Apricot Kolaches

This week leading up to Christmas, I am sharing a few of my favorite posts from the past.  It just wouldn’t be Christmas without baking Grandma’s Apricot Kolaches.  This year, I made them for our annual cookie exchange party.  Do you have classic cookie recipes you must make every year?

Apricot Kolaches & Christmas Cookie Baking

I finally got around to some Christmas cookie baking this weekend, and the highlight for my gang is the Apricot Kolaches.

apricot kolaches

Mine are not quite as perfect and beautiful as Grandma used to make, but they are getting thumbs ups around here.  Apricot Kolaches are a traditional Polish tender cream cheese pastry cookie with a sweet-tart apricot filling.  Grandma was 100% Polish, and her cooking and baking were like none other!

apricot kolaches 3

I remember Grandma painstakingly measuring each 2 inch by 2 inch square so that every singly one looked exactly the same.  I don’t have nearly the patience, but I smile remembering those days in the kitchen with her.  I can also now relate to the aching back and feet she had at the end of the day after rolling, cutting, filling, folding, baking, cooling, packing up…  And I wish I had a young Jodi to rub my feet and massage my legs with Jergen’s cherry almond lotion like I did for Grandma in the evening after an all-day baking session.

apricot kolaches 2

But the joy on Marty’s and Nick’s faces and the “Mmmmm’s” that escape their lips between bites make it all worth it!

(and then I have to hurry up and freeze some or they would be gone quicker than it takes me to clean up the dishes!)

I also made some of my Jodi’s Almost Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies – a perennial favorite around here…

chocolate chip christmas cookies

…as well as some with dried blueberries and white chocolate chips using the same recipe (another of Marty’s faves).

And it wouldn’t be Christmas without some Peanut Butter Blossoms…

peanut butter cup cookies

And gotta have some Pittsburgh Thumbprint cookies too.  I made a batch with chocolate fudge and another with colorful sprinkles and green icing centers.

chocolate pittsburgh thumbprints

Here is the recipe I use for the Apricot Kolaches.

(The Chocolate Chips and Pittsburgh Thumbprints can be found by following the links to previous posts.)

apricot kolache making


2 8-oz blocks of cream cheese, softened
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups apricot preserves or apricot filling (I use Baker’s)
1 Egg, beaten
Confectioner’s (Powdered) Sugar, for dusting

Beat cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed of stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Turn mixer on low, and gradually mix in the flour until a smooth dough forms.

Knead dough on lightly floured work surface, and gently form a ball.  Divide dough into fourths, flatten, and wrap each in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line cookie sheet or baking stone with parchment paper.  Working with one piece of dough at a time (after bringing back to room temperature from refrigeration), roll out to approximately 1/8 inch thick rectangle.  Trim edges and cut dough into 2 inch squares.

Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of apricot filling into the center of each square.

Fold one corner into the center, dab with the beaten egg, then bring the opposite corner into the center and press firmly to seal.

Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet, and bake for approximately 10 minutes.

Dust with confectioner’s sugar and cool on wire rack.

These cookies freeze well, and thaw quickly.

This recipe makes about a million ….  or at least feels like it when you are making them!  🙂
I hope you and your family will try these and enjoy them as much as we do.

Cheers & Sweet Hugs,

Not Your Momma’s Cookie Exchange Party

Colleens Cookie Swap Group Photo Aprons Whip Nae Nae

Remember those aprons I shared yesterday that I made for my daughter-in-law’s cookie swap party?

Well – here we are doing the Whip Bake Bake at the party!

I am so excited to share some photos of the amazing party my even more amazing daughter-in-law (third from the left back row – next to me) threw.

This is not your momma’s cookie exchange like we did back in the day!

Check out the amazing drink station where Colleen served Hot Chocolate with all the fixings and add ins as well as gin and tonics and wine.  All the makings for a “spirited” cookie swap!

drinks 2

Hot Chocolate Bar

hot cocoa fixings


There were cozy Christmas socks on a festively-decorated antique child’s chair for anyone whose piggies got cold,

cozy socks

and a well-equipped cookie packaging station for us to box, wrap, clip, tag, and/or plate our cookies to take home.

cookie packing station

clips at cookie packing station

tags at cookie packing station

We all brought enough cookies to share tastes that evening and enough for everyone to pack up 5 or 6 dozen to take home and share with our families and friends and for our own parties.  Colleen made little labeled tags for each type of cookie so we knew what we were sampling and so we could vote on the “Most Delicious,” “Most Unique,” and Most Attractive.”  And boy were they ever!

Katie rocked “Most Unique” with these adorable and absolutely luscious cherry snowmen cake balls.

snowman cake balls most unique

Michelle’s Apple Delights were a slam dunk for the “Most Attractive!”  Aren’t the awesome?

apple delights most beautiful

And Alaine’s Pistachio Cherry Cookies had us all swooning for “Most Delicious,”


though they truly were ALL delicious and beautiful and unique and made with “lovin from the oven.”

lovin from the oven

And……. two of the young ladies actually had some “lovin in their ovens!”  Jen is in her first trimester and Jessica is due any day!

Jen and Jessica pregnant bakers

How cute is this sign that went with Colleen’s Grinch cookies (green crinkle cookies with teeny tiny hearts?

Grinch cookies

And check out these Inside Out S’more Cookies!  (and the little polka-dot wooden spoons to stir your cocoa)

inside out smores

She even had prizes!

prizes most delicious

Before we ate cookies…. Well – we pretty much ate cookies the whole evening…  Colleen made some fabulous food including the most amazing Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Party Sliders,

Hawaiin Ham and Cheese Party Sliders

and Hassleback potatoes,

hassleback potatoes

as well as plenty of veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, spreads, and and adorable cheese and olive wreath.

olive wreath

We even played some fun and silly games like teaming up to make the best reindeer antlers out of balloons stuffed in panty hose!

team 2

Team 1


Reindeer Katie and Michelle

Reindeer Michelle

It was the most fun, most unique, most delicious cookie swap party I’ve ever been part of!  I am so proud of my beautiful, generous, creative daughter-in-law, and I thank her for kindly allowing me share this with all of you.

Hope you are enjoying this festive holiday time however you choose to celebrate!

Cheers & Hugs,