can use any fruit or cheese for the filling. You don’t need to spend a lot of time forming the cookies, just take the opposite corners and pinch them together.

Tips For Baking Kolacky

Use ONLY Solid Jam.

Make sure your filling is not watery, otherwise the cookies may fall apart in the oven. 

What Type Of Cheese Is Best For Kolacky?

Although you can choose any type of white cheese to make the dough, it is best to opt for the more creamy one, the Philadelphia type.  Farmer’s cheese might be a little bit too dry for it.

Add An Egg If You Want.

You can add one egg yolk to the dough and use the egg white to brush kolacky before baking (they will have a slightly better color).

Don’t Be Afraid To Use Icing Sugar.

Dust your cookies with a good amount of powdered sugar, but do it just before serving. Icing sugar tends to melt on moist surfaces, and although the sweet taste will 

Pinch The Opposite Corners Of The Square REALLY Tight.

A plate with a variety of Easy Kolacky pastries.

The first time I was baking kolacky, they opened up in the oven. Even though the taste was still great, they didn’t look good. Make sure you pinch the opposite corners of the square really tight.

Use The Cookie Cutter To Make Kolacky Faster

This cookie cutter will help you make kolacky faster.

How To Make Kolacky When You Are In A Hurry?

The process of making kolacky is really time-consuming. You need to make a dough, wait until it’s cold, then roll it out, cut, and form the cookies.

If you don’t have time (or you don’t want to clean up the entire kitchen), you can make lazy kolacky. Here’s how I do it:

  1. Make dough according to the kolacky recipe above.
  2. Tear off a piece of dough and form a small ball (it should be the size of a walnut).

3. Place the ball into the muffin/cupcake form.

4. Press the ball with your fingers to form a small dimple.

5. Place the jam inside.

6. Repeat the process with the entire dough.

7. The baking time should be about 20-25 minutes.

How To Store Kolacky Cookies?

Even though kolacky cookies taste best fresh, you can still make larger batches and store them for later. You need to store them in an air-tight container, though. 

You might also freeze your cookies. Just make sure to lay them in a way, so they do not touch each other Once frozen,  store them in batches one on top of the other, separating the layers with parchment paper. 

Can I Make The Dough Ahead Of Time As Baking Prep Work?

Kolacky might be a bit time-consuming, and it would be best to split the work when making them for Christmas. Plan ahead of time, prepare the thought a few weeks earlier, and freeze it.  Wrap it well in a cling film and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. For defrost, leave it in the fridge overnight. 

Serving Tips

Traditionally kolacky cookies are served simply dusted with icing sugar, but they also taste great with these few add-ons:

  • ice cream on the side
  • whipped fresh cream
  • decorated with melted echolocate
  • or dipped in a fruit moose

Easy Kolacky Recipe

Yield: 20 servings

Easy Kolacky Recipe - Polish Christmas Cookies You Need To Try!

Easy Kolacky Recipe - Polish Christmas Cookies You Need To Try!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients

Kolacky Dough

  • 2 cups of unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of cream cheese
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tbsps of sugar (optionally)

Kolacky Filling

  • 2 small jars of jam (20 oz)

Optionally

  • Egg
  • Powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Beat the butter with cream cheese. [both should be in room temperature]
  2. Start adding the flour gradually. Form the dough using a hand or food processor. Beat until the flour is incorporated and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Do not overmix.
  3. Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour (may be overnight). A cheesy ball wrapped in plastic.
  4. Preheat the oven to 356°F (180°C).
  5. Roll out the dough on a floured pastry board. It should be about ⅛'' thick.
  6. Cut into small squares (about 2-3''). A sheet of Easy Kolacky dough is laid out on a cutting board.
  7. Place the jam in the center of each square (½ teaspoon for each).A delectable Easy Kolacky with a jam filling.
  8. Pinch the opposite corners of the squares to form the cookie.
  9. Place kolackys on the pan lined with baking paper.
  10. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
  11. Cool off. If you want the cookies to be sweeter, sprinkle them with powdered sugar.

Notes

  1. Be sure to pinch the opposite corners of the squares REALLY tight, otherwise, the cookies may open up in the oven.
  2. Kolacky are sweet enough without the powdered sugar, I didn't use it at all.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

20

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 324Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 3g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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Did you like this Polish kolacky cookies recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

6 Responses

  1. They not Polish cookies.They are traditional Czech pastries called :Ceske Kolache.They may be baked in Poland as many other cages cookies etc.

    1. Thanks for your comment! Polish and Czech cuisines are pretty similar. We also have these cookies in Poland. The other name for them is “beciki”.

  2. Been making Lolazky cookies every CHRISTmas for over 50 years. Instead of squeezing them I put a dab of egg white on the first fold over then secure the top fold over well. No issues with them opening. I use the SOLO fruit fillings. They’re thicker than the jams and don’t melt at all. I also make a sweet bread called KOLACZ (Sp). I t’s made with a ricotta cheese and yellow raisins much like a coffee cake type but the texture of bread. Never hear about it any more. I have looked everywhere for it. I t was my Polish grandmothers recipe. She was from Warsaw and migrated here during WWII.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I LOVE the tip for putting a dab of egg white on kolacky. Need to try it next time I will be making these cookies.

  3. Is there an alternative to cream cheese for the dough? I don’t remember my grandma using that but I might not remember correctly. I’d especially like to learn of a dairy-free alternative if there is one.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      That won’t be kolacky without cream cheese. You may use any semi-shortcrust pastry as alternative though.

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