There is never just one recipe of a classic cookie but usually the variations are not that different from each other. Not with this cookie! I have never found so many variables in a traditional cookie as I did in the classic kolaczek cookie from Poland…. Are they called kolache, kolacke, kolace, kolachy kolatchki, kalatchki, kolaczki, kolaczky, or kolacky? Should the cookie be crunchy and made with sour cream, cream cheese or butter dough? Or should it be soft and made with a yeast dough? And what about the filling? Should a traditional kolaczek cookie from Poland have a filling with dried fruit, jam or cream cheese? Which shape should it be made in? A roll, a diamond or a square parcel? And which country can really claim this cookie as its own? Even though the Polish version is the best known, Czech, Croatian and other Middle-European bakers also argue that the cookie is originally from their country. After a lot of reading, testing and tasting I decided that there was no right answer to be found. So I chose a version that I liked best. A crunchy cookie with a dried fruit filling with a hint of spice. I formed the cookies in neat little packages with filling peeping out on two sides.
Kolaczek cookie from Poland
for about 20 cookies
for the dough
150 grams softened unsalted butter
60 grams sour cream
200 grams flour
pinch of salt
for the filling
150 grams dried apricots or prunes
50 grams sugar
15 grams butter
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg (for the apricots)
or ¼ teaspoon ground cloves (for the prunes)
Beat the butter until light and creamy with an electric mixer. Add the sour cream and beat until it is mixed in well.
Add the flour and the salt.
Quickly bring together into a ball. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest and firm up in the fridge for about 30 mins.
Roll out the dough to about ⅛ inch (¼ cm) between 2 pieces of cling film. Keep in the fridge until needed.
Put the dried fruit for the filling in a small saucepan and add enough water to submerge all the fruit. Bring to the boil and simmer on low heat for about 15 min.
Remove the fruit from the water and leave to cool. In a food processor blitz the fruit with the sugar, the butter, the nutmeg or cloves until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Cut out circles of dough with a round 2½ inch (7 cm) cookie cutter. Bring the remaining dough together into a ball and repeat.
Place the dough circles on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper. Spoon a large teaspoonful of filling on the dough.
Bring two sides of the dough together over the filling and pinch to close. Bake the cookie in the middle of the oven for about 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and leave to cool on the cookie sheet.
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