This post was originally published on December 9, 2016 and was updated on September 3, 2020. These kolaczki cookies 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 fruit pie filling. A dusting of powdered sugar adds a touch of elegance to this simple Polish recipe!
These cookies are such an easy bake to make. The cream cheese dough is moist and not too sweet. It is easy to work with and is very forgiving. It beautifully balances out the sugary fruit filling and bakes up crispy and lightly golden on the outside, but tender on the inside.
Kolaczki (or kolaczky or kolacky, depending on where you’re from or what Polish bakery you’re using), are cookies that comes together in a snap with just a handful of ingredients!
- Cream Cheese
- Powdered Sugar
- Fruit Filling
- 1 Egg White
A note on fruit filling
My grandma always uses a very specific brand of pastry filling that’s available at most grocery stores in Wisconsin. Solo Brand filling. I remember living down South and having one heckuva time trying to find it. It can be ordered online, or you can substitute another filling of your choice. Jam or homemade preserves can also work, if they are thick enough. A jam that is too runny or a filling that is too loose will seep out of the center of the cookie and flow away. It would still taste delicious, but wouldn’t have the traditional look of a kolaczki.
How to make Polish Cream Cheese Cookies
- Make the dough. So simple. It’s only four ingredients!
- Chill the dough. Overnight is best.
- Roll out the dough. On a floured and powdered sugared surface. The dough should be a little less than ¼ inch.
- Cut the dough. Into squares/rectangles. I use a pizza cutter. But a sharp knife or even a square cookie cutter would work perfectly, too!
- Fill the cookies. I like to use apricot and raspberry pastry filling. Prune is also a common flavor.
- Fold the cookies. Into the traditional diamond shape. This is done by folding one corner onto the center, brushing with a smidge of egg white, and folding over the opposite corner on top.
- Bake the cookies. Until just barely golden brown on the bottom. These cookies don’t get super dark on top so check them during baking.
- Dust with powdered sugar. Once the cookies are totally cool and/or just before serving!
Kolaczki tips and tricks
- First off – how to pronounce kolaczki. In my Polish family we say “CO-lāch-key” with a long A. But hey, say whatever you want while you’re eating them!
- Be generous when dusting your work surface. I first lightly sprinkle my surface with flour, then powdered sugar. Then I dust the top of the dough with flour, and then powdered sugar. Same goes for the rolling pin. This dough isn’t very sweet so using only flour when rolling would result in a bland cookie, but only sugar would result in dough that was too sticky and unwieldy.
- Store leftover cookies in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Much like with lemon bars, the powdered sugar can soak into the pastry when it sits. So, either don’t dust these until ready to serve or be ready to dust a second time after they’ve been sitting for a day or two.
I think grandma would approve.
- Stand Mixer
- Pastry Cutter
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 1 cup 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
- 12 ounces fruit pie or pastry filling of your choice such as Solo pastry filling
- 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 fruit filling on the center of each square before folding opposite corners of dough into the center to seal the 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.