Polish Kolaczi Cookies

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I am very excited to kick off the Vintage Recipe Archives here with the “Official Family Recipe” for how to make Polish Kolaczki cookies.

These cookies are sometimes known as “Polish Cream Cheese Cookies”, as the cookie dough is made from cream cheese, and then they are traditionally filled with a fruit or nut filling. We usually fill our cookies with apricot or raspberry filling.

polish kolaczi cookies

Above are some cookies fresh out of the oven. They aren’t perfect {we had some “young helpers” which can sometimes be distracting!} but they certainly are delicious!

Of course, as you can see in the old recipe card below, we just always called them bon-bons – which is definitely a lot easier than saying Kolaczki!

Polish Bon Bons recipe card.

You can tell this recipe card has been well weathered and worn through the ages! The recipe has been adapted and perfected through the years to strive for the elusive perfect cookie.

Because the recipe card is kind of hard to read {it is written in pencil!} – and because it lacks nearly almost ANY directions {this is typical for my family lol, sorry family, I love ya but its true!} – it really is the perfect example for why the vintage recipe archive section on this website needs to exist!

The History of Polish Kolaczki

I was curious about the history of kolaczki – where it first originated and what inspired it, but it has proven to be a bit of a mystery. First off, many slavic Eastern European countries claim this cookie as their own, and it has many different names and spelling variants, depending what language.

I am not sure what Kolaczki actually even translates to in English, as Google translate and translate.com both give very different suggestions! Below is a snapshot of what the two translation sites suggest.

I don’t think either collages or earrings is correct, but as I don’t speak a single word of Polish, so it’s hard to say for sure. You would think it would translate as “pastry” or something like that.

The recipe card comes from my mom’s recipe box, and traditionally I have always made these cookies with my Dad a few days before Christmas. Before then, my grandmother always made these, so it’s definitely a recipe that’s been passed on through the years.

During quarantine the Christmas 2020 we had to do a virtual cookie baking session via Facetime, which was a challenge but we did what we could to try to keep up our traditions while being in lock down. I’m hoping by next Christmas we’ll be able to carry on our normal traditions!

These cookies DO take a while to make, but it definitely is more fun to make them with friends and family.

Kids like to help make them too, but you have to watch they don’t get too over zealous in filling the cookies, as too much pastry filling can make for a real mess while baking. {Line those cookie sheets with parchment paper!} Using a very small spoon, such as a baby spoon can help make it easier to ensure they don’t overfill.

One thing I struggled with this year was that it was VERY difficult to find the old Baker dessert fillings {made by Solo Foods} that we always used for the cookies in past years.

Do NOT be tempted to use raspberry or apricot preserves or jam, as they will run everywhere and your cookies will be a mushy mess. {Speaking from experience!}

The best part about these cookies is they really keep well. We typically bake them a few days before Christmas and they are still just as tasty for New Year’s {if you have any left, that is!} They also freeze well, so if you don’t have a house full of people to eat them, you can make a batch and enjoy them months later.

Polish Kolaczi Cookies

Polish Kolaczki Cookie Recipe {Bon Bons}

These Polish Cream cheese cookies are a delicious Christmas tradition at our house.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Additional Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Cookie Recipes
Cuisine Polish
Servings 42
Calories 74 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package of cream cheese {8 oz}
  • ¾ cup Crisco
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 ¼ cup flour
  • 2 jar cake and pastry filling apricot, raspberry, nut, etc.}
  • 1 package Powdered Sugar {for rolling out dough}
  • Granulated Sugar {for rolling out dough}
  • 1 Egg White {to help keep cookies closed}

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Mix together cream cheese, crisco, and butter. Slowly add flour and knead together with your hands to form a dough ball. Make sure the dough ball is not sticky. Wrap the dough ball with plastic wrap and chill for one hour in the refrigerator.
  • Sprinkle a mixture of equal parts of powdered sugar and granulated sugar on a table or silicone pastry mat. Roll out the dough into a square or rectangle shape.
  • Cut the dough with a pizza cutter into 2 inch squares and drop 1/2 teaspoon of pastry filling into the center.
  • Fold the corners of the squares of the cookies. If the corners will not stay together, brush on a small amount of egg white to keep them closed.
  • Place cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake in convection oven for 20 minutes or conventional oven for 25 minutes, being careful they do not burn.
  • Allow to cool. Cookies can be stored for up to two weeks in an air tight container. They also freeze well.
  • Optional: Dust with powdered sugar for serving.

Notes

If you do not have Crisco or other vegetable shortening, butter or margarine may be substituted. After many years of testing, we have found Crisco gives the cookies the best texture and just the right amount of flakiness. For a chewier cookie, substitute the Crisco with butter. You may also use butter flavored Crisco.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 74kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 32mgSugar: 4g
Keyword Christmas Cookies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and of course if you have any questions or memories of making Polish Kolaczki cream cheese cookies, please do share them in the comments section below!

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