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Kolacky With Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry

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It wouldn’t be Christmas without some homemade kolacky cookies.  They are a tradition in my husband’s family and one that I am glad to keep going. They are a delicious cookie that will be the star of your holiday tray!

Plate of kolacky cookie, some with raspberry filling and other with apricot filling all dusted with powdered sugar.

These fruit filled pastry like cookies are a Christmas tradition in many Polish families. The tender dough is wrapped around a pastry filling usually featuring fruit or poppy seeds.

This recipe comes from my husband’s late Aunt Bun. They have quickly become a favorite in my family as well. 

Hand holding kolacky cookie with flaky cream cheese pastry, raspberry filling, and powdered sugar dussting.

You can use whatever fillings you’d like, but we love the apricot and mixed berry varieties. You’ll want to make several batches over the course of the holiday season.

Why This Kolacky Recipe is Special to Us

I never had the pleasure of meeting Matt’s Godmother, Aunt Bun.  From what I hear, we would have gotten along famously.  We have a lot in common after-all.

We are both the oldest of six children, we both like to entertain and love to cook.  If her children are any indication, she was a fun loving, family centered, wonderful woman.

Ingredients including butter, cream cheese, flour, salt, vanilla, and fruit filling ready to be made into kolacky cookies.

Aunt Bun is no longer with us but her sister Val, my mother-in-law, has kept the kolacky (a Polish cookie) tradition alive.  For as long as I have been around, there has always been kolacky at Christmas.

They are usually filled with fruit and dusted with powdered sugar and they are wonderful!  Prior to meeting my husband, I had never even heard of kolacky.  

Now I can’t imagine a Christmas without them. In fact, now my whole family expects these cookies during the holidays now.

We even have a friend who requests them as his birthday treat. Kolacky have become a favorite of so many.

Aunt Bun usually made the kolacky recipe that is below, but there is a special kolacky dough recipe given to her by a coworker at Carson Pirie Scott in Chicago.  Aunt Bun was very guarded with her recipes, so that “special” dough secret will have to remain within the family.

I am making the standard kolacky recipe as a tribute. Honoring people by cooking their recipes is certainly a tasty way to keep their memory alive.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you pronounce kolacky?

It sounds something like this – kuh-lotch-key. It seems many Polish recipes have different spellings for the English translation, and these are not different.

They are also spelled kolaczki, or kolache which are both pronounced the same way.

What is the best way store kolacky?

Kolacky are best fresh, but they can be stored for a few days at room temperature in an airtight container. For the prettiest presentation, wait to dust them with powdered sugar until you are ready to put them on their serving platter.

Can you freeze kolacky cookies?

Yes, but because of the fruit centers it is best to freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

Once they are frozen, you can transfer them to a storage container, putting a layer of wax or parchment paper between the layers of cookies. They will last that way for several months.

Can you freeze kolacky dough?

Yes! If you want to do some of the holiday baking prep work ahead of time you can freeze a batch of dough up to a couple of months ahead of time. Just wrap it well.

Defrost it in the refrigerator overnight before you plan to use it and roll it out the next day.

Tray of berry and apricot kolacky cookies dusted with powdered sugar, ready to eat.

Cranberry dark chocolate oatmeal cookies are another great addition to your Christmas cookie spread. They will delight adults and kids alike.

If you like fruity centers, you may enjoy peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies. They are a fun twist on the classic flavor combination.

Or for another classic, may no bake corn flake wreaths. They are a really easy but festive and fun no-bake dessert.

Check out my collection of cookie recipes for more tasty inspiration!

Plate of kolacky cookie, some with raspberry filling and other with apricot filling all dusted with powdered sugar.

Kolacky With Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry

Servings: 60 Cookies
Author: Carlee
It wouldn’t be Christmas without some homemade kolacky cookies. The tender, flaky pasty is wrapped around fruit filling to make a tasty dessert. Whether you enjoy them warm or at room temperature, these pillowy delights are perfect for any occasion! Whip up a batch for your afternoon tea party or surprise your loved ones with a plateful of these irresistible treats to brighten their day.
4.63 from 106 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 8 ounce package cream cheese softened
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounce can fruit pastry filling

Instructions
 

  • Cream butter and cream cheese together until fluffy. Add vanilla extract and combine.
    1 cup unsalted butter, 8 ounce package cream cheese, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • In a bowl, combine flour and salt. Add in fourths into the butter mixture, combining well after each addition.
    2¼ cups all purpose flour, ½ teaspoon salt
  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Roll dough to approximately 1/8-inch thick. Cut into 2-inch squares.
  • Add a little more than a ½ teaspoon of filling diagonally down the square.
    12 ounce can fruit pastry filling
  • Fold the two corners without filling over the cookie and press to seal. I like to dip a finger in a little bit of water and moisten the dough between where the two corners meat to help seal them together.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on wire racks and dust with powdered sugar before eating.

Notes

If you prefer to use salted butter, just omit the salt in the recipe.
We usually use the Solo brand pastry filling. You can find it in the baking aisle near the pie filling in the grocery store. It stays put when the cookies bake and tastes good. However, you can try using any thick jam or filling you would like.
Don’t despair if some of your kolaczki pop open during baking. It happens. They still taste great. Serve them anyway, or keep them as a treat for the cook.

Nutrition

Serving: 1CookieCalories: 65kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 61mgSugar: 1g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Close up of freshly made apricot and mixed berry kolacky dusted with powdered sugar, ready to eat.

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Recipe Rating




ML

Saturday 8th of June 2024

Sounds good, but the filling on the unbaked pastry squares sure doesn't look like a "half teaspoon or less". I use solo filling if I make them with poppy seed, but prefer a very good quality apricot preserves, never apricot jam , because ithas even more sugar in it which runs out at the 400 baking temp. and burns, ,

Tuesday 30th of April 2024

This was easy and delicious.

Shirley

Wednesday 27th of March 2024

Don’t need sugar in dough. I roll dough in sugar. To add sweetness

Carlee

Wednesday 27th of March 2024

That's an interesting way to do it.

Russ

Wednesday 13th of December 2023

Does anyone make these kolacky pastries/cookies with mincemeat? We didn't grow up with this style. Our Kolackys were rolled with the mincemeat in the center & heavily coated with confectioners powered sugar. I sure would like to know where these Kolackys could be purchased. Any help greatly appreciated!!! These are VERY AWESOME Pastries/Cookies.

Tammy

Saturday 23rd of December 2023

@Russ, Use this recipe and buy mincemeat filling at the grocery store. You also may be looking for kolaches made with a yeast dough instead of cream cheese.

Carlee

Wednesday 13th of December 2023

Hmmm. I haven't tried them with mincemeat, but I hope you find what you are looking for!

Laura

Friday 8th of December 2023

Can't wait to make this, it looks delicious! For the filling, I am going to make cranberry, orange, and peach jam. However, I have a question; should I dilute the jam with cornstarch and water to make sure it doesn't turn into hard candy when baked?

Carlee

Friday 8th of December 2023

Those fillings all sound delicious! You don't need to dilute them, just go ahead and fill the cookies and bake as directed.