The next Great American Bake Sale featured item is the humble kolaczek (kolaczki is plural). Amidst my eternal indecision of what to bake for the masses, I decided to embrace my heritage and attempt a Polish mass of white ingredients.
I grew up eating kolaczki, but they were always store-bought or restaurant-made. Most of the time, they are anemic pieces of dough folded over filled with either more white stuff (cheese), or a fruit jelly, then garnished with powdered sugar (even more white stuff). The following recipe I got from a great chef who makes the best [foie gras] pierogies I know. It doesn't include baking powder, which is an ingredient that seems to be up to much debate in online grandma forums.
- 4 sticks of butter or margarine
- 9oz full fat cream cheese
- 1 C full fat sour cream
- 4 C flour
Begin by softening the cheese and butter, then mix them until homogenous, and then the sour cream. Next, slowly mix in the flour. After the first two cups are added, most mixers probably won't have the juice to keep mixing. I recommend finishing the job by hand, at which point the dough will come together nicely in a ball. Divide into several parts and chill (freezes well for future use).
On a floured surface, roll our the dough and cut into squares. If you don't have a rolling pin, a bottle of wine works fine.
Cut into squares, and then place a filling of choice in the middle. Either all sides can be folded to the middle to form a purse; or just two corners can be folded over the center, revealing the filling. Be sure to pinch the pastry so it doesn't open during baking, or cheat with a little water to make a seal.
Bake in a preheated 350 Dg oven for 15 minutes, then garnish with powdered sugar and leave to cool. The pastry will actually get flakier as it dries out, so allow to cool completely. Below is the more traditional folding style.