These kolaczki cookies consist of flakey, cream cheese dough stuffed with a gooey jam center. Classic Polish holiday cookies made with just 5 ingredients!
Polish kolaczki cookies are on repeat every year when I put together my holiday cookie trays for family and friends. In a sea of chocolate, maple, and pumpkin, the fruit filling is such a refreshing, tart contrast and the light and fluffy dough is to die for. But let’s be real – I don’t limit myself to kolaczki during the holidays. I make these morsels all year round and soon you will too!
Of note, the cookie dough requires an hour of chilling time, so plan accordingly. You can always make this dough the night before and keep it refrigerated until you’re ready or freeze the dough for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe bag.
What are Kolaczki?
Kolaczki are super popular Polish cream cheese cookies that are typically served during Eastern European holidays and on special occasions. You’ll find them stuffed with a wide variety of fillings, including jams, poppy seeds, almonds, and sweet farmer’s cheese. Below, find a quick rundown of the flavor, texture, and cooking time of this recipe.
- Flavor: Cream cheese-infused dough is contrasted by a sweet, tart filling of any jam of your choice. The cherry on top? A generous dusting of powdered sugar.
- Texture: You’ll love how the jam seeps into the shortbread-like dough and creates such a tender bite.
- Cooking Time: From start to finish, these cookies take about an hour and 35 minutes to make with most of that time accounting for the dough chilling in the fridge for an hour.
How to Make Polish Kolaczki
Making Polish kolaczki only requires 5 simple ingredients and a little elbow grease. Below, find a quick hitter overview of the recipe before you dive in.
- Prep the Dough: Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the softened butter, flour and cream cheese together until fluffy.
- Chill the Dough: Next, roll the dough into a big ball and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Allow the dough to chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Assemble the Cookies: Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a thin, flat piece. Cut it into even-sized square shapes and place a dollop of jam into the center of each. Next, pinch the corners of each square together.
- Bake the Cookies: Bake the cookies at 350°F for 15 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Once they’re no longer hot, dust them with powdered sugar. Enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
Below, find a couple of tips and tricks to help you make the best Polish kolaczki.
- Use softened butter and cream cheese. Allowing the butter and cream cheese to soften at room temperature makes them so much easier to incorporate into the dough. To do so, take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you get started.
- Dust the cookies with powdered sugar after they cool. Refrain from sprinkling powdered sugar on hot cookies or else it will melt and disappear into the dough. To get that signature white dusting, wait until they cool down to coat them.
- Pinch the cookie corners together tightly. To prevent the cookies from falling apart during baking, pinch the corners together tightly. If you’re having a hard time getting them to seal, use a bit of water or egg wash.
- Room Temperature: Store leftover cookies in an airtight container between layers of parchment paper to prevent sticking. They should keep for up to 3 days before they start to turn soggy.
- Freezer (Raw Cookies): Freezing raw, assembled kolaczki is a great way to get ahead of holiday or party prep. To do so, assemble the cookies as directed. Then, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pop the sheet in the freezer uncovered. Once the cookies are completely frozen, layer them between parchment paper in an airtight container. Store them for up to 3 months. Once you’re ready to bake them, simply pop them in the oven frozen and bake according to the recipe.
Hot Tip: If you don’t plan to serve the cookies right away, refrain from dusting them until right before. This will help keep them fresh and from turning soggy.
How do I keep my kolaczki closed?
To keep your kolaczki closed, make sure to pinch the corners of the dough together tightly. If the dough is being finicky, wet your fingertips a bit to help seal it.
Can I freeze kolaczki?
Yes, you can freeze raw kolaczki. To do so, assemble the cookies as directed. Next, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pop the sheet in the freezer uncovered. Once the cookies are completely frozen, layer them between parchment paper in an airtight container.
What’s the difference between a kolaczki and a kolache?
Kolaczki are traditional Polish cookies made with a cream cheese-infused dough and filled with jam. A kolache, on the other hand, is a bun stuffed with fruit or poppyseed filling.
Why do I need to chill the dough?
Chilling the dough allows the fat to harden and prevents the kolaczki from spreading too much during baking.
What kind of jam or jelly should I use for the filling?
You can use any kind of jam or jelly you wish. Raspberry, strawberry, and apricot are a few that work really well.
Other European Cookies to Try
- Jam and Nuts Rugelach – Pretty spiral cookies
- Pavlova with Chocolate and Pecans – Tasty cookie recipe from our friends at Simply Homecooked!
- Pecan Crescent Cookies – Classic pecan and butter cookies
- Madeleine Cookies – Shell-shaped sponge cookies
- Gather all your ingredients. While you can use any jam you like, raspberry and apricot work particularly well.
- Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the softened butter, flour and cream cheese until it turns fluffy.
- On a well-floured surface, roll the dough into a big ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it rest in the fridge for at least an hour.
- On a well-floured surface, roll the dough out into a thin, flat piece. Cut the piece into even-sized squares. Place a dollop of jam in the center of each square. Fold the sides of the squares in, pinching the corners together to secure the jam inside.
- Bake the cookies at 350°F for 15 minutes. Once the cookies completely cool, dust them with powdered sugar. Enjoy!