Polish Cream Cheese Cookies

Filled with tart raspberry and sweet apricot jelly, tender Polish Cream Cheese Cookies (aka Kolaczki) taste like little bites of pure joy. Rolls of buttery, slightly tangy dough wrap around bright apricot and raspberry preserves for the ideal balance of texture and flavor.

Polish Cream Cheese Cookies filled with jelly on a white plate.

Classic Kolaczki Cream Cheese Cookies

These adorable bite-size Polish cookies make the perfect holiday treat. Since they use jellies instead of fresh fruit, they taste just as good any time of year. Plus, they’re so small that you can enjoy more than one without feeling guilty!

The dough for these cookies is so tender, with a delightful tang from the cream cheese in the batter. There is a slight sweetness to it that softens the brightness of the jam without being overpowering. The flavors and textures of the cookies and jam come together in perfect balance.

What Are Kolaczki?

Also known as kolaczki, these cream cheese cookies are a classic Polish recipe. They have a soft and flaky outer shell made with butter and cream cheese, giving them a tangy flavor and buttery texture. Traditionally, they’re served on holidays or for other special occasions.

Golden-brown Polish Cream Cheese Cookies filled with bright red and yellow jelly.

The Ingredients

Made with two kinds of fruit preserves, the filling for these cookies requires pretty much no prep! You can find the exact amounts you’ll need for everything on the printable recipe card below.

  • Cream Cheese: Let this come to room temperature.
  • Butter: This should also be room temperature when you use it.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Raspberry Jelly: Use the kind without seeds.
  • Apricot Jelly
  • Egg: Beaten in a separate bowl along with 1 teaspoon of water.
  • Sanding Sugar: For topping.
Polish cream cheese cookies on a baking sheet before going in the oven.

How To Make Polish Cream Cheese Cookies

First, we’ll start with the recipe for the dough, then move on to assembling the cookies. Since the batter spends most of its time in the fridge and the oven, active prep for this recipe only comes out to around 15 minutes.

  1. Cream the Dairy: Add the cream cheese, butter and sugar to a large bowl and beat them together with a hand or stand mixer until the mixture turns light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the Dry Ingredients: Turn the mixer on low and beat the flour and salt until the mixture until they’re just combined. Divide the dough in half and flatten it into 2 rounds, then cover them with plastic wrap and chill them for at least an hour, or up to 2 days.
  3. Prep for Baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
  4. Cut the Dough: Roll the dough out onto a floured board until it’s approximately 1/8 inch thick. Trim the edges to turn the circle into a square. Cut the large square into smaller 2 1/2 inch squares with a knife. You can gather the scrapes and roll them out again to make more cookies.
  5. Fill and Roll: Place the cookie dough squares on the board in a diamond shape with the points at the top and bottom. Fill them with 1 teaspoon of jelly and fold the edges over the middle, using an egg wash to seal the corners together. Add coarse sanding sugar to the top of each cookie and place them on a baking sheet. Repeat this step with the remaining dough, which should leave you with about 36 cookies.
  6. Bake, Cool and Serve: Bake the cookies in batches of 12 for 20 minutes each. Remove them from the oven and let them sit on the baking sheet for around 5 minutes. Once they’ve cooled a bit, use a spatula to carefully transfer the cookies to a wire baking rack to cool, then serve them warm or at room temperature.
A close-up of a pile of Polish cookies filled with raspberry and apricot preserves.

Tips for the Best Kolaczki

These cookies are super easy to make, with a quick dough and premade filling. Follow these tips so they come out just right every time.

  • Use Room-Temperature Dairy Products: Make sure the butter and cream cheese you’re using come to room temperature before you cream them. Otherwise, this process takes a lot longer, and the other ingredients don’t mix in as well.
  • Don’t Skimp With the Rolling Pin: Dough that is too thick causes two issues. First, it might cook all the way through, leaving you with half-raw cookies. Second, the corners of the cookie are much more likely to come apart in the oven if the dough is too thick. Make sure you don’t roll them much thicker than 1/8 inch.
  • Roll the Dough Out Cold: You want the dough to be cold still as you roll it out. Otherwise, it’s much more likely to stick to the rolling pin and the counter.
  • Pinch the Corners Together: The egg wash helps to keep the corners sealed properly, but you might also want to apply some light pressure with your fingers. You don’t want your cookies opening up in the oven, so make sure the corners are sealed tightly.
Jelly-filled Christmas cookies stacked on a platter.

Variation Ideas

These cookies might be traditional, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for creativity! Here are some ideas to help you shake things up.

  • Replace the Filling: The best way to switch things up with these cookies is to try out a different filling. This recipe calls for raspberry and apricot jelly, but you can use any preserves you want. Just make sure not to use fresh fruit, which will spill right out of the cookies.
  • Cut Down On the Sugar: If you’re looking to cut back on sugar, using sugar-free jelly is a great way to do it. Of course, there will still be sugar in the cookies themselves, so they won’t be completely sugar-free. Still, this is a good option for lowering the amount of sugar in the recipe overall.
  • Take Out the Filling: You can also choose to take out the filling altogether and just make plain square cookies. The dough comes out flaky, buttery and subtly sweet, making these cookies great by themselves if you want a lighter dessert.

Storage Instructions

They’re really best fresh, but you can make these Polish cream cheese cookies a day or two in advance and they’ll still come out great. They’ll stay good at room temperature for up to 3 days. Make sure to store them in an airtight container with parchment or wax paper separating the layers so the cookies don’t stick together.

Can I Freeze These?

One thing that makes this recipe so good for the holidays is how easy it is to prepare ahead of time. Freezing the assembled cookies will leave you with much less work once the holidays roll around. Lay the raw unbaked cookies out on a baking sheet in the freezer until they’re solid, then move them into an airtight container or a ziplock bag, where they can stay for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to serve your frozen cookies, just pop them in the oven and bake them as you normally would. You may need to add a minute or two to the timer, so check for doneness and keep the cookies in the oven a bit longer if you need to.

More Crowd-Pleasing Cookie Recipes

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Polish Cream Cheese Cookies filled with jelly on a white plate.

Polish Cream Cheese Cookies (Kolaczki)

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 36 1x

Filled with tart raspberry and sweet apricot jelly, tender Polish Cream Cheese Cookies taste like little bites of pure joy. Rolls of buttery, slightly tangy dough wrap around bright apricot and raspberry preserves for the ideal balance of texture and flavor.

Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jelly
  • 1/2 cup apricot jelly
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • Coarse sanding sugar for topping

Instructions

  1. Add the cream cheese, butter and sugar to a large bowl and beat with a mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Turn the mixer on low and beat in the flour and salt until just combined. Divide the dough in half and flatten into 2 rounds, then cover with plastic wrap and chill for an hour or up to 2 days.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  4. Roll the dough out onto a floured board until the dough is approximately 1/8″ thick. trim the edges to  make a square and then cut out 2 1/2 inch squares with a knife. You can gather the scrapes and roll out again to make more cookies.
  5. Place the squares on the board in a diamond shape with the points at the top and bottom. Fill with 1 teaspoon of jelly and fold the edges over the middle, using an egg wash to seal. Add coarse (sanding) sugar to the top and place on a baking sheet. Repeat until with the remaining dough, this recipe will make about 36 cookies.
  6. Bake the cookies for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and let sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to carefully transfer the cookies to a baking rack to cool.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Food Network.

  • To Store: Store at room temperature for up to 3 days in an airtight container with parchment or wax paper separating the layers.
  • To Freeze: Lay out raw on a baking sheet in the freezer until solid, then move into an airtight container or a ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Bake straight from the freezer as you normally would, adding time if needed.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: kolaczki, polish desserts, polish cookies

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6 Responses
  1. Jo in MI

    I prefer to dust the cookies with powdered sugar when mostly cooled. They white on the cookie look so wonderful against the color of the filling.

  2. Sharon

    For Christmas 2021 I decided to change up cookie recipes from my traditional mom’s cookies that I always bake.
    These were one of the recipes I chose.
    Mixing this recipe was easy to understand and worked well. The texture was fine and the taste was amazing. But baking them did not do well the first tray. I was so frustrated with the assembly and the egg white just seems to make the dough mushy. In oven they did not fair well and hold together.
    I mixed up 2 batches of these so I had to use the dough. So I rolled out and jellied up a couple rolls. Baked them until they looked done. Sliced them up while still luke warm. Dusted with powder sugar. They were delicious. This is a delicious recipe. But next time I will add a tad more flour.

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