Saturday, October 12, 2013

Moose and Squirrel Kitchen -Kolacky!

Kolacky (also spelled kolace, kolach, or kolache) is  a type of fruit filled pastry that is said to have originated as a semi sweet wedding dessert from Central Europe.  Around the moose and squirrel homestead there's not usually wedding food, more like bachelor party gear.
But the in the  village were I live, I have quite a few Polish and Czech neighbors so there's not a home on the block that doesn't have a kolacky recipe. And I do have a well stocked kitchen so it's about time I rounded up a recipe to try. There are several variations, some made with cream cheese, some with sour cream, some with yeast.
I'd honestly not heard of them before moving to the Midwest, but the celebration of dough is well imbedded in my part Scandahoovian genes and I couldn't wait to try some.

There are only 5 ingredients, but the texture and flakiness will vary by how you handle and form the dough. But short of under-cooking or burning, you can't really ruin them, and when you get a batch done with practice, it is perfection of flaky pastry and sweet filling. 
1 cup salted butter softened
2 (3 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
jelly or preserves of your favorite flavor(s)
powdered sugar
Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add flour slowly, until well blended. Shape into 2 or 3 balls, wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Let dough sit out for about 20 minutes.

Roll each ball of dough out 1/8 inch thick on a pastry board on which you've sifted some powdered sugar.  The thinner they are, the lighter and flakier they will be.  You will want to work quickly so that the dough is easier to handle, touching them as little as possible.(A chilled metal rolling pin works quite well.) Cut into 2 1/2 to 3 inch square or oblong shapes and place 1/2 to  3/4 tsp of jam or preserves in center.  Fold up corners,  slightly twisting up the top ends to seal.   
Bake on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper  for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven (they should just start to turn golden and cooking time will vary with size, so check the first batch often).

Cool. Sprinkle lightly a bit of additional confectioner's sugar over top. 

And now, back to our usual programming.


  1. A local bakery/restaurant (now out of business) had a dessert pastry they called a Wa-hoo!

    It was a 4 inch philo dough square with the corners turned up and baked. There was a dollop of cheesecake filling in the middle (icecream scoop size). Then a premium fruit topping, like Simply Fruit preserves. Then a drizzle of icing.

    They were delicious. Messy, but delicious.

    Your Kolacky! sound similar.


    Isn't that what we blame fussy infants on?

    Looks delish! I gained 5 pounds just looking at the pictures.


  3. I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio and what we knew as Kolache or kolachi was a rolled pastry loaf about 18" long. I've seen them filled with a nut (walnut), poppy seed, or prune fillings. Walnut was the most popular. The loaves were then sliced at 90 deg or on an angle across and the slices were eaten like cookies. Kolachi was a vital part of "the cookie table" at Italian and eastern European wedding receptions in steel towns on both sides of the Ohio / PA borders from Pittsburgh northward. Receptions were judged by the expanse and variety of cookies displayed. The tradition still holds in that area. Kolachi was also commonly made around Christmas and Easter.

  4. One of my all time favorite cookies from Christmas time. Many different flavored fillings made them great. Mmmmm

  5. Around here in Texas, we have some sizable Czech populations and the kalaches are awesome. Funny thing though, lots of the kolaches in bakeries are pastry dough or a yeast bread wrapped around Czech or German style sausage. love them for breakfast!

  6. JoeMama = that sounds really good, and pretty easy to make.

    Sunnybrook FArm - I ate two. I recently lost 25 pounds for an upcoming special event where I have to wear a new girly dress, so didn't want to snarf them all down, but it was tough.

    gfa - hahahahah. They freeze well (but don't put the sugar on the top until you serve, otherwise they'd be gone by breakfast.

    Island Bob - moving out this way was an eye opener for Central European food, not something I grew up with. Cookies though, with a heavy Swedish/Finnish/Norwegian population where I grew up cookies were an art form, especially at Christmas.

    Rich D - once you get a handle on the dough, they're pretty easy to make.

    Mr. Fixit - well hello! and thanks. I did some online homework when I first saw these and saw the wonderful Texas varieties. I'd have to say the sausage ones would be incredible.

  7. Almost, but not quite a Polish pączki.

  8. I'm Polish, and while I sure remember my grandma making things that looked like that, I can't remember anything with that name.

  9. I must be getting old (and married)... that's the first stripper I've seen in a long time...

    Dann in Ohio

  10. Looks yummy...but did you forget the the moose?

    They're yummy too.

  11. I can see these as a post diet treat!

    Thanks. ;-)


  12. They look like the fluffiest turnovers I've ever seen. An ungodly hunger has suddenly seized hold of me!

  13. South of Dallas in the town of West is the Czech Stop, known for their Kolache's. It's a "Must Stop" on the drive from Dallas to Austin. West is also the site of the fertilizer explosion last April and for the train buffs, the site of the Crash at Crush in 1896.

  14. Those look delicious, and now I am hungry again... I wonder if it would help to use a marble rolling pin, which also stays really cool in use and makes it easy to roll out really thin


I started this blog so the child I gave up for adoption could get to know me, and in turn, her children, as well as share stories for a family that lives too far away. So please keep it friendly and kid safe. Posts that are only a link or include an ad for an unknown business automatically to to SPAM..