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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kolachke pastries (apricot & prune)

The prune version.

Flaky apricot and prune kolachke pastries are a
Christmas tradition in the kitchen wench's family.
(after they cool you can dust them with powdered sugar)

If you make your own apricot puree,
it will come out looking something like this.

First of all, a shout out to my friend who spent last night in the hospital. And just a short time ago he was telling me (and I agreed) that he prefers the way English people say being in the hospital (being in hospital - without the article). I'm trying to introduce some levity here, because I know he is hurting and feeling low. So, I'm sending you a big hug (you know who you are) and promises to visit you tomorrow with cookies and other yummy holiday eats.

Life sometimes just isn't fair. And that doesn't quite cover it here.

Continuing with today's post...

As long as I can remember my aunt has made kolachke pastries at Christmas. She usually buys the Solo brand prune and apricot filling in the can. This year, we had trouble finding it, and she was short on time, so she asked me to make them and kindly procured prunes and apricots so we could have homemade puree for our pastries.


I let the fruit soak in cold water for about 5 hours and then drained it. Then I put it in the food processor and pulsed it until it became a puree. I tasted both the prune and apricot versions and they are delicious, much thicker and tastier than the canned filling.

The recipe for the dough is very simple. You need:

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 8 oz package cream cheese (softened)
1 cup butter (softened)
1 tbsp milk and white vinegar (each)

Combine your cream cheese, butter, milk and vinegar in a bowl using a pastry blender. Then add your flour and salt and form into two or three balls. Then you refrigerate them a couple of hours, or you can cheat a bit, which is what I do, and put them in the freezer. Then you roll the dough out in between waxed paper with a bit of flour dusted on top to prevent sticking. Cut the dough into squares (1 1/2 " is good). You put the filling in the middle of each square and bring two opposite sides together to form a parcel. These bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

My aunt's advice (to me) was, "Make sure you get them brown enough..."

Enough said. I must defer to my more experienced relative in terms of kitchen activities.

Happy Christmas baking!

My first batch of apricot came out a bit haphazard looking but I can assure you, they are delicious, and quite addictive.

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