Apricot Kolachi (Kolache)

THIS IS NOT technically my grandma’s recipe, but I still consider it a traditional one in my family. This one is was introduced to me by my cousin, Linda, with whom I was fortunate to have shared Grandma Losch.  It’s a cream cheese and butter pastry with apricot filling, and lots and lots of powdered sugar. Just a few ingredients, but so big on taste.

Linda is no stranger to the kitchen; I always admired her culinary skills. But of all the things I remember coming out of Linda’s kitchen, these made a strong impression. She made these unspeakably delicious treats each year around Christmastime and always delivered a plateful to our house.  I would selfishly inhale most of them, then ask for more.  I vowed as a teen to learn how to make these, and all but demanded Linda share the recipe.  I’m glad I did, because there have been more than two hours of asphalt between Linda and me for the past 20 years, which means she would have had to undertake Herculean efforts to deliver my annual plate of Kolachi.

Interestingly, I Googled “kolachi” and what turned up didn’t come close to resembling the version I make.  Searching for “Apricot Kolaches” turns up a yeast bread with an apricot filling -not even close. I persisted with variations of the search term, and finally found a similar recipe here, called Apricot Kolacky (spelling variation) that’s close, but not quite… what I remember.

So, here’s what I grew up calling KOLACHI.

INGREDIENTS

1 stick (1/4 lb) butter, softened
1 cup flour
1 8-oz brick of cream cheese, softened
2 cups (approx.) confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
1 can of Solo brand Apricot filling

EQUIPMENT

Pastry cloth
Cookie sheets (optional: parchment paper)
A shaker for the powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, with hand mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese. Add flour and mix until combined. Form into small balls about the size of a small walnut and refrigerate these for at least a few hours or overnight.  (Recipe makes 24-30.)  Remove them from the ‘fridge and let them sit at room temperature for almost one hour before working.

Dump confectioners’ sugar on the center of a pastry cloth. Roll each ball in the sugar…

…then flatten into a circle, using your hands (keep ’em covered in sugar) or even better, the flat bottom of a glass that’s about the diameter of an average wine glass. But don’t use a wine glass; they’re not flat enough. I use this one:

Place discs on either an ungreased cookie sheet, or one lined with parchment (optional).

Onto the center of each disc, place about 1/2 teaspoon of apricot filling.

Learn from my mistakes: you absolutely must use the Solo brand filling. Don’t try apricot jam or jelly; it melts. Experiment with Solo’s different flavors if you must, but do – DO! – use their brand. Not every store carries it; but look for it. Trust me – it matters.

Bring the sides of the disc up to the center and pinch them. (Again, keeping your fingers covered in powdered sugar.) They’ll separate when baked.

Place in preheated, 275 (yes, that’s two-hundred seventy-five) degree oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until the pastry begins to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and shake some powdered sugar on them while they’re hot.  After ten minutes, transfer them to a cooling rack, then when they’re all the way cool, shake even MORE powdered sugar onto these. To store, cover loosely, lest they get soggy.

They’re a little bit tedious to make, but oh so worth the effort.

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23 thoughts on “Apricot Kolachi (Kolache)

  1. I grew up watching my mom make kolachy at Christmas time. It was so time consuming. Our family recipe is very different from yours. We used 1# of lard and cut it into 6 cups of sifted flour then sprinkled 1 pkg of dry yeast and let that sit while we mixed 8 oz of sour cream with 4 egg yolks and 1 whole egg. Then added it to the flour lard mixture. Using the KichenAid mixer with paddle attachment works best. I transferred the dough to 4 oz Rubbermaid containers that i had greased lightly. Need to keep dough refrigerated. I roll out one container at a time on a slab of chilled granite using powdered sugar. Dough must be rolled paper-thin then cut into odd shapes around the edges but squares in the middle. Using only Solo Apricot filling, place 1/2 tsp of filling in the center of each and bring two corners to meet in the middle so it looks like a baby in a bunting almost. place on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet immediately. ENJOY! Each 4 oz yields approx 18-24 kolachy. The dough keeps for only 3 weeks so make sure to get them baked quickly! My oldest brother and I are pretty much the only ones out of 10 siblings who still make kolachy for Christmas. and I agree 100% that you must use ONLY SOLO brand. Walmart carries it as does Pick N Save in Wisconsin where I live. We have tried raspberry, strawberry and blueberry but apricot is best. My mom used to make prune as it was the only way she and dad would get some! Thank you for sharing your recipe. My mother’s mother’s mother and, I believe father, are from Trencin . Hoping to hear from someone. doubtful as this the above post is from 2010!

  2. Thank you so much! Lost my original Solo recipe from the 1960’s It was a
    family favorite and now I wanted to share it with someone special!
    JPKS

  3. My family would make these delights also – During the Great Depression, cream cheese was very hard to come by so my great great Aunt, substituted cottage cheese for the cream cheese, added more flour due to the change of consistency and they were spectacular – our family has been making them with cottage cheese every since, we filled them with Solo’s Apricot filling and my personal favorite is the Lekva or Prune filling.

    • Cammie – good to know your alternate recipe! Solo filling isn’t carried in every grocery store where I live… I have been tempted to try the other flavors, too, when I see them.

      • You can make your own. 2 lbs of dried apricots or prunes, roughly chopped. Place in heavy saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer til soft. Add 1 1/2 c sugar, about. Tablespoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Simmer til thickened, then cool. Process in food processor or with stick blender till smooth. WAY BETTER than Solo.

  4. This must be the ethnic cookie that was the basis for apricot triangles my grandmother used to purchase at a small bakery in New Rochelle NY called Chester Heights.I have fond memories of them as a child. When I grew up and began baking Christmas cookies , I tried to recreate those cookies. Through a number of years of trial and error I managed to stumble upon the right cream cheese pastry recipe AND discovered that one should only use Solo apricot filling. I roll the pastry very thin, approx 3/16th of an inch, cut the pastry into 2-1/2 inch squares and fold them into mini turnover shapes and seal the edges with cream. If the pastry gets too tacky , I put it in the freezer to stiffen up. Rolled this thin, the turnover puffs up and creates beautiful flaky layers. I had never thought to roll the pastry in confectioners sugar, I just sprinkle copious amounts over the finished cookie. Thanks for solving a lifelong mystery for me. Barbara

  5. I can’t wait to make these today! My grandma used to make these and they would literally melt in your mouth. But when she passed, the recipe passed with her. Nobody enjoys baking like I do! Thanks for sharing – it’s so important that we try to continue these wonderful traditions, and your helping to do just that.

    Have a wonderful, blessed Christmas holiday and New Year.
    kindest regards,
    Diane

  6. I am so glad to have found this recipe! Many relatives in my family made these every year. The only thing different we do is to roll out the dough about 1/4″ thick and then cut them in squares. You place the filling in the middle and then bring two opposite corners over to the middle. Also, we just sprinkle some sugar on them after they have cooled. Never had a soggy issue. Thanks for the recipe!

    • I’m glad you found it, too, Karol! These I usually make a couple of days before Christmas because they get gobbled up so fast. This year? Maybe on Christmas Eve!

    • Maia – these should be loosely covered, not in an airtight container, because they tend to get a little bit soggy. As for how long they last, they will get eaten so fast that extended storage won’t be an issue.

  7. I was so excited when I found this, THIS is MY mothers recipe, we lost her to illness 2 years ago and her recipes with her. she was never one to write them down, Thank you for giving me back a little bit of my mom, especially this is when she would have made them.
    Lynne

    • Lynne, how wonderful that you’ve found this! I have received lots of comments like yours – where the recipe reminds them of a departed loved one who never did write it down. THAT is what keeps me going. I hope you enjoy making these for Christmas, and thanks for the comment!

  8. Meg, Thank you so much for this recipe. My grandmother made these when I was a little girl and they were my absolute favorite. She passed some years ago and I haven’t been able to have them since. But these seem to be very similar to hers. Can’t wait to bake and try them thank you again.

    • Meghan, I’m so glad you found my site! These are well worth the effort… only a few ingredients but oh, what a combination! I bought a can of Solo filling at the store this past weekend – can’t wait to make these again.

    • Wow, that sounds interesting – though I’ve never heard of using cheddar. I bet you could make a savory version of these – would have to use a different kind of filling. I may have to experiment!

  9. Oh my gosh!! I missed this post during my period of the computer wigging out on me. I didn’t know you had ever made these!! I have to try it — they were an all-time favorite.

  10. meg – we used to use a diamond cookie cutter – cut them real close – after they were rolled out in 10x sugar of course!!! i havent had them in years. look yummy!

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