Traditional Slavic Kolachis

misssk Baking, Dessert, Family, Handmade, Kitchen, Recipes, Scratch cooking, Tradition Leave a Comment

These little filled, fold-over cookies have been in my family for a long time, and they’re much different than the Czech kolaches popular in Texas. This recipe is a combination of my Great Aunt Clara’s and one taken from “The Original Cookbook of Favorite Slavic Recipes,” a vintage cookbook of my grandmother’s. You can use any pre- or homemade filling you like; the three included here are traditional favorites but not always big hits outside the tribe.

Yield: Makes 6 dozen

Cook time: 3 hours

Ingredients:
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups shortening
6 egg yolks, beaten (whites reserved; can use in nut filling or as egg wash)
2 tsp vanilla
2 packages yeast, dissolved in 1/2 cup lukewarm water (108˚-110˚)
6 cups flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
Sugar to roll
2 cans of pre-made filling or 3 cups of homemade filling; or use one of the following:

Nut:

2 lbs finely ground nuts
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
6 egg whites, beaten until stiff peaks form

Poppyseed:

1 lb poppyseeds
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup honey

Prune:

2 1/2 cups prunes
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cups water
Juice from 1 lemon

Warm milk and sour cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Add shortening and slowly melt.

Remove from heat, allow to cool partway and add egg yolks, dissolved yeast and vanilla. Gradually stir in flour and salt.

Form dough into a ball and place into a large greased bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place until about doubled, 1 – 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare filling. Pulse and blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Or, open cans.

Preheat oven to 350˚. Break dough into 6 grapefruit-sized balls. Roll out into rectangles on a floured surface to about 1/8” thick. Cut into 1” squares, trimming uneven edges.

Beat reserved egg whites until frothy and pour sugar into a bowl or shallow dish. Drop about 1 teaspoon of filling onto the middle of each square and fold one point into the center, brushing it and the edges with egg white.

Fold the opposite diagonal point in on top of the other and brush the outside of the cookie with egg white. Drop into the bowl of sugar and flip over to coat each side.

Arrange on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes, until edges are golden brown and filling is bubbly. Gently remove to a cooling rack to cool and store between layers of wax paper.

Originally published for PK4 Media.

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