Baba's Cream Cheese Kolacky

This image courtesy of The Chicago Tribune

Editor's Note: If your holiday traditions include baking an assortment of cookies for family, friends, and neighbors, then you'll want to see this recipe! Elegant as can be, Baba's Cream Cheese Kolacky will be a delightful addition to any cookie tray that you plan to share with others this holiday season. Each cream cheese kolacky contains apricot filling that is enveloped in dough and then baked, giving the cookies a beautiful appearance that will remind you of a wrapped present. Although this cream cheese kolacky is typically a Christmas cookie recipe, we don't blame you if you want to make this recipe all year!

This recipe was handed down to Emily Dressel by her grandmother, Baba, and won the 2008 contest. Dressel said Baba was one of the last war brides to flee Czechoslovakia before the Communists closed the borders, in 1947, and she came to the U.S. with all of her recipes stored only in her memory. These cookies are simple and elegant with a tender cream cheese dough and sweetly tart apricot filling.

Preparation Time45 min

Cooking Time17 min

Cooking MethodBaking


Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

Recipe CourseDessert

EquipmentFood Processor



Taste and TextureRich, Sweet

Type of DishCookie, Dessert


  • 1 bag (10 ounces) dried apricots
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups flour
  • Confectioners’ sugar


  1. Place apricots in medium saucepan; cover with water. Soak overnight. Heat the apricots and water to a boil in medium saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring often with fork to mash and adding water if needed, until smooth and thick, about 10 minutes. (If necessary, you can chop finely with a knife or process about 1 minute in a food processor or chopper.) Add the granulated sugar, stirring until it dissolves. Cool completely.

  2. Blend together the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl; gradually blend in flour, using hands once the dough has begun to form, until it can be shaped into a ball (this may be more or less than 2 cups). Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Divide dough into thirds. Roll out each third on a floured board into a 12-by-8-inch rectangle, 1/8 to ¼ inch thick. Cut into 2-inch squares with a pizza cutter. Place ½ to ¾ teaspoon of the apricot filling in the middle of each square. Fold each corner into middle; pinch together. (Moisten fingers with cold water if dough does not stick.)

  4. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheets; bake until golden, about 17 minutes per batch. Cool on wire rack; sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.


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