As you might have guessed from my nostalgic post about New Year's traditions, I'm on a bit of a Polish kick. I put Kraków on my 2013 travel wish list (key word "wish") and I have started experimenting with Polish cuisine. (My husband, incidentally, is obsessed with cooking Korean food right now, so let's see what wins out, kielbasa or kimchi.)
Given that January 9 is National Apricot Day, it seemed especially fitting to try my hand at kolaczki. These wonderful little pastry-cookies can be filled with a number of different jellied fruits (prunes, raspberries), but my favorite are stuffed with apricot jam. A band of little old ladies used to make huge batches for my maternal grandmother and she always sent us back home with dozens extra. And though generous with their cookies, the little old ladies were rather secretive about their recipes, so I had to look to the interwebs for instructions. Thank God for sarcasticcooking.com. The recipe, somewhat modified, after the jump:
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups butter
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 jar apricot fruit preserves (if you like variety, try also strawberry, raspberry or cherry)
- powdered sugar for dusting
1. Combine flour and margarine using an electric mixture until crumbly dough forms. 2. Add in sour cream and combine using wooden spoon. 3. Divide dough into four servings and shape with hands into four balls. Wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least eight hours. 4. Roll out each dough ball one at a time on a floured cutting board. 5. Using pastry shears or sharp knife, cut each flattened dough ball into three-inch squares. 6. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of apricot (or cherry or strawberry or raspberry, etc.) jam into the center of each square. (Warning: Do not overfill or jam will spill out onto sheet during baking process!). Fold the two diagonally opposite sides into the center. Seal with dab of water. 7. Bake for 20 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet in 350 degree oven. 8. Remove from oven, place on cooling rack and dust with powder sugar.
Kolaczki are the perfect snack when you're feeling peckish in the late afternoon. They also are wonderful for a cold morning breakfast with a cup of cream tea or a hot chocolate with wodka.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.