Sometimes called Polish foldovers, kołaczki (koh-WAHTCH-kee) can be square, diamond shaped, round, or have all four corners folded toward the middle to make a neat packet. The dough can be made with cream cheese, sour cream, ice cream, or yeast.
They exist in most Eastern European cuisines and are spelled in a variety of ways, including kołaczki, kolaci, kolache, kolacky, kolachky, as well as others. Even though the name is similar, don't confuse kolaczki with Czech koláče, which are more... like fruit preserve-filled sweet rolls. Kołaczki fillings run the gamut, from apricot to raspberry to prune to poppy seed to nuts and sweet cheese. Some truly untraditional flavors like pineapple, passion fruit, persimmon, and quince are sneaking into the mix.
As is true with most recipes, variations abound: Kołaczki can be rolled, cut and filled, and then frozen unbaked. (If frozen, don't thaw before baking, and sprinkle cooled kołaczki with confectioners' sugar just before serving.) Baked kołaczki don't freeze too well after baking because the dough loses its crispness. But, if you choose to do this, a few minutes in a conventional oven (not a microwave) might restore them, as long as they haven't been frozen with the confectioners' sugar already on.
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This dough is made with cream cheese and butter and can be a little hard to work with. But once you get the knack, the efforts are worth it.
Roll the dough on a plastic cutting board (it prevents sticking) dusted with confectioners' sugar and granulated sugar, if desired. The dough is not very sweet so the sugars, along with the fruit filling, add sweetness.
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This recipe is also made with cream cheese and butter. The difference from the Polish version is that milk, an egg yolk, and baking powder are added to the dough, and they are cut with a round cutter and topped with fruit or cheese filling instead of wrapping the dough around the filling. The result is flaky and wonderful.
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This egg-free kolacky dough calls for just flour, butter, and cottage cheese and makes a flaky crust. Just remember to chill it well so you can work with it more easily. Try not to add more flour than you need because that will toughen the pastry dough.
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Butter and flour are mixed with ice cream—yes, you heard right—to make this no-egg kolacky dough. Vanilla ice cream is cut in with the butter and flour to produce a flaky cookie that can be topped with your favorite filling.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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This recipe calls for yeast, vegetable shortening and butter, sour cream, and egg yolks. Even with the yeast, they stay flaky and unbread-like.
This makes a large batch—perfect for the holidays or any time of year you want to serve a special cookie. Freeze some after filling but before baking. Then bake frozen (add a few more minutes to the baking time to compensate for the cold dough).
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This kolacky recipe differs in that it is made with just three ingredients: flour, butter, and sour cream. This is just another variation that produces a flaky cookie that can envelop your favorite filling.