Polish Girl Recipes Part 2: How To Make Kolaczki (a family recipe)

A few words of advice- This recipe is a tad touchy; it is NOT a quick and easy one. It is a very light pastry; lighter than any of the kolaczki I’ve found at grocery stores and bakeries. As a result, the dough can be temperamental (but 100% totally worth it once you get the hang of it). If you work with pie dough, you’ll have a better time working with this dough than most.

For best results, this cookie is a two-day process. It also goes best if your work area is relatively cool. Mom always turned the heat off. I just bought a marble slab to refrigerate- it should work how I want it to, though I haven’t tried it yet. Warm dough is sticky dough. Sticky dough leads to sad times baking. Work fast.

What you need:
1 lb butter, softened
4 C flour
4 egg yolks, beaten
½ pt (1 cup, or 8 oz) sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar (for tossing the cookies with and for dusting your rolling area)
fruit preserves

  1. Blend butter and flour, then add egg yolks, sour cream, and vanilla.
  2. Knead until hands come clean.
  3. Separate into 8 balls and refrigerate at least two hours. It’s best if they refrigerate overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. One ball at a time, roll very thin. Use the powdered sugar to keep dough from sticking. The dough should be fairly translucent when it’s thin enough. If you have patterning on your work area, you’ll be able to make out the dark patches.
  6. Cut into squares- we make the rows and columns the width of our hands. Dot each square with preserves. Do NOT over fill- these kolaczki are not open faced. Overfilling them will cause the jam to leak, resulting in burned jam and a sad baker.
  7. Wrap them by pulling opposing corners over the jam. Then, roll the cookie starting at an alternate corner.
  8. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until light brown.
  9. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

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