Growing up, my aunt was the primary cookie-maker in our family. Every Christmas Eve we would all look forward to the giant plate of cookies she would bring (actually, it was usually a sweater box from Marshal Fields that she had lined with waxed paper and filled with cookies). Her cookies were famous. There were an assortment but what I really looked forward to were what we always called kolaches, or more phonetically: kolachkies. They were an unsweetened pastry dough with assorted fruit fillings, somewhere between a cookie and a pastry. Man, I loved those cookies.
This recipe from Fine Cooking is close to that original recipe. Oddly enough, it comes from another Chicago native who also called these kolaches— maybe it is a Chicago thing. The dough has a very pleasant sourness which pairs nicely with the sweet fruit filling and the dusting of confectioner’s sugar. The flavor is a real blast from my past and a nice addition to my very own box of cookies.
Tomorrow I am back with another cookie and another special guest!
Apricot Bow Ties (or Kolaches) (Recipe by Debbie Reid via Fine Cooking)
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 11 1/4 oz (2 1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted; plus more for rolling
- 1 12-oz. jar good-quality apricot preserves (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and paddle. With the mixer on low, gradually mix in the flour until a smooth dough forms.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and the dough gently to form a ball. Divide the dough in thirds, wrap each in plastic wrap, and flatten into squares. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Heat the oevn to 400 degrees F. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 1/8-inch thick rectangle. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, trim the rough edges of the dough so the sides are straight, and then cut into 2-inch squares. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the preserves onto the center of each square. Fold one corner into the center, dab with the beaten egg, and then bring the opposite
corner into the center and pinch firmly together to seal the corners. With a thin spatula, transfer the cookie to the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
Bake one sheet at a time until golden and very lightly browned and puffed, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely and then dust with confectioner’s sugar.
Previously on the 12 Days of Cookies: