Happy Monday! I hope you all had a very wonderful Thanksgiving, if you celebrate… and if you don’t, I hope you had a fantastic weekend. We discovered on Thanksgiving day that our refrigerator wasn’t keeping things as cold as it should. Actually, I had suspected that was the case for a few weeks, when I kept having to turn the temperature down, but since I’d packed it full of food for the holiday it became very apparent that only the bottom of the fridge was maintaining a constant temperature. I mentioned the problem to my husband as I was putting the turkey in the oven and by the time I set dessert on the table he had tracked down all the best deals on refrigerators, ordered a new one and scheduled it to be delivered on Sunday afternoon. He has always been the more efficient shopper between the two of us! So the next few days we spent using as many leftovers as possible in order to clear the fridge. At least the bottom two shelves.
I always have shortcrust pastry leftover around the holidays. After Thanksgiving, especially, I usually have two or three little balls of dough, wrapped up in plastic sitting in the fridge. This is my very favourite way to use it. I remember making these cookies often with my grandmother; they’re one of the first things I asked her to teach me to bake. I’ve heard them called jam cookies, pastry roll-ups or pie dough cookies, but she always called them Kołaczki – and they were a big deal around Thanksgiving. We used to make huge batches of pastry dough during the holidays, just to make these cookies. Then we’d clear the fridge of all the half empty jars of jam and jelly, and line them up in a sort of Kołaczki assembly line.
These days I make them every time a have a little leftover pie dough. They are so easy and it doesn’t matter how much or how little dough you have – the recipe is the same. And while we’re talking about cleaning out the fridge, these cookies are not only a great way to use up pastry dough, but also to get rid of all the jars of jam or confiture that have gotten lost behind the milk – at least that’s where they accumulate in my fridge. I made this batch with apricot jam, but you can fill them with any flavour you like.
Kołaczki Cookies with leftover pie dough
leftover pie dough
flour, for dusting
jam of your choice
1 egg yolk
Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment. Beat the egg yolk with a teaspoon of water and set aside.
On a floured surface roll out the dough slightly thinner than you would for a pie crust. Cut the dough into squares measuring 3-inches by 3-inches (about 8×8 cm). Place approximately 1 teaspoon of jam into the centre of each square.
Fold the opposite corners of each square in, meeting in the middle of the cookie. Secure with a bit of the beaten egg yolk. Place the cookies on the baking sheet. Brush the cookies with a tiny amount of egg yolk and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until golden. Cool and dust with powdered sugar just before serving.