Tuesday, December 29, 2009

When people complain for five years, sometimes I listen

As you may know, I make a lot of different kinds of cookies. I pride myself on my cookie-making ability and I have received many compliments over the years. But I have this guy who lives in my house - he's kind of a picky husband type - and no matter what kind of cookie I make, we have this following exchange:

Zack: These cookies are great, honey!
Me: Thanks.
Zack: But you know what would be really great? If you could make kolacky (a type of czech cookies) like my mom does.

(In the interest of full disclosure, Zack would like me to point out that I may be exaggerating. But not that much). So this Christmas, I decided to bite the bullet and ask his mom if she would teach me how to make kolacky. She very happily agreed (she's super nice) and here are the results of the teaching.

First, she pulled out this card.

This doesn't look that informative. But onward we go. First you take a pound of butter. Yes, a pound. That's four sticks. If my dad is reading this, you may want to avert your eyes. I know how you feel about butter.

Then you add an 8oz package of cream cheese and cream it together until it's all mixed up smoothly. Zack's mom is really really good at this part. She doesn't use a mixer or anything! She uses a wooden spoon and that's it.

I might use a mixer next time. Don't tell.

Then you slowly mix in the salt, sugar and flour, still using just your wooden spoon. You want to do this in batches so that it all gets incorporated in equally and so that flour doesn't fly everywhere and it you in the face. Divide your dough into four equal balls.

Then roll each ball into a log.

Wrap it in wax paper and freeze it overnight.

When you take our your dough the next day, thaw it for a little bit, then you're going to slice it into disks like this.

Then you pinch each disk to make sure it's malleable and roll each disk into a ball. Put them on a cookie sheet and smush your thumb in each one so there's a little well for you to put filling it.

Filling! Zack's mom buys the Solo brand pie filling. It comes in a can. I would usually never even consider using canned pie filling (because I am such a food snob), but Zack's mom uses it and it tastes good, so phooey on me (she also used those premade cans of french fried onions on top of a casserole. I hated myself for liking it so much).

But I digress.

So, spoon a little bit of filling (we got cherry and raspberry) into each thumb shaped well in your cookie.

Then you bake them at 350 degrees for awhile. Zack's mom said to bake them until the bottom of the cookie is golden brown. This is hard to check. I'm guessing it's in the 10-18 minute range.

Once the cookies are out of the oven, roll them in powdered sugar! They're all done.

These taste AMAZING fresh out of the oven. I've only ever had them about three days old and cold before and I was never a huge fan. But Zack likes them cold. He's crazy.

Anyways, they are good but hard to pronounce. I just call them "czech cookies." That way nobody laughs at me.

I can pronounce it when someone else says it first and then imitate them, but I can't sound it out. This is especially funny when you consider that I teach kids how to sound things out for a living. Maybe I should bake cookies for a living instead.

Thanks, Margie for passing on the recipe! Yum yum.