Kolaczki (Polish Cookies) are the perfect tea time treat and lovely addition to a Christmas cookie plate. The delicious flaky pastry comes together with 4 simple ingredients and pairs beautifully with sweet and tart jewel-toned, jam fillings. A sprinkle of powdered sugar makes these cookies a show-stopper!
Looking for more easy to make cookies? Make sure to try my Almond Joy Cookies and these Coconut Macaroon Blossoms!
There is nothing better than an easy cookie that looks incredibly elegant and festive during the holidays. I am always looking for time saving recipes that don’t call for a lot of ingredients. These Kolaczki cookies fit the bill perfectly.
With just 6 ingredients total, these cookies are a breeze to make and are sure to be a crowd pleaser this holiday season. With sweet, sparkly jam peaking out from underneath the folds, these cookies are a delight to behold as well as to eat.
We of course love these cookies for Christmas but they are a must-make for Easter and other holidays as well. They are just incredibly easy to make and are just so pretty and delicious!
What are Kolaczki Cookies?
Kolaczki are standard fare at Christmas time in Poland and are called a number of names (I’m sure Americanized over the years) including Kolacky, Kolachy Cookies and Polish Cookies. They are a simple cookie that features a lovely, flaky pastry made with only four ingredients. The filling is commonly jam or jellies, which we’re using here today.
There is really no limit to the flavors you can put in these little Polish Christmas cookies but you’ll want to select a jam that is nice and thick so the filling doesn’t run out of the cookie while baking.
I’d love to hear from my Polish readers as to when they serve these cookies and what other fillings they love!
More Must Make Christmas Cookies
Planning a baking session? These cookies are so much fun and incredibly delicious!
- Peppermint Shortbread Cookies
- The BEST Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Peppermint Snowball Cookies
- Cookie Empanadas
- Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
Polish Cookies: What You’ll Need
There are so many things I love about these Polish Cookies and as someone who keeps butter and cream cheese on hand year round, I always have the ingredients I need to make these easy Kolachy cookies. As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need:
- unsalted butter – softened to room temperature.
- cream cheese – softened and you’ll want to use full fat cream cheese for this recipe.
- almond extract – other extracts can be used if you prefer.
- salt – for flavor.
- all purpose flour
- jam – I used Bonne Maman Raspberry jam and also Apricot preserves, use a nice thick jam.
- water – to seal pastry dough.
- powdered sugar – for rolling dough and dusting on finished cookies.
Lemon curd would also be delicious in these cookies!
How To Make Kolacky
This dough does need to be chilled before baking so keep that in mind as you are planning for this recipe. Let’s take a look at how to make these lovely cookies:
Prepare the Cookie Dough
- Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth.
- Add the salt and flour in 3 additions, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Form it into a ball, flatten down into a square shape and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Sprinkle a clean work surface and a rolling pin with powdered sugar.Divide the dough in half and roll into a large square, 1⁄4 inch thick.
- Trim the edges with a pizza cutter. Cut into 2 1⁄2 inch squares. (Re-roll the scraps to cut more cookies.)
Fold and Bake the Polish Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Transfer the squares to the prepared baking sheets.
- Spoon 1⁄2 teaspoon of jam in the middle of each square.
- Cross one corner of the pastry square over the jam filling.
- Rub a small drop of water on the corner of the pastry square and then seal the cookie by overlapping with the opposite pastry square corner. Carefully pinch the dough to seal it with your thumb and index finger.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the edges are just slightly golden.
- Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack after 3 minutes to cool completely.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving and enjoy!
This Polish Kolaczki cookies recipe can be stored in an airtight container on the kitchen counter for up to 3 days. They do start to get soggy and the jam separates after a few days so the texture really is best the day they are made or 1 to 2 days after.
To Freeze: These cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Bake and cool cookies. Do not dust with powdered sugar. Transfer to a freezer safe, airtight container and line each layer with parchment before stacking. Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Trish’s Tips and Tricks
- Be sure to roll the Kolaczki dough to one-quarter inch thickness and be sure the pastry is sealed tightly before baking. Dough that is too thick will expand and open as the cookies bake in the oven and you will be left with undercooked squares of pastry oozing with jam. Not good.
- If you don’t want to use jam you can use Solo brand pastry fillings. Keep jam in the middle of the square so that it doesn’t drip out of the pastry when baking.
- Feel free to experiment with extracts for different flavors of Kolacky. Vanilla, orange or lemon zest would all be great additions to try.
More Christmas Treats To Try
- Christmas Crack – An Easy Saltine Toffee Recipe!
- Better Than Anything Toffee
- Buttermilk Pecan Pralines
- Divinity Candy
How To Make Kolaczki
Kolaczki (Polish Cookies)
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ teaspoon almond extract other flavor extracts can be used
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons jam I used Bonne Maman Raspberry jam and also Apricot preserves, use a nice thick jam
- water to seal pastry dough
- powdered sugar for rolling dough and dusting on finished cookies
- In a large mixing bowl cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth at medium-high speed. Beat in the almond extract.1 cup unsalted butter, 8 ounces cream cheese, ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Add the salt and all-purpose flour in 3 additions, scraping down the bowl as needed to combine. Do not over mix to keep the pastry light and flaky.2 cups all purpose flour, ½ teaspoon salt
- Once the dough is combined form it into a ball and dump it onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Flatten the dough down into a square shape and cover it completely with plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator to chill for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or bake one batch at a time if you only have one baking sheet) and set aside.
- When the dough has chilled, sprinkle a clean work surface and a rolling pin with powedered sugar.powdered sugar
- Divide the dough in half (return the other half to the refrigerator until ready to use) and roll the dough into a large square, 7½ x 7½, 1⁄4 inch thick. Trim the edges with a pizza cutter. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough into 2 1⁄2 inch squares. (Re-roll the scraps to cut more cookies.)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Carefully transfer the squares to the prepared baking sheets and spoon 1⁄2 teaspoon of jam in the middle of each square.3 tablespoons jam
- Cross one corner of the pastry square over the jam filling. Rub a small drop of water on the corner of the pastry square and then seal the cookie by overlapping with the opposite pastry square corner. Carefully pinch the dough to seal it with your thumb and index finger. Continue until all the cookies are sealed.water
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the edges are just slightly golden. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack after 3 minutes to cool completely.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving and enjoy!powdered sugar
Several people have commented that the seam overlap comes apart on them. My granny (spitfire little Polish woman) taught me to wet edges that overlap and use blunt end of a chopstick to press down firmly toward center of cookie. Doesn’t displace much of filling, but seals dough extremely effectively!
Christina LoNigro says
A hit in the family! Took a few tries to get them to stay shut. Then I decided to try them with gluten free almond flour – do not do that…They melted down to nothing. Just stick to the recipe here! 🙂
Fred Zblewski says
Great recipe! Being of Polish heritage, this is a great treat for our family! I would like to comment one thing I’ve figured out doing that works better. When sealing the opposite corners of the pastry, they always opened up in the oven. To fix this, all I did was used a tooth pick to hold in place during baking. It works wonders!
I haven’t made these yet, but these are my husband’s favorite cookies. I have been so afraid to try making them, but your recipe and instructions has me thinking maybe I can make these for him. I have questions: how many times can you reroll the dough? I ask this because I seem to have trouble rolling dough of any kind. How much-powdered sugar do you use to roll them out on? I appreciate your help with this and I truly love your recipes!
Trish - Mom On Timeout says
I just made a batch last week and if I remember correctly, I rerolled the scraps out maybe twice? And quickly at that. For the powdered sugar, I just sprinkle the board with it just as I would flour. You can’t have too much because the dough will just absorb it and get a little sweet. The dough is very plain pastry with no sugar so I don’t mind that at all. Good luck!
Just came across your recipe for Kolaczki cookies. They look delicious and are one of my favorite cookies.
Can you take some of the dough and roll in a ball, push your thumb in the middle to make an indentation, fill and bake? Do you think that would work? Thanks.
Trish - Mom On Timeout says
I do think that will work! The dough doesn’t have any leavener (so it won’t rise) or sweetener so make sure to fill it with something sweet or it will be bland. Let me know how it works out!
Excellent recipe, this was my first time making kolaczki cookies & they were a hit at our Christmas celebration. I made the star shape with apricot & cherry filling, absolutely delicious! My favorite part of your recipe instructions is that you added the ingredient & measurement at every step, it made it so much more convenient than having to scroll up & down. Hope to see more recipes in that manner. Thanks!
Trish - Mom On Timeout says
I’m so glad! The ingredients in the instructions is a new feature with my recipe card and I’m SO glad it’s helpful! This is the first feedback I’ve gotten and I was wondering if readers were finding it helpful. Happy New Year!
Very helpful! Thank you for adding this new feature! It makes it easier ❤️
Karl Olschesky says
This recipe took me back decades. My mom had most of her recipes committed to memory, so when she passed the recipe was lost. In the Slovak tradition we also made some with plum (prune). They all turned out great. THANK YOU!
My Grandma as well, I have her original recipe and just taught my sister how to make them today!! Very forgiving dough, you can certainly reroll the scraps. She traveled to Prague often to visit family. Miss her so very much!!
Patricia Jones says
Hi, TRISH by adding pictures you made it more easy to understand and cook . As christmas is about to come like you mentioned . it would be great to cook kolaczki that day.