Fluted Frills Provide Flair, Not Flavor: Kolacky Dambowski

There are quite a few kolacky recipes in the Chicago Tribune's collection of winning recipes from its annual holiday cookie contest. I decided to try one that won the grand prize in 2003: "Kolacky Dambrowski," which is named for submitter Antonette Clark's Polish grandmother, Veronica Dambowski.

I made this dough a day in advance of baking and it only requires three ingredients: softened butter, softened cream cheese, and flour. I thought it was odd that the dough didn't have any sugar, but I checked some of the other kolacky recipes in the cookbook and they don't call for any sugar in the dough either. I chilled the dough for a day before rolling it out and using a fluted pastry wheel to cut it into 2-inch squares. I placed a dab of cream cheese filling (made from softened cream cheese, vanilla, and a tiny bit of sugar) in the middle of each square of dough and pinched two opposite corners together to form the shape.
This recipe made a lot of cookies -- I got 90 -- and I had to made a double batch of filling to be able to fill them all. Even then I had to be pretty stingy. I wish that I had made a triple or quadruple batch of filling because I thought the cookies could have used more.

I also wished that I had made a fruit filling or something that might have added a little more visual interest and flavor. I received a lot of compliments on how pretty these cookies looked, but I thought they were disappointing and lacked flavor. To me, the dough didn't taste like anything and the filling was also underwhelming. I'm not sure if it was more sweetness I was hoping for or perhaps some salt. But I still want to try some more kolacky recipes and give other filings a spin.

Recipe: "Kolacky Dambrowski" by Antonette Clark, from Holiday Cookies: Prize-Winning Family Recipes from the Chicago Tribune for Cookies, Brownies, Bars and More, recipe available here from the Chicago Tribune.


Louise said…
They look wonderful, but I would have to fill them with poppy seed, apricot, or prune filling. But, that's just me.

Have a great holiday. Merry Christmas.
Yes, I was thinking apricot would probably be my next attempt. Merry Christmas to you, too!