Traditional European Kolache Cookies. (Gluten/Grain/Egg/Nut Free)
My husbands mother was born in the Czech Republic and the one cookie he always talked about every Christmas were kolache’s. (Pronounced Ga-Loch-Skey)
I have a love of carrying on traditions..so early on in our marriage I learned how to make the cookies and have made them every year since. We have always lived closer to my family than his- so I try to find ways to include his traditions in whatever we do. Certain recipes have become a holiday staple as a result- this being one of them.
This year I decided it was time to come out with a gluten and grain free version- as I realized many of you are missing these cookies.
These cookies are addictive and delicious. Only slightly sweet, they are more reminiscent of little bites of pie- only the dough is slightly more soft than pie crust.
Traditionally these cookies are made in a circle (at least by the Czechs!) but upon doing research I noticed that the recipe is very popular all over Europe. Other countries cut them into squares and fold two edges together. According to wikipedia ..they Originated as a semisweet wedding dessert from Central Europe, they have become popular in parts of the United States. The name originates from the Czech, and originally Old Slavonic word kolo meaning "circle". So the circle shape is the original shape!
There is further confusion..because there are two types of Kolache. Puffy filled ones that look similar to buns..and then kolache cookies (which is what I have made here!). I plan to try making the other version as well. Both the buns and the cookies can be filled with an assortment of fruit preserves, cream cheese and some love a poppyseed filling. We typically use apricot and raspberry preserves.
I have also heard from some of you that your mothers/grandmothers made them with a bit of Cardomom. I haven’t ever had them that way- but by all means add some if that is your way <3. Just keep in mind that it is a strong spice and a little bit goes a long way!
For the very best results PLEASE PLEASE use a baking scale. Coconut flour is very intense in its nature and its so important to use exact amounts for recipes using it to turn out nicely. Too much flour will make the cookies dry and less tender..not enough flour will make them too greasy. Accuracy is SO IMPORTANT. Even the slightest difference will effect your end results.
INGREDIENTS (yields about 2 dozen cookies)
7 Tbsp Otto’s Cassava Flour (68 grams)
7 Tbsp Bobs Red Mill Coconut Flour (46 grams)
1 cup + 2 Tbsp Potato Starch or Sweet Potato Starch. (174 grams)
1/4 Tsp Salt
8 oz cream cheese
1 Cup of salted butter room temp or softened.
Filling of choice..any fruit preserve homemade or store bought.
Granulated or powdered sugar to dust on top. (If using granulated sugar you sprinkle on right before baking. If using powdered sugar you dust on the cookies after they bake and cool.
To the bowl of a Stand mixer (or using a hand mixer) beat together the cream cheese, butter and salt.
In another bowl weigh out the flour blend and whisk together. Slowly add the flour to the cream cheese/butter mixture mixing it in the mixer (or still using a hand mixer). until fully incorporated and a thick dough forms. Divide the dough into 3 balls and wrap it. Chill it in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
When the dough is almost done chilling preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
One ball of dough at a time (keep the others in the fridge until its their turn so they stay nice and cold!) roll out between two layers of parchment about 1/8” thick.
Cut into squares or circles. (The traditional way was to just use a glass cup to cut it into circles!). Place the cut dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle the dough with sugar (or skip this step). Then place 1 tsp or so of filling into the center of each cookie. If making the folded shape- fold two sides together.
Bake 12-14 minutes until lightly golden on the edges. While the first batch is baking- roll out the second batch of dough..and then repeat with the 3rd. Each ball of dough is perfect for one tray of cookies.
Once they cool you can top with a little sifted powdered sugar.