Congrats, Helen! You won a copy of The Gift of Murder anthology from Barb Goffman, our guest blogger on November 29th.
Barb will be sending you your book! Enjoy!
And now... Christmas Cookies!
When I first joined my husband’s family—even before we were married—I was expected to join in the cookie swap. Heck if I knew what to do! My mom stepped in at that point…even though she didn’t make cookies herself, she had loads of recipes she’d collected and based on those she'd enjoyed, she suggested a couple.
I gamely jumped in and made some bizarre Spritz cookies that first time. I didn’t realize that dough was meant to be cookie-gunned (I didn’t even know what a cookie gun was at that point!). So I went a little artsy and formed the dough into Christmas shapes by hand. Not exactly my finest moment.
As time progressed, I tried some other recipes. Every year now I make Spritz (with a gun!), frosted gingerbread, Italian cookies (an Italian friend shared the recipe and I love these with coffee), and Kolacky - the traditional Polish cookie - which I will share with you below. My mom had about four Kolacky recipes in her stash and I’ve tried every one.
The one that follows is one that I’ve doctored a bit over the years. I added a little, simplified it a little. I like this particular recipe the best of all the ones I have on file. As long as it’s well chilled, the dough holds together well for rolling out. The other recipes I have fight me as I roll, and I’ve noted each of them with my personal commentary: “Dry and crumbly. Avoid.” and “Make this recipe only if you’re nuts in the head.” I had to do that because I realized I accidentally made the wrong recipe two years in a row. Ugh.
This one is super simple. The rolling/cutting/filling takes a little while, but is totally worth it. And, if I do say so myself, this recipe makes some awesome kolacky. Home made is always best. The kind you buy in the store are generally thick and doughy with minimal filling. Mine are thin and small, with lots of filling. Mmm… just the way we like them!