Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Kolacky

Welcome to our Cookie Exchange! Pull up a comfy chair, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and settle in. I have a wonderful treat for you!

I originally posted this recipe at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen back in 2009, but it's so worth sharing again. I make these little delights every Christmas. They are truly a family favorite.

Every year, I make gingerbread, spritz cookies, chocolate chips, and these. Which ones are the first to disappear? Yep, you guessed it. Give them a try and you'll see why.

Kolacky (ko-LAHCH-kee)

4 cups flour
3 Tbsp sugar
4 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
Filling of choice

Bake at 425 for 8 -10 minutes

The original recipe didn't call for vanilla flavoring, and only required 1 Tbsp of sugar. I changed those, and I like the change. I've never substituted margarine but then again, I'm not a fan of the stuff, so I probably never will.

You can halve this recipe, if you like. I used to double the recipe for Christmas, but that's too much for my Kitchenaid mixer to handle at once, even with a dough hook.

The original recipe provided step by step "add this" "cream that" etc. I just put all the ingredients together in the mixer's bowl and hit "on." Turns out just fine.

You do want to chill the dough for several hours and preferably overnight, before rolling it out. That makes the rolling so much easier.

I roll these out pretty thinly, less than a 1/4 of an inch, for sure. And then I cut them into small squares. I don't stress if they're off size or off shape.

I've tried to show, in the photo at the right just how thin I get them. In our family, we like 'em like that. They crisp up a bit better that way.

Solo is my favorite brand of filling. Always great, always dependable. I'm pretty sure my Busia (grandmother on my dad's side) used Solo, too. There are plenty of popular kolacky flavors including prune, poppy seed, cream cheese, and lemon. In our house we stick to apricot, raspberry and strawberry.

I've used only apricot filling in the pictures because I only made one tray for this posting. I'm freezing the dough until we get closer to Christmas. The problem with these is that they disappear very quickly and if I would have made my husband's favorites - raspberry and strawberry - these would be gone in a flash. Apricot is my kids' favorite flavor (and mine too). I have to tell you, every time I pass the tray at home, I have a tough time sticking to my low-carb vow. Bad time of year to go low-carb, lemme tell ya!

Here I've added the filling to my little squares using the two-spoon method I'm sure you're all familiar with. You'll note I didn't skimp. I probably go through 3/4 of a can per sheet of kolacky. Again, my family prefers a heavy fruit to dough ratio.

At this point is when I feel they make the transition from dough and fruit to kolackies.

I pull up opposite sides of each cookie to form a little blanket. To me, this is the true kolacky shape, although you'll see varieties - squares with double-blanket sides and plain round ones. I like these. Plenty of space for the fruit to ooze.

Don't grease the pan, the cookies are buttery enough. Bake them at 425 for about 8 - 10 minutes. Sometimes I turn the pan around in the oven after 5. Watch them, and when the edges start to brown just a little bit, they're done.

Let them cool (I prefer them at room temperature over straight from the oven) and then dust them with powdered sugar. Don't store them in sealed containers, but leave them out to crisp up in the air. Yum.

But don't turn your back. The moment you do, sneaky fingers will come in and snatch them up.

Hope you enjoy kolacky at your house! 

Don't forget about the Cozy Chicks Kitchen Cookbook!
Find out more about it here. 

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What are your favorite treats for the holidays?