INGREDIENTS & EQUIPMENT
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 2-inch square cookie cutter
- rolling pin
- offset spatula
- 1 or more small jars of store-bought or homemade jam
- powdered (confectioners) sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten, for washing pastry
- Coarse sugar or streusel for sprinkling (optional)
- 2-inch square cookie cutter (or rolling pastry cutter)
- small bowl of water for sealing pastry
- rolling pin
- parchment or pie dough rolling mat
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with SideSwipe, mix the butter on medium for 10-20 seconds. Add the cream cheese and beat on medium speed until combined, 15-30 seconds.
- Add sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes with SideSwipe, 3 minutes with a standard paddle.
- Add vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, flexible measuring cup or onto a parchment, whisk together the flour and salts.
- Add the flour mixture all at once to the wet ingredients in the mixer and mix on lowest speed until the dough just comes together and still looks shaggy ( about 30 seconds). You don't want to overmix as this will make the pastry tough.
- Remove dough from the mixer and fold together to complete the mixing and to form a dough ball.
- Divide the dough in half and place the two portions on two large sheets of plastic wrap. (each will weigh approximately 14 ounces). Pat the dough into rectangles and wrap tightly. Refrigerate until fully chilled, about 2 hours or up to 1 week.
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Line several sheet pans with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray or silicone liners.
- Remove refrigerated dough and place on a sheet of parchment about the size of a baking sheet (13 x 18 inches) that has been dusted lightly with powdered sugar or flour. Roll each potion of dough out about 1/8 inch thick, approximately filling the sheet of parchment. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar/flour and cover with another sheet of parchment. Flip over and remove the bottom parchment sheet. The dough should be less than 1/4 of an inch, around 1/8 inch thick, but still thick enough to work with without tearing.
- Using your 2-inch cutter, cut squares out of the dough. Alternatively, you can cut the dough into 2-inch squares using a rolling cutter. Remove the scraps and chill for at least 20 minutes before rolling and recutting.
- Using an offset spatula dusted with flour, separate a square of dough from the rest. Fill diagonally with a teaspoon of filling across the center of the square. You should fill them from point to point, leaving the other two corners bare.
- Wet the corners to be pinched/overlapped where they will connect.
- You have two choices for sealing the kolachke: Fold the empty corners over the top so they overlap and pinch them closed. Or, pinch the two sides together above the filling.
- Place on the prepared pans and repeat with the remaining squares. Leave 1 -2 inches between pastries. The dough expands and puffs, but does not spread a great deal.
- Beat a large egg with a dash of water in a small bowl. Brush the tops and where dough is showing with beaten egg. Sprinkle the tops with sugar or streusel if desired.
- Bake one pan at a time until the pastries are just starting to turn golden on the edges, 11-13 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through for even baking. Allow the kolacky to cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.
FILLINGS & VARIATIONS
CHEESE MIXTURE (enough for full batch of dough)
- 8 ounces of full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 egg, separated into yolk and white
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
NUT MIXTURE(enough for full batch of dough)
Mix together in a medium bowl:
- 2 cups coarsely ground walnuts or pecans
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whip 2 egg whites to stiff peaks, then fold nut and sugar mixture into the egg whites.
You can use this dough and filling for making rugelach, as well. For our favorite flattened swirl style: roll the dough 1/8 thick, then spread with a thin layer of your chosen filling, leaving a border on the long the edges of your dough. Using a rolling cutter or a sharp knife, cut into 1.5" x 6" strips. Roll the edges to form a swirl, then transfer to a prepared baking sheet. Push the rugelach down to flatten a little, then sprinkle with coarse sugar. You can also cut into long triangles and roll up like a crescent roll. Bake about 15 minutes at 350°F.