Kolaches, Hungarian Christmas Cookies take me back to Christmas of my childhood where my mother would spend days baking Christmas cookies, filling our home with perfectly delightful smells. I would come home from school being greeted by my mother and the aroma of cookies baking in the oven. One of her favorite cookies to bake was Kolaches: a recipe that was passed down to her by a Hungarian neighbor when she was growing up. Like my mother, these flakey cookies have become one of my favorites that I still make today for my family and friends!
Kolaches – Hungarian Christmas Cookies
For the Pastry:
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar for rolling
1 can Solo Poppy Seed Cake and Pastry Filling
For the Pastry Dough:
Sift flour and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.Beat the cream cheese and butter together with a stand mixer or a hand mixer until completely incorporated and creamy (3-5 minutes).
Reduce the speed of the mixer and slowly add in the flour. I used 5 additions and completely mixed in the flour each time. The dough will be soft but not sticky.
Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and flatten each to ¾” thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until hard, at least 2 hours.
Assembling the Kolaches:
Preheat the oven to 375°. Move the oven rack one setting higher than the center.
Take one of the disks of dough from the refrigerator and lightly flour both sides. Spread powdered sugar on your pastry board or work surface. Place the dough on top and roll out the pastry to 1/16” to 1/8” thick.
With a pastry wheel or sharp knife, trim the dough into a square and then cut the square into 16 smaller squares. Place a dollop of filling into the center of each square. I used ½ teaspoon to ¾ teaspoon for each.
Gently grab two opposite corners and fold one over the other, gently pressing down to try and seal them together. Gently move it to a parchment-covered baking sheet. Repeat with all remaining squares, placing the kolaches no closer than 1” apart.
Sprinkle the middles of the kolaches with just a touch of granulated sugar.
Bake 12-14 minutes or until the bottom edges are golden and you can smell them. Let cool slightly on the pan on a wire rack and then move them gently to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with all remaining dough. Refrigerate and re-roll your scraps.