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You might have heard of kolachy cookies before. In fact, they’re 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 cooks to try out. It wouldn’t be Christmas without some of these homemade cookies with their irresistible flaky cream cheese dough! 

Homemade kolachy cookies on a cutting board.

These easy kolachy cookies are made with a delicious cream cheese and butter dough, filled with your favorite jam, and then topped with powder sugar. They are as tasty as they are pretty, and make a great addition to your holiday cookie platter. 

A plate of pastries with powdered sugar on it, including kolachy cookies with jam.

Why You’ll Love These Cookies

  • Easy to make: No specialist bakery knowledge is needed for making these tasty sweet snacks. In fact, you’ll love how straightforward the recipe is.
  • So delicious: The main reason these are so popular is their incredible flavor. Anyone who loves sweet treats is going to enjoy homemade kolachies.
  • Versatile: You can fill kolache cookies with any filling you want, so feel free to experiment with different flavors!
A tray of jam kolachy pastries covered in powdered sugar.

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.

A bowl of flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and jam on a table. This delightful scene showcases the ingredients for making delicious kolachy cookies with jam. Perfect for Christmas cookie baking

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 flavors. Maybe you can come up with something brand new! You can use store bought jam or something like this Homemade Mixed Berry Jam.

Apricot pastry bites with powdered sugar on a wooden surface, perfect as Christmas cookies.

How to Make Kolachy Cookies

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

  • Make the dough: Cream the butter and cream cheese, mix in the flour and shape the mixture into 2 dough balls.
  • Rest the dough: Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and then pop it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
  • Make the filling: Mix the powdered sugar with cream cheese.
  • Roll out the dough: Roll out one of the dough balls as thin as you can, cut it into a square and cut into small squares.
  • Fill the kolachy cookies: Add some cream cheese mixture to each dough square and then some jam, before folding them up and sealing the edges. Repeat with the second dough ball and remaining cream cheese mixture and jam.
  • Bake: Bake them for 12 minutes in the oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar, then serve.
A plate of pastries with powdered sugar on it, including kolachy cookies with jam.

The kolachy or kolacky cookies 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.

A tray of mini pepperoni rolls on a cooling rack, perfect for a Christmas party or appetizer spread.

Holiday baking is a big thing for a lot of families, who enjoy rustling up creative treats for everyone to enjoy. Don’t leave this kolache cookies recipe 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.

A tray of kolachy cookies with jam on a cutting board dusted with powdered sugar.

History of Kolachy Cookies

Are you wondering about the kolachy cookies history? 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.

A wooden cutting board with jam kolachy and a slice of cheese on it.

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.

A wooden cutting board with a plate of kolachy cookies and powdered sugar.

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!

Kolachy vs Klobasniky

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.

Homemade kolachy cookies on a cutting board.

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 favorite 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.

Apricot pastry bites with powdered sugar on a wooden surface, perfect as Christmas cookies.

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. If you’re making a batch for Christmas then consider making Santa hat cocktails to go with them, or make some other festive sweet treats, perhaps reindeer cookies.

A baking sheet with orange and white squares on it, perfect for making festive kolachy cookies.

There might be different people in your family with different favorite pastry filling choices. That’s often the case with Christmas baking. Everyone has their own favorite kolachy cookies filling preference! 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!

A plate of kolachy cookies with jam, dusted with powdered sugar.

This recipe makes it easy to use different fillings. Try half with one filling and half with another. See which kind disappear the fastest!

How to Store Kolachy Cookies

  • Store: After baking, let the cookies cool to room temperature. You can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days.
  • Freeze: 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.
A plate of pastries with powdered sugar on it, including kolachy cookies with jam.

Kolachy FAQs

How do you keep kolachy cookies pinched together?

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.

Can you freeze kolachy dough?

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.

A plate full of jam kolachy on a wooden cutting board.

Kolachy Cookies Recipe

5 from 4 votes

Kolachy Cookies

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Kolachy cookies are a cream cheese pastry folded over a jam filling. They're as tasty as they are pretty, perfect for Holiday baking.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings: 20 cookies

Ingredients 

  • 1 Cup unsalted butter
  • 8 Oz cream cheese
  • 2 1/4 Cups flour , all-purpose

Filling

  • 4 Oz cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsps powdered sugar
  • 1 Cup jam , I used strawberry

Instructions 

  • In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
  • Slowly mix in the flour to incorporate. You might not need it all.
  • 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.
  • Cut the dough into a big square and then remove the edges. Next, cut the square into small squares that measure 2" by 2".
  • 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.

Notes

  • This dough is easy to work with but it’s best to keep it cool, so make the cookies using one of the dough balls and keep the other in the fridge until required.
  • When filling the cookies, about 1/2 a teaspoon each of the cream cheese mixture and the jam works well.

Nutrition

Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 68mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 248IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

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 or Christmas 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

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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