Poland

Polish Cream Cheese Cookies (aka Kolaczki or Kolacky)

March 14, 2016

Flaky, buttery, and rich, these Polish Cream Cheese Cookies, also known as Kolaczki or Kolacky, are traditionally made for Christmas and other holidays. They are usually filled with a fruit jam of your choice but other fillings such as poppy seeds or nuts are also welcomed!

These Polish cream cheese cookies (Kolaczki or Kolacky) will be the best cookies you ever had! | cookingtheglobe.com

Despite my inexhaustible love for the different cuisines of the world, Eastern European food will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s the food I grew up with, the food I will always associate with the most important events in my life, the food my palate is the most comfortable with. Due to Soviet Union’s expansion, many dishes spread outside their home countries and became popular in other places. That’s what happened with Polish cream cheese cookies too. These little guys, called Kolaczki or sometimes Kolacky, are a Christmas tradition in Poland but they are popular in other Eastern European countries as well. I was lucky enough to enjoy them quite often in the childhood!

These Polish cream cheese cookies (Kolaczki or Kolacky) will be the best cookies you ever had! | cookingtheglobe.com

Various Eastern European countries have their own variations of these cookies now, but only Poles do them using the cream cheese dough. That’s what I love about these cookies. They are rich, buttery, flaky… Oh, and the filling! It deserves a separate paragraph.

These Polish cream cheese cookies (Kolaczki or Kolacky) will be the best cookies you ever had! | cookingtheglobe.com

Traditionally, these cream cheese cookies are filled with fruit preserves. My favorite filling always was, and still is apricot jam. There is something about it that makes my mouth water. However, you can use any other fruit filling you like: raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, and so forth. It is not limited to fruit preserves though. You can also use poppy seed, almond or other fillings. Literally anything you like. Kolaczki are great with many different fillings!

These Polish cream cheese cookies (Kolaczki or Kolacky) will be the best cookies you ever had! | cookingtheglobe.com

This delicate Polish pastry goes really great with a cup of tea. Kolacky were disappearing in my mouth so fast, I quickly lost the number. Maybe it is for the best, because I most probably would be ashamed by how much cookies I ate!

These Polish cream cheese cookies (Kolaczki or Kolacky) will be the best cookies you ever had! | cookingtheglobe.com

Will I make these cream cheese cookies again? Zero doubt about it. These are the perfect holiday cookies. Easter, Christmas, you name it. By the way, they freeze well. Just freeze them filled but unbaked. You will be able just to throw them from the freezer to the oven whenever you want to. Simple as that!

If you want to explore more of the Polish cuisine, try this Sauerkraut Soup!

5 from 2 votes
These Polish cream cheese cookies (Kolaczki or Kolacky) will be the best cookies you ever had! | cookingtheglobe.com
Print
Polish Cream Cheese Cookies (aka Kolaczki or Kolacky)
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Flaky, buttery, and filled with an apricot jam, these Polish holiday cookies are also easy and quick to make!

Cuisine: Polish
Servings: 70 cookies
Calories Per Serving: 56 kcal
Author: CookingTheGlobe
Ingredients
  • 8 oz (220g) cream cheese
  • 1 cup (220g) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cup (320g) all-purpose flour
  • About 1/2 cup fruit preserves of your choice (thicker is better, I've used jam)
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter using an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually beat in the flour until you get a soft and sticky dough. Divide the dough into three parts and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 1 day.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Work with one dough part at a time keeping the remaining dough refrigerated. Dust your working surface with flour and roll out the dough very thin, less than 1/8" (3mm). Cut into 2-inch (5 cm) squares.
  3. Place a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each square. Moisten opposite corners of the square with water and overlap them to the center, gently pushing the dough down to the filling. Repeat with all the dough.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown. Transfer to wire rack and dust with confectioners' sugar while still warm. Enjoy!

 

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16 Comments

  • Reply Vicki December 1, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    I made these last year for our cookie exchange at work – or at least I intended to; my husband had eaten half of them before they made it to work. I’ll try again this year and will make a double batch. (And that sauerkraut soup is going on the grocery list – mmm.)

    My grandmother from outside Vilnius used to make a small sugar cookie with aniseed, and I haven’t been able to duplicate the recipe. If this rings a bell for you or anyone, I’d appreciate the recipe.

    • Reply Igor December 6, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Vicki, yes, these Polish cream cheese cookies can be quite addictive! What for sugar cookies with aniseed your grandmother made, I can’t think of any right now 🙂

    • Reply Denise March 9, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      No not all Poles make them with Cream Cheese. My great-grandmother has a recipe with no cream cheese – when I make them everyone loves them – much lighter dough

  • Reply Nicole December 5, 2016 at 5:13 am

    My attempt at these wasn’t very successful. I had a lot of trouble getting them to stay together. I finally had to start using toothpicks and my last two pans did a little better. It also took WAY longer than 45 minutes total.

    • Reply Igor December 6, 2016 at 8:46 am

      Did you moisten them, Nicole? Maybe you didn’t push them enough? You can also try adding less filling. Not all of my cookies stayed together too, so don’t worry about that. It’s a normal part of the process of making Kolaczki 🙂

    • Reply Pam Tru December 7, 2017 at 4:26 am

      You can try using egg white on both ends. Makes them stick together really well.

  • Reply Dorothy December 23, 2016 at 2:45 am

    I just leave them flat not necessary to pinch together

    • Reply Igor January 1, 2017 at 7:49 pm

      Well, that’s just how they are usually made 🙂

  • Reply Viola January 14, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    After filling and folding, if you let them sit for five minutes or so before putting them in the hot oven, it helps them to stay shut. Something to do with the gluten relaxing. Of course, as you say, Igor, they still don’t all stay shut! I’ve noticed that especially with a cheese filling, they tend to pop open a bit since the filling puffs a bit during baking. Next time I make them, I think I’ll make the cheese ones a little bigger and see if that helps.

    Anyway, the people eating them didn’t mind that some were open! They said it just made them more aware they were eating homemade kolaczki. 🙂

    • Reply Igor January 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      Thanks for the advice of waiting for a couple of minutes before putting the cookies in the oven, Viola! You are right, there is absolutely nothing wrong if some cookies are open. They are still crazy delicious and that’s the thing that matters the most 😉

  • Reply Ashley @ Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen March 23, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    These look wonderful! We have a Polish themed Supper Club dinner coming up this weekend, and I think this will be our dessert – thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply Igor March 25, 2017 at 9:41 pm

      I am so glad you like them Ashley! Let me know how these cookies turn out for you 🙂

  • Reply Georgie October 27, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Perfect, just as I remember them as a child. Thank you 🙂

    • Reply Igor November 16, 2017 at 9:09 am

      I’m happy that I managed to recreate them correctly 🙂 Thanks for the comment, Georgie!

      • Reply Pam Tru December 7, 2017 at 4:41 am

        I remember them mine are made with these extra ingredients: 1 egg yolk, 1 tspn of vanilla, large pinch of Sea Salt, and 1 3/4 Cake flour sifted. I make my dough to Crumbly mash of sticky dough and chill a few hours at least. I also use egg whites to brush the ends of my cookies with so they stick together (my idea) works great.

        • Reply Igor December 7, 2017 at 12:47 pm

          Thanks for the comment and suggestions! 🙂

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