It’s especially happy because in T-minus 14 days I’ll be headed home. For a glorious week in the Midwest! I.cannot.wait.
Of course, before then I’ve got SO much to do. So, so much. Let me brag to you how busy I am. Next, I’ll tell you how tired I am because I’m just so busy. Blah, blah, blah. Those people are the worst. Ugh, Millennials.
Really though, I’m choosing to do a lot. To bake a lot, specifically. I’m putting together big cookie trays to deliver this holiday season – to friends, to family, to strangers. Because it’s fun! And who doesn’t love cookies?!
Officially, next week will be the start of “Cookie Week” on here, but there’s nothing wrong with getting a little bit ahead of the game.
The freezer is an integral part of getting ahead of the game. I’ve been scooping and freezing (side note: I just wrote freezering…what even?) dough and cookies so that when it comes time to deliver I can just prepare the trays without having my oven running all day and all night and wanting to pull out my hair just for the sake of holiday cheer.
These kolaczky (or kolaczki or kolacky, depending on where you’re from or what Polish bakery you’re using), are impressive to look at and a snap to put together. They’re made from a simple cream cheese dough and then filled with your favorite pie filling or jam.
My grandma always uses a very specific brand of pastry filling that’s available at most grocery stores up north. Because I’m a sucky millennial, I did a quick Amazon search and found I could order virtually any flavor I wanted and have it here in a matter of days. But I’m fighting against that specific brand of suckiness. Fighting against me telling you how busy I am or having something delivered to my door that I could probably find at any number of grocery stores!
Cut to me going to half a dozen ~fancy~ grocery stores and finding squat. I could’ve kicked myself after the final fruitless (literally) trip. But all hope was not lost. My sketchy neighborhood Wal-Mart came to the rescue and had few cans of filling left. Of course it did. Right down the road.
Note to self – stock up on canned pastry filling when back home over the holidays.
(makes about 30 cookies, depending on size, adapted from this recipe)
1 8-oz. block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks), unsalted butter at room temperature
2 ½ cups flour (plus more for rolling)
2 TBSP powdered sugar (plus more for rolling and dusting)
1 egg white
Pie or Pastry filling of your choice, Grandma uses these ones
Cream together the butter and cream cheese, stir in the flour and 2 TBSP. powdered sugar until a sticky dough forms.
Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
When ready to roll out, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Dust rolling surface with equal parts flour and powdered sugar, divide dough in half as it’s easier to work with, and return ½ to fridge to stay chilled.
Roll out dough until it’s a little less than ¼ inch thick. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into even squares. Spread a small amount of jam on the center of each square before folding corners of dough to seal cookie. To ensure a tight seal, fold one corner of the dough over, brush with a little bit of egg white, and then fold the other corner and press gently to close.
Bake in preheated oven for 12 – 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove to rack to cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar.