These tender, flaky kolacky cookies are my weakness. They go by a few names depending on where someone is from (kolaczki, kolachy, kolacky) and can be found throughout Eastern Europe. There is debate about whether they are originally Czech or Polish. Among cuisines, you will find some variation including a yeast dough version topped with fruit filling.
Kolacky are my total downfall when trying to eat something in moderation. I could eat them by the handful and am often sampling from the first trays cooling while the next trays bake. These buttery, soft, rich cookies are definitely at the top of my “Favorite Cookie” list .
A perennial favorite
A classic staple often found on cookie trays during the Christmas season, not only in the Coal Region but beyond, these are so simple to make you don’t have to wait for December to roll around. The recipe can be easily doubled (which I recommend, because these fly off the plate).
This recipe calls for small dollops of jam to be deposited in the center of the dough square. The flavor is entirely up to you; use a good quality jam, make your own favorite filling (see recipe card for several variations) or use Baker’s/Solo fillings in the can/jars like prune, poppy seed, raspberry, almond/nut or cherry just to give you some ideas.
Tips for success
- Chill the dough thoroughly. I like to make the dough a day or two in advance of baking and store it in the refrigerator.
- Sprinkle your work surface generously with confectioner’s sugar (or use granulated sugar which will give the cookies a bit of “crunch” on the surface once baked) rather than flour. This helps keep the dough tender by avoiding addition of extra flour when working the dough.
- Line your baking sheets with parchment paper (I like these from Reynolds that are pre-cut, marked for easy cookie placement, and re-usable up to three times.) or silicone baking mats for ease in handling any filling that cooks out of the cookies.
- Allow the cookies to cook on the baking pan for 2 minutes before removing to cooling racks to finish cooling. My favorite set of racks is this set of stack-able cooling racks from Wilton that stores easily and consists of three separate racks that stack vertically saving tons of counter space when in use.
- HINT: If you just cannot get the pinched dough to stay closed on the top of the cookie and the cookies opening up during baking is driving you crazy, simply use a 1 1/2 or 2 inch round cookie cutter to cut circles of dough and spread the dollop of jam on the top before baking, leaving a little margin with no jam/filling around the very outside edges. It’s the taste that matters, not appearances!
Read the whole article and find the recipe on A Coalcracker in the Kitchen