Showing posts with label kolacky. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kolacky. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Crime Writers' Cookie Swap and Congrats to Krista Davis!

Release day is a huge one for any author and today  is that day for my fellow crime-writing cook Krista Davis! Congratulations, Krista!!!

THE DIVA COOKS A GOOSE is the 4th mystery in her award-nominated Domestic Diva culinary mystery series and this one has a very special holiday theme. If you haven't seen her book trailer yet, you're in for a treat.

Click the arrow in the window below to view the fun video. (Krista beautifully narrates it herself.)

You can find The Diva Cooks a Goose at all the major bookstores, your favorite Indie store, and online, too. Pick up two! One for your own stocking and one for a friend, who is sure to thank you for the introduction to this wonderful culinary mystery series...

Join me in congratulating Krista
on her Release Day for

Crime Writers'

Cleo Coyle, baker of
non-poisonous cookies
and author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries
Because we have so many new blog followers and so many people getting ready for their own cookie swaps, I'm using today's post to share some favorite cookie recipes previously posted by my fellow crime-writing cooks.

Bake with joy,
and not with poisons!

~ Cleo

P.S. Do you have a favorite holiday cookie recipe (sans poisons)? Send it to Krista Davis! She's having a contest. If she bakes and posts your recipe, you'll win a fun prize (along with bragging rights!). Click here to learn more. Or send your recipe to Krista (at) KristaDavis (dot) com.

Cranberry Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookie

from author
Krista Davis

Click here for
Krista's recipe.

Candy Shortbread

from author
Riley Adams/
Elizabeth Spann Craig

Click here for
Riley's recipe.

Candy Cane Cookies

from author
Avery Aames

Click here for
Avery's recipe.


from author
Julie Hyzy 

Click here for
Julie's recipe.

The Hooligans’ Sugar Cookie Recipe

from author
Jenn McKinlay

Click here for
Jenn's recipe.

Below are a few of my own recipes.
Just click the links below to download them
in a free, PDF format.

Little Chocolate

Click here for
author Cleo Coyle's
free recipe PDF


Click here for
Cleo's free
recipe PDF

Eggnog Cookies
(2 ways)

Click here for
Cleo's free recipe PDF.

Bake with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Holiday Grind
Now a
Publishers Weekly

To get more of my
recipes, sign up to win free coffee, or find out
about the books in my Coffeehouse Mystery series, visit my virtual coffeehouse at...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Cookies - Julie's Kolacky

Before I start talking about Christmas cookies (and btw, I love this week's theme!) I want to shout out to Helen Kiker...

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!

My mom did not like to bake cookies. She made delicious home made meals all the time, and had no problem coming up with desserts such as cheesecake, pound cake, and brownies, but no cookies. When I asked her why she told me that she always had bad luck with them. Mind you, my mom came from French-Luxembourg-Belgian roots and her father had been a chef. She could make all sorts of wonderful treats, but no 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!

Kolacky (ko-LAHCH-kee)

4 cups flour
3 Tbsp sugar
4 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
Filling of choice

Bake at 425 for 8 -10 minutes

The original recipe didn't call for vanilla flavoring, and only required 1 Tbsp of sugar. I changed those, and I like the change. I've never substituted margarine but then again, I'm not a fan of the stuff, so I probably never will.

You can halve this recipe, if you like. I used to double the recipe for Christmas, but that's too much for my Kitchenaid mixer to handle at once, even with a dough hook.

The original recipe provided step by step "add this" "cream that" etc. I just put all the ingredients together in the mixer's bowl and hit "on." Turns out just fine.

You do want to chill the dough for several hours and preferably overnight, before rolling it out. That makes the rolling so much easier.

I roll these out pretty thinly, less than a 1/4 of an inch, for sure. And then I cut them into small squares. I don't stress if they're off size or off shape.

I've tried to show, in the photo at the right just how thin I get them. In our family, we like 'em like that. They crisp up a bit better that way.

Solo is my favorite brand of filling. Always great, always dependable. I'm pretty sure my Busia (grandmother on my dad's side) used Solo, too. There are plenty of popular kolacky flavors including prune, poppy seed, cream cheese, and lemon. In our house we stick to apricot, raspberry and strawberry.

I've used only apricot filling in the pictures because I only made one tray for this posting. I'm freezing the dough until we get closer to Christmas. The problem with these is that they disappear very quickly and if I would have made my husband's favorites - raspberry and strawberry - these would be gone in a flash. Apricot is my kids' favorite flavor (and mine too). I have to tell you, every time I pass the tray at home, I have a tough time sticking to my low-carb vow. Bad time of year to go low-carb, lemme tell ya!

Here I've added the filling to my little squares using the two-spoon method I'm sure you're all familiar with. You'll note I didn't skimp. I probably go through 3/4 of a can per sheet of kolacky. Again, my family prefers a heavy fruit to dough ratio.

At this point is when I feel they make the transition from dough and fruit to kolackies.

I pull up opposite sides of each cookie to form a little blanket. To me, this is the true kolacky shape, although you'll see varieties - squares with double-blanket sides and plain round ones. I like these. Plenty of space for the fruit to ooze.

Don't grease the pan, the cookies are buttery enough. Bake them at 425 for about 8 - 10 minutes. Sometimes I turn the pan around in the oven after 5. Watch them, and when the edges start to brown just a little bit, they're done.

Let them cool (I prefer them at room temperature over straight from the oven) and then dust them with powdered sugar. Don't store them in sealed containers, but leave them out to crisp up in the air. Yum.

But don't turn your back. The moment you do, sneaky fingers will come in and snatch them up.



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