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How to Make Authentic Polish Kolaczki

To say that I’m a Polish-American to the core, would be an understatement. Growing up as a first-generation American, my parents and grandparents instilled in me a great love of family, an immense pride in our Polish heritage and a passion for it’s deeply-rooted food (or at least to indulge in it!).

My great-grandmother and grandmother were always in the kitchen making meals from scratch, filling the house with delectable smells of soups, stews and baked goods. One of my favorite childhood memories was selecting my favorite cookies off an assorted cookie platter. Grandma always had food on-hand for that unexpected guest and you never dare leave without having at least a bite to eat.

So I say it’s fitting to share with you one of my favorite Polish cookie recipes, just like my Grandma use to make. Simple in taste and in effort, the Kolaczki is especially good along a side of black tea or coffee. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, Na Zdrowie!

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Recipe Ingredients

8 ounces (1 block) of cream cheese (at room temperature)

12 ounces (3 sticks) of butter (room temperature)

3 cups flour (all-purpose)

28 ounces apricot filling (or prune, raspberry, etc.)

A dusting of confectioners’ sugar for garnish

How to make Kolaczki

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with butter until light and fluffy. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, and mix well. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Heat oven to 350 F. Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick on a silicone mat or a surface that has been dusted with equal parts confectioners’ and granulated sugars (not flour), because the granulated sugar will act as ball bearings and help keep the dough from sticking.
  3. Cut into 2-inch squares. Place 1/2 to 1 teaspoon fruit or cheese filling on center of each square. Overlap opposite corners of dough to the center over filling, pressing dough together lightly. Alternatively, brush a tiny bit of beaten egg white on one point and press the opposite point on it.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes (longer if baking frozen) or when corners start to brown. Cool completely and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Note: Kolaczki tend to get soggy after several days if not stored properly. Store them in an air-tight container without the confectioners’ sugar. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Tips on freezing

  • If you find yourself with leftover fillings, they can be frozen in a zip-top bag or​ another container with little loss in flavor or consistency. Just defrost them when you’re ready to use them. Pour off any accumulated moisture on the surface.
  • As for the kołaczki themselves, fill them and freeze on a parchment-lined sheet pan. When completely frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe container separated by sheets of parchment paper. Bake them from frozen. Don’t freeze baked kołaczki. When defrosted, they will be soggy and unpalatable.
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Vanilla 1/2 Pound Cake

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There is nothing better than a “made-from-scratch” Sunday dessert. Pound cake is not only an easy recipe, but with slight ingredient varations, can be extremely versitle! Pound cake refers to how the cake was traditionally made. The recipe usually called for a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. Honestly, that’s a lot of cake —so I split the recipe in half. Here is my version on a vanilla 1/2 pound cake. Just as yummy on a much smaller scale. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

Baking Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add flour, beating just until combined (do not overmix).

Bake about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  (tent loaf with aluminum foil if it’s browning too quickly). Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack, and turn upright to cool completely.

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Expert Serving Tip: Finish with freshly cut fruit ( I love strawberries) and a vanilla bean soy whipped topping.

Have a sweet tooth?

I’m a dessert lover myself. Here are a couple other dessert recipes from my blog I recommend:

Double Fudge Brownies

Yummy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Yummy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

It’s been a while since I’ve shared one of my favorite recipes. This banana cake with cream cheese frosting recipes is one of my all-time favorites, but I must warn you, it’s definitely not light on the calories! Although, when you are enjoying such a decadent dessert, do calories really count? 🙂 Enjoy!

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Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

1 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium)

Frosting (see below)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

½ cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 ¾ cups powdered sugar (sift if desired)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 15-by-10-inch sheet pan/cake pan.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar, then add eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Hand stir in mashed bananas.

Spread into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool.

Prepare cream cheese frosting.

Spread on top of cake and store in refrigerator. Cake can be frozen.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually beat in enough powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

There is nothing more comforting than a fresh batch of oatmeal raisin cookies in the cookie jar. This simple recipe, brings back all the feelings of childhood.  The flavor, the texture and the faint scent of cinnamon.

Ingredients

1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons water

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats

1 cup raisins

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How to make


STEP 1
Heat oven to 350°F.

STEP 2
Combine brown sugar and butter in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Incorporate eggs, water and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. Add all remaining ingredients except oats and raisins; blend with hand mixer at low speed until completely mixed. Fold in oats and raisins.
STEP 3
Form tablespoon-sized rounded balls and place 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely and store in air tight container.

 

Have a sweet tooth?

I’m a dessert lover myself. Here are a couple other dessert recipes from my blog I recommend:

Double Fudge Brownies

Yummy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Recipe: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

With Halloween fast approaching, I thought it would be fun to rerun one of my first blog posts. My recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. It’s one of my family’s favorite recipes and a tradtion that we partake in every year. Enjoy! ~M

Original Run Date: October 30, 2016

It is Halloween weekend! Where did October go? One of our favorite family Halloween traditions is roasting pumpkin seeds. It’s the perfect treat after spending hours gutting, carving and crafting the perfect jack o lantern face.

Here is a quick recipe to roast the perfect pumpkin seeds. My family likes them plainly salted but the seasoning choices are endless! Enjoy and have a safe and spooky Halloween! 🎃👻👹

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Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Rinse pumpkin seeds off in a colander

It’s okay to leave some strings and pulp on the seeds (it adds flavor) clean off any chunks.
Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the 2 Tbs of melted butter, vegetable oil or olive oil.

Pour and spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet.

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Sprinkle on the seasonings of your choice. Try: Salt, Garlic Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper (for a little heat), Cajun Seasoning, or Seasoning Salt. (We prefer regular salt and oilve oil)
Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

Store leftover seeds in an air tight container.

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