Kolaczki Cookies are scrumptious little pastries with a rich and tender cream cheese pastry wrapped around a gooey jam filling. These cookies are a traditional Polish recipe, and like most Polish food, they are simple, rustic, and completely delicious.
Polish Kolaczki Cookies are a Christmas Cookie favorite that everyone will love! If you come from a Polish heritage or live in a place where Polish foods are popular, you may have had these tasty bites before. If not, I hope you’ll try making them yourself using this easy recipe!
With just 4 ingredients, you’ll be able to make these tender and flaky Kolaczki filled with any of your favorite fruit jams or pastry fillings. I’m making mine with raspberry, blueberry, and apricot preserves.
If you like simple, classic, and Internationally loved recipes like this one, be sure to try my Almond Crescent Cookies, Italian Butter Cookies, Middle Eastern Shortbread Cookies (Ghraybeh), and Rugelach, which are traditionally a Jewish treat, but also come from Poland!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Delicious Flavor – The dough for kolacki is made with cream cheese and butter, giving it a tangy richness that is just delicious with sweet fruit filling.
- Amazing Texture – These cookies are tender and flaky, and so different from many of the heavy cookies we tend to enjoy during the holidays.
- Fun To Make – Kolaczki cookies are hand-formed, so there’s plenty of opportunity to get your hands dirty. The whole family will love to help you with this recipe!
Ingredients In Recipe Kolaczki
Here’s what you need to make these traditional Polish cookies:
- Flour: When measuring the flour, be sure to use the “scoop and level”
method so that you don’t compact the flour too much in your measuring cup.
- Butter and Cream Cheese: The dough for these cookies uses both of these. Be sure to let them come to room temperature so that they’re very soft and ready to mix up.
- Jam or Filling: You can use any kind of fruit filling that you want for these cookies! I’m using three different types of jam here: blueberry, raspberry, and apricot. Canned pie and pastry filling works well too.
- Powdered Sugar: For sweetness. The dough for kolaczki is unsweetened, so all of the sweetness comes from the filling and the powdered sugar sprinkled on top.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
How To Make Kolaczki
- Make the Dough: (Don’t preheat the oven yet – this dough needs to chill for at least an hour) In a large mixing bowl, or in your stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and butter. Whip them together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually add the all-purpose flour in three batches, mixing well after each to ensure a smooth dough.
- Chill the Dough: Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour so that it firms up and is easy to work with.
- Get Ready to Bake: Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- Roll and Cut the Dough: On a clean surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle that is about ¼-inch thick. To keep the dough from sticking, use powdered sugar (not flour) on your surface and a rolling pin. Use a knife or a pastry wheel to cut the dough into 2-inch squares.
- Add the Filling: To each square, place a small dollop (about ½ to 1 teaspoon) in the center. To shape the kolaczki, overlap two opposite corners of each square to the center over the filling. Press lightly to seal.
- Bake: Carefully transfer the filled cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a small amount of space between them (they won’t expand very much). Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the corners are lightly browned.
- Cool and Finish: Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack so that they can cool completely. Once cooled, dust the cookies with powdered sugar.
Wait to add the powdered sugar until just before serving if you won’t be eating these right away. With time it can melt into the cookies and disappear. You can always add more sugar at any time though!
- Soften the butter and cream cheese. Allow at least 30 minutes for your butter and cream cheese to soften on the counter, or longer if it’s cooler in your home.
- Don’t skip the chilling step. You will need the dough to be cold if you want to be able to easily wrap it around the fruit filling. Give it at least an hour. If needed, you can keep the dough in the fridge for up to a day.
- Let them cool. Hot jam in the middle of a Polish cookie is sure to burn your tongue! You’ll also want the cookies to be fully cooled before you dust them with the powdered sugar.
- To perfectly dust powdered sugar, place a small amount in a small mesh sieve. Gently tap the side of the sieve over the cookies to release the perfect amount of sugar over the cookies.
Once Baked: These fruit-filled kolaczki can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If you need to stack them, place parchment paper or wax paper in between layers to prevent sticking.
Before Baking: Assembled but unbaked cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Freeze them on a cookie sheet for a few hours, then transfer the frozen cookies to a freezer bag. When you’re ready to bake, just pop them in the oven! They may need one or two extra minutes in the oven.
Are kolaczki and Kolache the same thing?
While they sound similar, these are actually very different desserts! Kolaczki are Polish cookies made with a shortbread dough. Kolache are yeasted buns, also filled with fruit and sometimes nuts or savory fillings.
How do I keep kolaczki closed?
You may run into trouble keeping the corners stuck together when wrapping these cookies. Be sure that you use your fingers to firmly pinch the dough together. If that’s not working, add a little bit of warm water to your finger to help create a sticky seal.
Can I Add Other Fillings?
Any kind of fruit filling works wonderfully in Kolaczki. If you don’t want to use jam or preserves, look for Solo brand pastry filling in the baking aisle of your grocery store. These types of fillings often work better, as they are very thick and won’t melt and run out of the cookies.
Some versions of this recipe combine fruit jam with a sweetened cream cheese mixture (just mix cream cheese with some powdered sugar until you like how it tastes). For this version, spoon a small amount of cream cheese and then a small amount of jam onto each dough square before rolling it up.
How Do You Spell Kolaczki?
It’s funny how the Polish language has been translated differently – these treats can be spelled kolaczki, kolachky, kolachy, or kolacky! They’re delicious no matter how you spell them, so don’t worry about it too much.
Enjoy these simple and delicious Polish Christmas Cookies! Kolaczki are tasty any time of the year too, so make sure to Pin the recipe so you can make it again.
- Baking Sheets
- In a large mixing bowl or a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and butter. Whip them together until they become light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
- Gradually add the all-purpose flour to the bowl. Pour one cup at a time and mix well after each addition to ensure a smooth dough.
- Once the dough is well-mixed, wrap it in plastic and let it rest in the refrigerator. It should chill for at least one hour to firm up.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- After the dough has chilled, roll it out on a silicone mat or a clean surface. Sprinkle powdered sugar to prevent sticking, not flour. Roll the dough to about ¼ inch thickness.
- Cut the dough into 2-inch squares. Place a small dollop of your chosen filling, about ½ to 1 teaspoon, in the center of each square.
- To shape the kolaczki, overlap opposite corners of the dough square towards the center over the filling, pressing the dough together lightly to seal. Brush a tiny bit of water or beaten egg white on one point to help seal the opposite point on it.
- Carefully transfer the filled cookies to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet using a spatula.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes. Bake until the corners are lightly browned.
- Once baked, remove the kolaczki from the oven. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely.
- Dust the cooled cookies with powdered sugar.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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