Cookies recipe

Best Kolaczki Cream Cheese Cookies Recipe

PICTURED: RACHEL VANNI; FOOD STYLING: DUNCAN FITZPATRICK

Kolaczki cookies are of Polish origin, often made and eaten during the holiday season, stuffed with a variety of fillings. Some recipes use a canned pie filling, although we’re going for a cornstarch-thickened jam in this version: adding water and cornstarch thins the jam so it doesn’t caramelize in hard candy during cooking and provides a smooth but sticky texture in the final product.

The dough is simple with just five ingredients: cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, salt, and all-purpose flour. The sixth hidden ingredient, however, is time: the ultra-soft dough is difficult to work with at room temperature and performs much better when assembled if left to cool. We recommend 1 hour cooling in the refrigerator.

While most baking recipes call for dusting your work surface with flour, kolaczki cookies are traditionally rolled in a coating of powdered sugar. The dough is low in sugar, so the added benefit here is to provide a non-stick surface to roll your dough on without drying it out while adding a bit more sweetness. Don’t be afraid to use as much as you need; the dough will stop absorbing powdered sugar after a certain point.

Which jam you choose to use is entirely up to you. Plum jam is a deep and rich black inky color while apricot provides a golden hue. Strawberry jam and raspberry jam are bright red, while blueberry jam will provide a hint of purple. If you are evasive like me, go for all of them! You will only need 1/2 cup total jam for this recipe.

Cookies may “pop out” during baking. To secure, once out of the oven, crush the sides of the cookies so they can cool while retaining the stapled shape. Pinch inward so the dots meet and hold for a few seconds to see if you can get the dots to stay in contact. If they’re too hot for you to handle, practice safety and acceptance: organic, relaxed cookies look great too!

Once you’ve created a batch, leave us a comment below to let us know how you liked them!

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Yields:

3


dozen

Preparation time:

0

hours

ten

minutes

Total time:

1

hour

25

minutes

4 oz.

cream cheese, softened

1/2 tsp.

unsalted butter, softened

2 tbsp.

powdered sugar, plus more for dusting

1 1/3 tsp.

all purpose flour

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  1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese until completely smooth. Add the butter, powdered sugar and salt and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually stir in the flour with a spatula until just combined, then cover and refrigerate the dough until cold, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a surface generously dusted with powdered sugar, roll out the dough into a 12”x12” square, dusting with more powdered sugar as needed to prevent sticking. Using a knife, cut the dough into 2″ squares and arrange 1″ apart on the prepared sheets.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the water and cornstarch until smooth, then stir in the jam. Place 1 teaspoon of jam mixture in the center of each square. Dab egg white on 2 opposite corners of each square and press corners together to seal. Freeze until chilled, about 10 minutes.
  4. Bake until bottom and corners are golden brown, 17 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and let cool before serving.
  5. Get ahead: Cookies can be prepared 2 days in advance; store in an airtight container at room temperature, or freeze for up to 1 month.
kolaczki cookies with powdered sugar

PICTURED: RACHEL VANNI; FOOD STYLING: DUNCAN FITZPATRICK

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