Kolacky is a famous Czech cookie. These cookies have a crescent shape similar to other pastries like pigs in a blanket or crescent rolls. Its name comes from the Czech word koláček, which means “a small pie”.
Interestingly, despite its name, these cookies are not Czech in origin and were brought to America in the late 1800s by Bohemian immigrants. They are popular in the Midwest, especially around Christmas time.
Kolacky Cookies are made with yeast-leavened dough, rolled out thin, and cut into circles. They are usually filled with fruit preserves or other fillings before being formed into crescents.
Here is a complete guide to cooking it at home:
- 4 cups (18 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 large egg plus one egg yolk, at room temperature
- Fresh fruit preserves or other fillings of your choice, such as custard, Nutella, vanilla pudding, etc.
Utensils you will also need:
- Parchment paper
- Rolling pin or heavy-bottomed glass to roll dough
- A round bowl or plate that is about 5 inches in diameter
- A sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut out the dough into circles
- A small fork to make the patterns on top of each circle (or you can use a dough docker if you have one)
- Cookie sheet(s) lined with parchment paper
Make and Chill the Dough
The most important part of making these cookies is having the right consistency in the dough. If your dough is too wet, it will be hard to roll out and cut circles. On the other hand, if it’s too dry, you will not be able to shape the cookies at all. So, follow the steps precisely.
- In a large non-reactive bowl, whisk together sugar, salt, and softened butter until well combined.
- Next, add the egg and yolk into the mixture. Whisk until you have a smooth batter.
- Add flour one cup at a time while stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula until fully incorporated.
- Add instant yeast and stir until combined (if needed, add a few more teaspoons of flour to make your dough smooth and non-sticky).
- Transfer the dough onto a flat surface that is lightly dusted with flour.
- Gently knead it with your hands and add more flour if needed until smooth and elastic.
- Then tightly wrap the dough in cling film or a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight). Chilled dough will make your job of rolling it out easier.
Rolling Out the Dough and Cutting Into Circles
- After your dough has chilled sufficiently, remove it from the fridge and let it sit for a few minutes to soften up a little. Then place the dough on a lightly floured surface.
- Now, using a rolling pin or a heavy-bottomed glass, start rolling out your dough until you get an even circle about 5 inches in diameter (it does not have to be perfectly round).
- Then using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut out circles. Make sure to give yourself enough space around the edges so that you have about 1/4 to 1/2 inches of dough left on all sides. If your dough sticks to the surface underneath, try to scrape it off gently with a butter knife.
- Now, take your circles and place them on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. You can also stack them together with a small space in between.
Add the Filling and Bake
After all of your cookie circles have rested for about 10 minutes or so, it is time to fill them up!
- Spoon some filling onto the center of each unbaked cookie. Be careful not to add too much. Otherwise, it will ooze out while baking and your Kolacky cookies will not be pretty.
- Next, bring up all four sides of the cookie circles together in the middle and pinch them shut with your fingers. You can roll these edges gently with a rolling pin if you want to make them a little bit thicker and more visible.
- Finally, decorate your cookies by making a crisscross pattern on each circle with a small fork.
- Now it is time to bake these cookies for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to place the cookie sheets in the center rack of your oven.
- The cookies will be ready when they are slightly golden brown and firm to the touch. Let them cool on the trays for 10 minutes before transferring them to wire racks using a spatula or tongs.
These cookies can stay out at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. They also freeze well for up to 1 month. If you want to save them for a longer duration, store them in the fridge for about five days.