Bill Hogan, Chicago Tribune
November 8, 2012
Honorable mention: Julie Westbrook
Prep: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Bake: 14 minutes per batch
Makes: 100 cookies
Both parts of this recipe can be halved, says Westbrook.
4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, softened
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese or neufchatel, softened
4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 egg yolks
Walnut filling, see recipe
1 Place butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter into pieces; break up cream cheese. Add dry ingredients; work mixture with hands until dough is the size of peas. Add egg yolks; knead with hands again until well-blended. Divide dough into 5 pieces, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate overnight.
2 Heat oven to 350 degrees. To roll out dough, remove 2 portions from the refrigerator. Let soften, about 15 minutes. Open 1 package on a floured board; roll out with floured rolling pin very thin, about 1/8 inch. With pastry wheel, cut 2-inch rows across the dough; then cut diagonally across the rows to make slight diamond shapes, about 2-inches wide. Put pastry diamonds on ungreased cookie sheets.
3 Put rounded 1/2 teaspoon walnut filling on each diamond. Fold over 2 opposite corners; to seal, wet inside of corners with a fingertip dipped in cold water; pinch corners together firmly so they do not open during baking. Bake until lightly browned, 12-15 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet; cool on a rack. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.
4 As the first bundle of dough is finished, take out another bundle to soften while the second bundle is being rolled out. Repeat until all bundles are used.
Mom's walnut filling for kolacky
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 pound walnuts, finely chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla
Slowly warm milk and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until butter melts. Stir in sugar. Remove from heat; stir in walnuts and vanilla.
Nutrition information per serving: 106 calories, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 19 mg cholesterol, 6 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 32 mg sodium, 0 g fiber