Apricot Kolaches

apricot kolaches 1Apricot kolaches are my new nemesis. This is my second failed attempt, but I’m posting them anyway in the hope that some savvy kolache maker can help me figure out where I’m going wrong.

Kolaches are a traditional Hungarian cookie also found in Polish, Slovak, Croatian, and other Eastern European baking traditions. Each culture pronounces and spells them differently; I believe my Hungarian grandma, Zella, said ko-latch, whether she meant one cookie or a dozen.

I thought my Hungarian blood would automatically equal kolache baking prowess, but I’ve been wrong twice now. My primary problem is that most of them pop open while they’re baking; the photo at left is one of about 12 or so that actually stayed closed. I also suspect that using pastry filling, rather than preserves, would help maintain the structure of the treat, so I’ll give that a shot next time.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • About 1 1/2 cups apricot preserves

Preparation

In a medium bowl, sift together flour and salt; set aside.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently, for about 3-5 minutes until light and creamy.

Add flour mixture in three batches, beating well between each addition, scraping the sides of the bowl well. Dough will be soft, but not sticky.

Divide dough into four equal portions, roll into balls, and flatten into discs. Wrap in plastic and chill dough for at least 2 hours; I chilled mine overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and move the rack up one position from the center. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

Dust your counter top with granulated sugar and dust both sides of each dough disc with flour. Roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness.

Using a 2-inch square cookie cutter, cut dough into squares and place on prepared baking sheets. Spoon a dollop of apricot filling into the middle of each square; I used a generous 1/4 teaspoon from my measuring spoon set.

Fold two opposite corners in and press together to seal; I found that tucking one corner all the way under the opposite side helped prevent them from bursting open while they baked, but only in some cases.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, until tops are light golden brown. Cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

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2 thoughts on “Apricot Kolaches

  1. Amy! I too have had similar struggles. My grandmother rolled in powdered sugar before putting in apricot and folding. The stickiness helped then to stay closed. I also let them rest about 10 minutes assembled before baking in oven. I used Trader Joes low sugar preserves which was thicker than the tube which also made for a better less oozing cookie.

    • Thank you, Amanda! Hmm, rolling in powdered sugar before filling – that’s interesting. Do you mean you roll the dough itself, as you roll it out on the counter top, in powdered sugar, or do you kind of “dip” each cut cookie into powdered sugar, coating both sides, before filling and folding them? Either way, I’m fascinated!

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