Updated: Dec 16, 2019
This Hungarian Christmas Cookie is made with a cream cheese dough that bakes up buttery and flaky and stuffed with fruit. Fillings of choice include apricot, raspberry, prune, almond, poppy seed, and sweet cheese, strawberry, blueberry, even pineapple. You will love this traditional Christmas cookie recipe and will find yourself making it year after year!
Christmas Cookie Ingredients for the pastry:
2 - cups all-purpose flour
8 - oz cream cheese
1 - cup unsalted butter, softened
½ - cup sugar For the Apricot Filling:
1 lb dried apricots
1 cup sugar
To make the Apricot Filling:
1 - Place dried apricots in a small saucepan and pour in just enough water to cover the apricots. Boil until the apricots are soft. Do not let all the water evaporate. Add a little bit more to keep the filling from burning if necessary.
2 - Add the sugar and continue to cook until thick.
3 - Either puree in a food processor or with an immersion blender in a bowl. If the filling is too runny, return it to the sauce pot to continue to cook.
4 - Note: You can make the filling ahead of time and freeze it until you are ready to use it. Just thaw at room temperature when you are ready to use.
5 - For the Pastry Dough:
6 - Sift flour and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
7 - Beat the cream cheese and butter together with a stand mixer or a hand mixer until completely incorporated and creamy (3-5 minutes).
8 - Reduce the speed of the mixer and slowly add in the flour. I used 5 additions and completely mixed in the flour each time. The dough will be soft but not sticky.
9 - Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and flatten each to ¾” thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until hard, at least 2 hours.
10 - Assembling the Kolaches:
11 - Preheat the oven to 375°. Move the oven rack one setting higher than the center.
12 - Take one of the disks of dough from the refrigerator and lightly flour both sides. Spread granulated sugar on your pastry board or work surface. Place the dough on top and roll out pastry to 1/16” to 1/8” thick.
13 - With a pastry wheel or sharp knife, trim the dough into a square and then cut the square into 16 smaller squares. My dough never rolled out into a perfect circle so I would just cut as many 1 1/2 “ squares as possible, saving the scraps for later.