Wednesday, February 9, 2011

From an Old Notebook: Cream Cheese Kolacky

A week or so ago, I got an email from one of the ladies who runs the used book sale at the local grange. For locals, I'm referring to the Left Hand Grange in Niwot. She'd been sorting through books for sale and found a little notebook filled with handwritten recipes. She asked if I wanted it.

Now, let me think about this ... of course, I want it!

Recipes ranged from simple to extremely complicated. And by complicated, I mean stretched strudel pastry. That's hard core cooking. After my last unfortunate bout with handwritten recipes from an unknown source, I decided to start with something simple, and something that I was pretty familiar with. I went with what the notebook-writer called Cream Cheese Kolacky.

These cookies are similar to what I call kolaczki, but the these are very flaky and pastry-like, while the kolaczki I make are a little more like shortbread. I like both. I'll definitely make these again.

Non-professional recipes like this are interesting. Since the writer was probably writing for herself, she didn't need to include a whole lot of details. Like ... butter? I'm betting she used salted butter. But I used unsalted and added 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the dough.

The instructions also needed a little help. So here's my version.

Cream Cheese Kolacky

6 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sifted flour
Thick jam or preserves
Powdered sugar

Beat the butter, salt, and cream cheese until it is smooth and light. Add the flour gradually, mixing it in thoroughly. Chill the dough at least 2 hours or overnight.

Note: If you do leave the dough refrigerated overnight, it will be just a little bit too hard to work right out of the refrigerator, If you take it out before you preheat the oven, you should be able to roll it by the time the oven's just about ready.

They're even pretty in the oven.
When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough out to about 1/2 thick and cut with a small round biscuit cutter or a simple cookie cutter. Heart shapes would be nice for Valentine's Day. Chill the scraps while the cookies are baking.

Put the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Or, for easier cleanup, line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Make a indent in the center of the cookie with your finger, and place a small amount of the jam or preserves in that indent.

Bake at 350 degrees until the cookies are just beginning to get lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes. Cool completely on a rack, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

You can re-roll and cut the saved scraps, or simply form small balls, flatten them, press the indent in the center, then continue with filling and baking.

Heart shapes aren't traditional for this cookie, but they're pretty for Valentine's Day.


Sara said...

Interesting recipe - the cream cheese in the dough reminds me of rugelach. Does it have that kind of texture? Anyway, these look fabulous; I love the heart shapes!

Donna Currie said...

I've never had rugelach. These are halfway between cookie and a pastry. They're not exactly flaky, but sort of.

Sheila Ann said...

Hi Donna - cute, cute, cute! You brought back some great memories. I am of Polish descent and kolaczki are my fav. Love them with cheese, apple or apricot fillings.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I wish I could get my hands on this old notebook full of recipes.
Such a beautiful cookies! Thanks for sharing the recipe! By the way, what jam did you use to fill those? Love the color of the jam.

Donna Currie said...

The filling was wild blueberry jam.

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