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I bring you this recipe as a very humble woman.

These are my VERY favorite cookie of the season…

an old Slovenian recipe of my Mom’s…


Kolachy are the JEWELS of Christmas cookies.

Flaky cream cheese crust filled with jam and preserves….apricot, pineapple and raspberry.

There’s even a homemade nut filling for you nut lovers.

They are pretty and cute…and so easy to pop in your mouth.

Little did I know how much work they were!

This was my plan…

Monday – clean the house and finish Christmas shopping.

Tuesday – make Kolachy and shoot photos.

Wednesday – write blog post and wrap presents.

It didn’t go that way. I didn’t realize that making Kolachy was a two day process with an definite attention to detail along the way! Mom always made Kolachy and we would always help – either in filling them, powder-sugaring them 0r eating them. I don’t think I ever took them from start to finish.

This week I did…and it darned near brought out the grinch in me.

As I was driving Mom to day care this week, I told her I was making Kolachy and what advice could she give me?

Pinch them good.

I told my Dad I was making Kolachy this week. His response was:

Now you’ll realize what Mom used to do for Christmas.

Hmmm….curiosity definitely aroused.

So let’s begin.

The dough is a very basic pastry dough.

Butter, cream cheese, flour and baking powder.

Mom’s recipe calls for cutting the butter and cream cheese into the flour with your hands. I thought I would shortcut it by using my mixer.

Boy was I wrong! This time Mom was right. Use your hands!

My mixer was whomp whomp walking along the counter until I finally relieved the motor of the stress.

By using your hands, you can incorporate the butter and cream cheese with the flour well. The warmth of your hands helps make everything blend together well.

Divide the dough up into balls (I doubled the recipe – thus four balls).

Wrap in saran wrap and chill overnight. (I did try to make one ball earlier to step up my plan, forget it…chill overnight like Mom says!)

The next day, take the chilled dough ball out and roll to 1/8″ thin. (Some of the dough balls I worked with weren’t that thin…and the cookies were too doughy.)

Work with the dough, let the butter and cream cheese soften and soon it will cooperate and roll into a beautiful sheet of pastry.

Cut the dough into 3″ x 3″ squares.

Prepare your fillings.

Jams and preserves work best…you can use your favorites!

Mine are apricot, raspberry and pineapple. I’ve also included my Mom’s nut filling in the recipe.

Put a dollop of preserves in the center of each square.

Bring two corner together (I like to put a bit of white egg wash on my fingertip as glue) and…


This is where I got confused…

Am I pinching too hard?

Am I pinching too soft?

Sometimes I would win…

sometimes I would lose…

I guess it comes with experience.

Powdered sugar is the great forgiver!

5.0 from 2 reviews
A Kitchen Muse: 
Recipe type: Holiday Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A Slovak cookie recipe - cream cheese dough filled with jams!
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese (I use the low fat version)
  • 1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Jams and preserves (raspberry, apricot, pineapple - your choice!)
  • Powdered sugar
  • 2 cups ground walnuts
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup hot water
  1. Cream cheese and butter should be cold.
  2. Sift flour with baking powder into a bowl.
  3. Cut cream cheese and butter into chunks and add to flour.
  4. Knead by hand until ingredients are distributed evenly and the dough forms a compact ball.
  5. Divide into two balls. Cover with saran wrap and chill until very cold - preferably overnight.
  6. Roll out one ball at a time using as little flour as possible to ⅛" thickness.
  7. Cut into 3" squares. Place a dollop of jam or filling in the center.
  8. Fold one corner of the square to the center of the filling.
  9. Fold the opposite corner to the center, overlapping a little.
  10. Pinch together slightly.
  11. A small portion of the filling should be visible above and below the overlap.
  12. Place on ungreased cookie sheets or cookie sheets lined with parchment paper (my preference as the jam tends to run).
  13. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until light brown.
  14. Cool on wire racks and dust with powdered sugar.
  15. NUT FILLING: Combine all ingredients and mix well.

They taste great…and someday I’ll conquer making them like my Mom did!

Wishing you the Merriest of the Holiday Season…

Hug your loved ones a little tighter this year…

Let go of the things that don’t matter…

but most of all…

Take care of yourself!

Happy Holidays!



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Baking, cookies, holiday baking, holiday cookies, jam cookies, Kolachy, Polish baking, Polish recipes, Slovak recipes Baking, Holidays, Polish Recipes

51 comments on “Kolachy

  1. Melanie on said:

    I remember making these with grandma… I have yet to make them on my own. I can’t wait to eat them when I get home! See you on Saturday!!

    • lindalyell on said:

      I’ve got a whole box of these lovelies waiting for you!

    • I may have missed it….. however, please repeat the NUT FILLING recipe.
      Thanks a bunch!

      • A Kitchen Muse on said:

        2 cups ground walnuts
        3/4 cup sugar
        1/4 cup hot water

        Combine all ingredients.

        • darcy drew on said:

          My baba made her walnut filling like this. 3 stiffly beaten egg whites, I cup of sugar and 1lb of nuts fold into the egg whites…I make these every year. We actually make the slovak soups, bobalky, all slovak foods every holiday!

          • A Kitchen Muse on said:

            My aunt made her filling that way. I miss Christmas Eve supper – except for the split peas and potatoes!

    • A neighbor gave me a recipe for these years ago. They became a Christmas tradition. The only thing different was instead water in the nut mixture, her recipe called for one egg white

  2. It’s the pinching – didn’t seem that hard when Mom made them. Ours too opened half the time but at least it’s one tradition we are passing along as Katie made ours. Oh if we only knew then what we know now . . . .

  3. They look lovely. So glad we captured these recipes….and yours look just like Mom’s! If you need help with the “unpinched” losers…let me know. I always remember Mom saying…”eat those first”!!

  4. Dotti Franks on said:

    You have brought back wonderful memories of my Mom making these for my Czech-born father!

    Peace and Love!

  5. Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden on said:

    Hey Linda, I’ve totally forgot on this dessert! My mother used to prepare this cake when I was a child and I loved it vary much! Thanks for the sweet memories!

  6. This is a wonderful blog. I remember making these cookies with my aunts and grandpa growing up!

  7. Planning on making a recipe similar to these (cottage cheese instead of cream cheese) for the first time this weekend and curious. You don’t say approx. how many this recipe makes and…..can you freeze them? If you can feeze, should you freeze before baking or after. Thanks, would appreciate any advice.

    • A Kitchen Muse on said:

      One single recipe should yield around 48 cookies – depending on the size of the square you cut. Yes, they freeze beautifully after baking. Just unthaw and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy!

  8. I am in process of making these:)

    So excited to have found recipe. I made these when I was 12 at a friends grandmoms house. They were so good, as I have obsessed wondering what they were. I just found site and went downstairs to begin making them! Wish me luck! Merry christmas!

  9. Promised to write and let you know how my Kolachy turned out. My husband and I made them last weekend, 150+ of poppyseed/nut/pineapple/raspberry, froze them and defrosted one container tonight for a family get-together. Well, they didn’t even get a chance to completely defrost because the “guys” devoured them before I had a chance to sprinkle powdered sugar! All the work is basically trial & error and you learn very fast the correct way but it was worth it to see everyone eat them and hear the compliments. Thanks so much for the tips and confidence you instilled! have a wonderful, perfect Christmas! Pat

  10. Beverly on said:

    Thank you for sharing this. I’ve made the recipe my English aunt gave my mother for years. It’s very similar, but I really want to try your recipe. We use the Solo canned fillings. I’m excited about your nut filling recipe. We haven’t been able to find the nut filling for a long time now.

  11. Giacomo Calabrese on said:

    These came out awesome! Great recipe!

  12. Thank you! Been looking for this recipe…I kept finding the rolled triangle type and those were not the ones my mom made that she learned from my Slovenian grandmother:) When I saw this picture on pinterest, I said, “that looks like them” and here is the Slovenian version!

  13. OK – just made the dough – can’t seem to find what to do with the 1/4 cup of hot water – there is no instruction for that in the directions.

  14. Annette on said:

    Quite a few years back ( like in the middle 1980’s) I asked my Mom for this receipe and have been making it ever since. If you want the pinch to stay, brush it with water adter you roll and pinch the dough. I also use canned fruit filling (Solo) instead of jelly, it doesn’t ooze out of the cookie so much and you can use about a generous half of a small spoonfull to fill the cookie. Hope this helps!

  15. Sabrina on said:

    OMG I’ve been looking for these cookies for years! I can remember these from my childhood. Had no idea they were Slovenian, though. Ok, now I’m prepared for next Christmas. Will make them for my daughter, grandson and son in law :)

  16. Metta on said:

    thanks for sharing – I never knew any history about these cookies … We make a variation of them known to us simply as Cottage Cheese cookies, the dough is a pound of butter, pound of flour & a pound of cottage cheese then finish them out like you do above !

  17. Could you give us the recipe for the walnut filling? Or was it there and I missed it. I had a similar recipe on my fridge for years and lost it, ours were round and had the little center with the filling, even prune which sound yuck, but tasted great. So one day the recipe was just gone, simply gone. It broke my heart. So I will try yours this year, wish me luck….Thank you.

  18. These are awesome and they do take a while to make, but worth every minute. The cream cheese dough is the best dough. Very rich, but who counts calories at Christmas time.

  19. Cheryl S on said:

    Question for you. How do I keep the preserves from melting out of the dough? I’ve tried them at room temperature and refrigerated and they seem to keep spilling out of the cookie when baking. Thanks for any advice!

  20. My grandmother made hers with a toothpick through each fold to prevent opening. I did NOT do this on the first few, and they opened. I used the toothpick method on the remaining 50 cookies, and not one opened up. Grandma knows best!

  21. I inherited a recipe for kolachy from my wife’s Slovakian aunt (though in her family, they were known as “rozzky” – Russians). One difference is that her recipe calls for rolling the dough in powdered sugar instead of flour, which works well. The dough recipe uses shortening instead of the cream cheese, and yeast instead of baking powder. I’ve been using 50/50 butter and shortening, but I’ll experiment with cream cheese this year.
    Our Slovak recipe calls for an apricot fruit filling which tends to stay put rather than run out. Soak a package of dry apricots overnight in water to cover. Then cook the apricots on very low heat with just enough water to make a jelly. When almost cooked, add ¾ cup of sugar and continue until done. Once you add the sugar, keep an eye on it and stir regularly to avoid burning. You could probably accomplish the same thing by taking a jar of preserves and cooking it over low heat to reduce the moisture content.
    The Slovak nut filling recipe uses grated apples or applesauce instead of water: 2 pounds crushed walnuts, enough applesauce to moisten and hold together, and 1 cup of sugar.

  22. I went looking to see how one pronounces “Kolachy” since I make them and feel silly not knowing how to pronounce them. My ENTIRE first sheet opened up, so I am calling them “Jesus in the manger” cookies. HAHAHAH! Might as well think positively. But this year I feel as if overall they did not work out as well as previous years. Oh, and my recipe uses sour cream instead of cream cheese. Thank you for the lovely blog about them. Pinch hard, indeed!

  23. Barb rhoads on said:

    We roll them with confectionery sugar instead of flour. Also make a cream cheese filling for them. Always a favorite at parties.

  24. A Kitchen Muse on said:

    Very true. Very Eastern European.

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