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!
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.
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This recipe comes from my husband’s late Aunt Bun. They have quickly become a favorite in my family as well.
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.
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.
More Great Cookie Recipes
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.
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Kolacky With Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 8 ounce package cream cheese at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 12 ounce can fruit pastry filling
- 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.