Sometimes called Polish Foldovers, kołaczki can be square, diamond shaped, round or have all four corners folded toward the middle to make a neat packet. The dough can be made with cream cheese, sour cream, ice cream or yeast. They exist in most Eastern European cuisines and are spelled variously as kołaczki, kolaci, kolache, kolacky, kolachky, and I'm sure a few more. Even though the name is similar, Czech koláče are more like fruit preserve-filled sweet rolls. Fillings run the gamut of apricot to raspberry to prune to nut to sweet cheese. Some truly untraditional flavors like pineapple, passion fruit, persimmon and quince are sneaking into the mix. No worries, there's always room for creativity. As is true with most recipes, variations abound. Here are some to choose from. Except for the yeast-based cookies, kołaczki can be rolled, cut and filled and then frozen. Bake them from the frozen state and then sprinkle with confectioners' sugar just before serving. They don't freeze too well after baking because the dough loses its crispness. But a few minutes in a conventional oven (not a microwave) might restore them, as long as they haven't been frozen with the confectioners' sugar already on!
This is my family's favorite recipe. It's made with cream cheese and butter, and it's a little hard to work with. But once you get the knack, the efforts are worth it. Roll the dough on a plastic cutting board (it serves as a ball-bearing kind of surface that prevents sticking) dusted with confectioners' sugar and granulated sugar. The dough is not very sweet so this adds the sweetness they need.
Kapgar on Flickr.
Rachel Ellice Photography on Flickr.
This recipe calls for yeast, vegetable shortening AND butter, sour cream and egg yolks. Even with the yeast, they stay flaky and unbread-like. This makes a large batch -- perfect for the holidays or anytime of year! Freeze some after filling but before baking. Then bake from the frozen state (add a few more minutes onto the baking time to compensate for the cold dough).