You might have heard of kolachy cookies before. In fact, they are pretty famous all over the globe. And guess what else – these Christmas cookies are easy to make. Yes, these are a great Christmas baking or holiday baking idea for home bakers to try out! It wouldn’t be Christmas without some homemade kolachy cookies with an irresistible flaky cream cheese dough!
These easy kolachy cookies are made with a delicious cream cheese and butter dough, filled with your favourite jam, and then topped with powder sugar. They are as tasty as they are pretty, and make a great addition to your holiday cookie plate.
Kolachy Cookie Ingredients
It is very simple way to make these cookies! You just need butter, cream cheese, all purpose flour and salt for the pastry. The filling is more cream cheese and powdered sugar, along with fruit, jam, jelly, or anything else you want. There is also a double-cheese version with cream cheese and cottage cheese. These are really versatile Christmas cookies you can fill with whatever you happen to have on hand. Make them as sweet as you want, and experiment with different flavours. Maybe you can come up with something brand new! You can use store bought jam or something like this Homemade Mixed Berry Jam.
History of Kolachy Cookies
Kolachy, whether you spell it like that or use kolache, kolacky or kolace, originated as a wedding dessert in central Europe. After that, they became a breakfast food in some parts of the United States as well as South London, England. These days the savoury versions make a popular breakfast while the sweet ones, the kolaczki cookies, are a wonderful treat from eastern Europe.
Sometimes spelled kolachy or kolacky, a kolache cookie recipe or kolacky recipe can be sweet or savoury. The difference in spellings is because kolachy is a Polish name and is spelled like that phonetically.
The name comes from an Old Slavic word ‘kolo’ meaning wheel or circle. They are sometimes made in a circular shape, instead of the folded over shape popular with holiday baking cooks. Czech immigrants introduced kolachy cookies to the United States back in the late 1800s. They were popular during the holidays and at church suppers. Kolachys were also an everyday comfort food. Hey, what can I say, they were clearly far too good to resist!
A lot of people in the US actually call sausage-filled Czech pastries ‘kolachys’ but technically those are ‘klobasniky’ which have a similar shape and pastry type. However, klobasniky were invented by second generation Czech-Texans.
The original kolachys would be filled with apricot, cream cheese, prunes, poppy seeds, and perhaps spices such as nutmeg or mace. As is the case with many Christmas cookies, every family would have their own kolachy recipe for these Polish cookies. Filled with your favourite jam and dusted with icing sugar, they just melt on your tongue the moment you put them in your mouth.
Holiday baking would ensure a wonderfully fragrant kitchen as the kolachy cookies were baking. These are delicate cookies and you can add your favorite jam or favorite fillings.
How to Make Easy Kolacky Cookies
Holiday baking is a big thing for a lot of families, who enjoy rustling up creative treats for everyone to enjoy. Don’t leave these off your Christmas baking list though. They’re really simple to prepare and taste amazing! Kolache cookies are always amazing whether you opt for a jam or jelly filling, a prune filling, a nut filling, or whatever you crave this holiday season.
The first thing to do is make the dough, and that is fairly straightforward with just a few ingredients like flour, butter and cream cheese. It is important to wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and then pop it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. The kolachy dough needs to be rolled out really thinly and if it isn’t cold enough it will tear! You will also need a pizza cutter to cut out the squares. You can use a knife but a pizza cutter makes things quicker and easier.
We are using cream cheese, powdered sugar and strawberry jam to make these Christmas cookies. Remember kolachy cookies can have any filling you want, so if you aren’t a fan of strawberry jam, pick another option. How about apple with cinnamon, pear with nutmeg, well-drained, canned cherry pie filling or pineapple?
After spreading your chosen filling over the dough, it is time to fold the edges in to create the typical kolachy shape. One reason for this special shape is it allows people to see what filling is inside the kolachy. You can see the filling at the top and bottom of the pastry. Let them cool completely on a rack and resist the urge to nibble! Sprinkle these little treats with plenty of powdered sugar before serving.
How to Serve Kolachy Cookies
Since these holiday baking favourites have a long history and have spread across the continents, there are no rules! That means if you want a kolachy or two for breakfast with your coffee, go ahead. Perhaps you want to have one after lunch or dinner. That’s what they’re for! Enjoy them with any drink you want, at any time of the day.
There might be different people in your family with different favourite pastry filling choices. That’s often the case with Christmas baking. Everyone has their own favourite! Maybe you are a pineapple fan while hubby prefers strawberry jam and the kids happen to like anything. Well, so long as it’s chocolate! This recipe makes it easy to use different fillings. Try half with one filling and half with another. See which kind disappear the fastest!
To keep them pinched together, leave the cream cheese dough slightly sticky. Do not sprinkle it with excessive flour when rolling it out. This will seal the dough when it joins over the filling and prevent it from breaking open during baking.
After baking, let the cookies cool to room temperature. You can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days. You can also freeze the kolacky cookies in an airtight, freezer safe container for several months. Because of the jam filling, for best results place parchment paper between layers.
Yes, you can freeze kolachy cookie dough. Wrap dough well in plastic wrap and place in an airtight freezer safe container. Defrost it in the refrigerator overnight before using to bake cookies.
Kolachy Cookies Recipe
- 1 Cup unsalted butter
- 8 Oz cream cheese
- 2 1/4 Cup flour
- 4 Oz cream cheese
- 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 Cup jam I used strawberry
- In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
- Slowly mix in the flour to incorporate.
- Remove the dough and separate into 2 pieces. Make 2 dough balls, wrap in plastic wrap and then refrigerate for a few hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
- For the filling, mix the powdered sugar with the cream cheese until combined.
- Roll out one dough ball and make it as thin as you can make it.
- Cut the dough into a big square and then remove the edges. Next, cut the square into small squares that measure 2"x2"..
- On the diagonal of each small square, apply some of the cream cheese mixture and some jam. Fold one edge in and then the other. Seal the edges with water.
- Bake for approximately 12 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar before serving.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Kolachys are a well-loved staple of the holiday baking season. The crumbly moist pastry is so good with the juicy sweet filling. These need to be tried to be believed! With a recipe this easy and this tasty, it’s a must-try for the holiday table! Beloved in Poland, the Czech Republic and other regions of eastern Europe, this family recipe makes a delicious cookie everyone can savour.
Let me know if you try these tasty kolachy cookies as part of your holiday baking this year. They are always a popular Christmas cookie choice. Grab a baking sheet and happy cookie making!
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Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.