Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kolachkes - Glazed Polish Pastries

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I was a bit taken aback when I read a claim that kolachkes were a regional pastry found mostly in Texas. Now, I don't have the culinary chops to wage a frontal assault against that claim, but I can tell you that these pastries were made in the German, Czech and Polish kitchens that I knew as a child, and the last time I looked, the south side of Chicago was a long way from west Texas. Hannie, a German neighbor, regularly made these pastries for her family. Her version was like a jewel encrusted sweet roll and she liberally dolloped spoonfuls of her summer fruits preserves in the center of  perfectly formed  pastry rounds that she cut with an inverted glass tumbler.  I loved them all, save for the ones she made with a drab-looking filling she called prune lekvar. Now, I would agree that time, assimilation and the demise of the grandmother's who made them, have caused these pastries to begin a slow fade into memory in areas outside of Texas, but at one time they were popular wherever Eastern European immigrants settled and raised their families. I found the kolachkes I'm featuring tonight on Martha Stewart's website. The recipe, developed by Karen Mederich, won first place in a cookie of the week contest that was hosted by Martha over a decade ago. Her version is more like a crisp Danish than a soft sweet roll. The buns are buttery and delicious and surprisingly easy to make. I have made one small change to the recipe as it was originally published. I felt they needed salt, so I added a 1/2 teaspoon of it to the ingredient list. These are small, 2-1/2 to 3-inch,  pastries that would make a perfect addition to a morning coffee or afternoon tea. I do hope you will try them. They are delicious and well-worth your time. Here's how they are made.

Kolachkes - Glazed Polish Pastries...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Martha Stewart Living

1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 (2 1/4 teaspoons) package active dry yeast
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup fruit preserves
Sugar Glaze
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk

1) Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine sour cream and yeast in a small bowl. Set aside until slightly bubbly, about 10 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in egg and salt until smooth. Set aside.
2) Using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut butter into flour until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in sour-cream mixture until dough comes together.
3) On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 2 1/2-inch rounds. Transfer to ungreased cookie sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let sit for 15 minutes.
4) Make a thumbprint in the center of each cookie. Fill each thumbprint with 1 teaspoon preserves. Bake until edges are golden, 12 to 15 minutes.
5) While cookies bake make glaze: Combine sugar and butter. Add corn syrup, stirring to combine. Drizzle in milk a little at a time until the glaze has a runny consistency.
6) Transfer pans to rack to cool. Let cookies cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove cookies to rack. While cookies are still warm, drizzle with sugar glaze. Yield: 4 dozen.

One Year Ago Today: Bow Tie Pasta with Cabbage Pancetta and Cheese

Two Years Ago Today: Spotted Dog

Three Years Ago Today: Yangzhou Fried Rice

Four Years Ago: Chicken Persillade


JG said...

YUM! They look so good. I'm bookmarking this recipe, Mary!

jeri said...

I've had these in various neighborhood in NYC and they are delicious. But Texas...I don't think so.

Unknown said...

Oh Mary, these pastries are right up my alley! Yes, I will definately try them!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I've never seen or heard of these but they sound just delicious with a cup of coffee! We have loads of Polish shops in London, so I'll have to see if I can buy some to taste before I try to make them myself.

Angie's Recipes said...

I love pastries! These look really tempting!

daniela64 said...

Deliziosi!! Buon pomeriggio Daniela.

Debbie said...

Love these. Even though they use yeast (and I am nervous baking with yeast) these seems simple enough...

Unknown said...

My Polish/German grandmother made Kolachkes.. so I'll agree with you on where they originated :) These look sooooo incredibly good and boy do they take me back!!!

Susan..... said...

But Mary, they can't put anything on the Internet that isn't true..... These look absolutely delectable. My mom always made these Swedish pastries that I would eat all the blueberry ones when she wasn't looking and leave the prune for my sister....
Have a great day!!

Diane said...

I bet these will help the scales to go the wrong way if you eat too many but they do look delicious :-) Have a great day Diane

From the Kitchen said...

There are some Czech and Polish communities in Texas but these treats originated in Eastern Europe says my Polish-born husband. I'm hoping he'll make some for us!!


Kim said...

These looks perfect to serve with tea!

David said...

Mary, I love Kolachkes! We had a Polish neighbor when we were in Chicago who used to make us a batch of these about once a year. They never lasted more than 24 hours! Thanks for the recipe... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Tanna said...

LOL! You know Texans will claim any kind of good food as our own, Mary. LOL! Thank you for this recipe. I've never made them for myself. ;) blessings ~ tanna

June said...

Oh Lord, my mouth is watering. Do you deliver?

Cranberry Morning said...

Don't those look delicious! I have a second cousin who for years owned a bakery in central Wisconsin where there's a large Polish enclave, and they always brought us kolachkes when they came to visit. YUM

Tricia Buice said...

I adore your stories and your recipes. I bet this is deeeelicious!

Joanne said...

I haven't dabbled in polish food much but these look like such lovely treats!

Ola said...

I am so glad, that I found on your blog recipe from times of my childhood - Kołocz because that's the oryginal name is traditional cake served almost after every sunday dinner in Polish homes. Your version looks really delicious!

All the est to you Mary! :)

Sue said...

I will have to try these out on my son-in-law who lived for two years in Poland! They look yummy, and pretty too:)

Anonymous said...

Mary, I am going to have to buy a new printer if I continue to read your emails.

I have just fairly recently started to work with yeast. I purchased a bread machine and I only have the instant type yeast and I buy it in the one pound bricks. I don't want to purchase yeast separately to make your many wonderful sounding recipes so, when you post these recipes would it be too much trouble to give a brief description of the way to make your recipes using instant yeast instead of the regular active dry yeast that you use?

Today I am going to bake your recipe for Apple-Raisin Bars today....I don't have Golden Delicious apples but I won't let that stop me.

Oh, and even when very young I loved prune danish!


teresa said...

i wish i could grab one now and pop it in my mouth, YUM!

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Ha ha ha!!! I wouldn't blame you for taking offense! As a Texan I can't deny they are the pride and glory of MANY a central and even north Texas bakery but that doesn't exactly make them Texan;) But then nobody claims them as 'Texan' in origin - full props go to their Polish/Czech/German roots - there just must have been a great many of them here!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I imagine they had some settlers from "the old country"in the Texas area that brought this recipe over.I am happy that the tradition continues.

Mary Bergfeld said...

June, this is the conversion you are looking for: To convert recipes calling for active dry yeast to instant yeast: Use 0.67 times the weight; or, for 1 teaspoon active dry yeast, use 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast.
Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mary for the information on the yeast. I am assuming that I do not have to do the proofing when using instant yeast?

I have another question, is there a way to be notified by email when a response has been made to a question?

I did make the apple, raisin bars yesterday and they were far too gooey/wet for me.

I have trouble knowing how packed a cup of "packed" brown sugar should be....I frequently seem to get my sweets far too sweet. I used 12 ounce in the bars I made yesterday and that was still very sweet (my conversion chart says one cup of packed brown sugar is 7.75 ounces, far too much brown sugar in my onion). I am going to put the apple bars back in the oven in an attempt to dry them out. They were ok fresh from the oven but today they do not suite me at all


Mary Bergfeld said...

June, I am sorry that you did not like the apple bars. I am, however, a bit confused. Everything that has disappointed you was thoroughly discussed in the post. They are an extremely moist, extremely sweet bar. There are other apple bars on the blog that are less sweet and you would probably be happier with them. Blessings...Mary

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