Among the many tasty Polish cookie recipes, I chose to talk about my favorite treats—cream cheese cookies known as kołaczki (ko-wah-ch-kee).
Let’s explore the ingredients, variations and most importantly, the finest recipes for making these amazing Polish cookies!
Kolaczki: Best Polish Cookie Recipes
Delicious pastries made with simple ingredients have a long history in Poland. With centuries of development and regional adaptation, meet the famous Polish cookies known as kolaczki!
What are Kolaczki?
Polish kolaczki are flaky, delicate cookies with many fillings. These treats consist of a buttery, cream cheese-based dough to blend richness and lightness in one go.
Traditional fillings include fruit jams (apricot, raspberry, or prune preserves) or a poppy seed filling while modern variations can often feature chocolate, nuts, or other innovative ingredients.
Picking the right ingredients and getting the proportions just right are the secrets to making the best kolaczki.
At its core, the pastry’s flaky yet soft texture is derived from the all-purpose flour, which also serves as its structural backbone.
Softened unsalted butter adds a rich, buttery flavor that harmonizes beautifully with the delicate cream cheese.
This special ingredient, when allowed to cool to room temperature, imparts a velvety texture and guarantees a dough that is easy to work with.
Fruit preserves are the pastry filling, transforming the dish into a sugar bomb with every bite. Whether it’s the vibrant raspberry flavor or the classic apricot, the jam filling gives kolaczki personality.
The cookies are finished with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, which adds a touch of sweetness and visual appeal.
This list of ingredients can be modified with some additions or substitutions. For example, vanilla extract is a popular addition. Some recipes also call for a pinch of salt to balance out the sweetness.
How To Make Kolaczki
Time needed: 1 hour and 35 minutes.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to making these delectable Polish cookies:
- Prepare the dough
In a mixing bowl, cream together softened unsalted butter and room-temperature cream cheese until smooth.
Gradually add the all-purpose flour, mixing until a soft and pliable dough forms.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set it in the fridge to chill after mixing. Allow it to rest for at least an hour.
- Roll and cut
Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it’s approximately ¼ inch thick.
Cut the dough into 2-inch squares or any shape you like using a sharp knife or cookie cutter.
- Add fruit filling
Put a little of your preferred fruit preserves in the middle of each square of dough.
Be careful not to fill it to the brim so it doesn’t leak when baked.
- Fold and seal
Carefully fold the two opposite corners of each square towards the center.
Press the edges to keep the filling inside.
- Bake to perfection
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
Place the folded kolaczki on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
- Cool and sprinkle
Let the baked cookies cool on a wire rack and dust them with powdered sugar.
Tips for Perfect Polish Cookies
Here are some tips to make your Polish cookies perfect each time:
- Temperature matters. Maintain the ingredients at the right temperature for optimal dough consistency. Softened butter and cream cheese ensure a delicate, flaky texture.
- Experiment with fillings. Everything from classic fruit preserves to chocolate and almonds is fair game.
- Precision in folding. For a more pleasing appearance, be careful to seal the edges well. Allow your dough to rest after rolling it out for the best results. A thumbprint shape is always an option; it’s easier and faster, in my opinion.
Best Kolaczki Recipes
Finally, let’s explore the best kolaczki recipes online!
Enjoy a traditional Polish recipe that you can perfect with your filling of choice. It creates delicious flaky pastries with only a 30-minute prep time.
Use some vegan butter and dairy-free yogurt to make a vegan version of these baked cookies. It’s a very easy recipe for those who want to enjoy traditional Polish flavors without all the dairy!
If you want to explore more vegan choices, check out my article on top vegan Polish recipes!
If eggs and dairy are not a concern for you, try some vegetarian Polish ideas as well!
The same original recipe but with a small adjustment—low-fat Greek Cream cheese instead of regular cream cheese and low-sugar preserves for a healthier twist.
This idea uses a recipe for Solo Brand Kolacky that is printed on the back of the pie filling can. It creates a delicate cream cheese dough with a sweet fruit filling in the middle.
If you don’t have time to fold and seal your dough squares, you can just cut the cookie dough into circles and make a thumbprint for your pastry fruit filling.
I hope you enjoyed these Polish cookie recipes and are excited for more!
To discover new Eastern European recipes, check out these articles:
Best Ukrainian Cookie Recipe Ideas for your cookie platter!
Delicious Roamian Desserts, Cakes and More with great ideas to use up any leftover filling!
Top Polish Dessert Recipes for more sweet treats from Poland!
Try out a delicious yet simple Kolaczki recipe below!
Fruit-Filled Polish Kolaczki
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (225g)
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature (225g)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (240g)
- Your preferred fruit preserves (e.g., apricot, raspberry)
Prepare the Dough
- In a mixing bowl, cream together softened unsalted butter and room-temperature cream cheese until smooth.1 cup unsalted butter, softened, 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- Gradually add the all-purpose flour, mixing until a soft and pliable dough forms.2 cups all-purpose flour
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Roll and Cut
- Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface until it's approximately ¼ inch (0.6cm) thick.
- Cut the dough into 2-inch squares or any shape you prefer using a sharp knife or cookie cutter.
Add Fruit Filling
- Place a small amount of your preferred fruit preserves in the middle of each square of dough.Your preferred fruit preserves
- Be careful not to overfill to prevent leakage during baking.
Fold and Seal
- Carefully fold the two opposite corners of each square towards the center.
- Press the edges to seal and keep the filling inside.
Bake to Perfection
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Place the folded kolaczki on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
Cool and Sprinkle
- Allow the baked kolaczki to cool on a wire rack.
- Dust the cooled cookies with powdered sugar.