There is some debate as to who invented kolaczki (plural for kolaczek). Poles claim it but so do Croatians, Czechs and others. Kolaczki can be round, square or diamond shaped, and the dough can be flaky or yeast-risen, and the spelling varies widely.
My family always preferred the flaky kind made with a cream cheese dough, and apricot, raspberry, prune and sweet cheese were our fillings of choice. Nowadays, anything goes -- almond, poppyseed, strawberry, blueberry, even pineapple. You can freeze unbaked filled kolaczki. Bake frozen. Here are more kolaczki recipes.
View this larger image of kolaczki.
Makes about 5 dozen Polish Cream Cheese Kolaczki
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1 (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
- 12 ounces (3 sticks) butter, softened
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 (14-ounce) cans fillings of choice (apricot, prune, raspberry, etc.)
- Confectioners' sugar
- Mix cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add flour 1 cup at a time and mix well. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough 1/4-inch on a surface that has been dusted with equal parts confectioners' and granulated sugars (not flour), because the granulated sugar will act as ball bearings and help keep the dough from sticking. Cut into 2-inch squares. Place 1/2 to 1 teaspoon filling on center of each square. Overlap opposite corners of dough to the center over filling.
- Bake for 15 minutes or when corners start to brown. Cool and dust with confectioners’ sugar. These tend to become soggy if held for several days, so store them tightly covered (or freeze) without the confectioners' sugar. Dust with confectioners' sugar just prior to service.
"I have a question about freezing. I bought fresh made fillings the grocery store had made up for the holidays, and didn't use even close to all of it. If I make up the cookies and bake them, do they defrost well? Otherwise, if I freeze the filling itself in an airtight container does it defrost well for future baking? Thanks"
Yes, you can freeze the fillings with little loss in flavor or consistency. As for the kolaczki. Freeze them filled and unbaked and bake them from the frozen state. Don't freeze baked kolaczki because when you defrost them, they will become soggy.
Barbara Rolek, Your Guide to Eastern European Food