Lazy Cherry Kolaczki Cookies

Lazy Cherry Kolaczki Cookies

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve loved all things cherry- including fresh cherries themselves. Because my dad preferred tart cherries over sweet/Bing/black cherries, that’s what we typically had around the house each summer, some of which came from our backyard tree.

But it is the tart cherries from Nye’s Apple Barn in St. Joseph, Michigan that really stand out in my memory. I have quite the tie to good ole’ St. Joe- my great-grandparents, Maynard and Gladys, built a summer cottage there, on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. In fact, that same great-grandmother Gladys (whose maiden name was Seasongood…ahhh, see the connection? I added the extra “s” to the end for my blog name) was a native of St. Joe.

The Great-Grands, Maynard and Gladys.

The Great-Grands, Maynard and Gladys.

So when I came across these preserves by Smucker’s, I knew I had to try them. And once I tasted them, I had to try not to just snack away on the entire jar.

Tart cherry preserves!!

Tart cherry preserves!!

I decided to try my hand at kolaczki cookies- a Polish fruit-filled cookie that any kid from Chicagoland is familiar with, thanks to all the delicious Polish influence in the area. My mom always made some around Christmas time- usually with Apricot filling- so I decided to pair a version of her recipe with these cherry preserves.


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 block reduced fat cream cheese (8 oz.), room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • Jam/Preserves or Pie Filling of your choice
  • Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix the butter, cream cheese, and sugar (using a hand- or stand-mixer). Add flour in batches- dough should be slightly crumbly and easily handled.

Form into balls and place in the fridge for an hour.

Now. Here’s the lazy part. To make proper kolaczki, one should roll out the dough, cut into squares (2½” by 2½”), add a teaspoon of fruit filling to the center, and then fold over 2 opposite corners, pinching them together.

Not this girl…nope. I took a much lazier approach.

I formed 1” dough balls, flattened them by hand, formed a well in the center (like a thumbprint cookie), and then baked for 12 minutes. Then, I removed the cookies, re-welled the centers, added a rounded ½ teaspoon of jam to each well, and baked another 5 minutes.

A lot less mess! And when it comes to thumbprint-type cookies, I’m a big believer in the following tips:

  • Use cold jam from the fridge; and
  • Don’t bake the cookies with the jam for the entire time.

This way, they turn out MUCH prettier. No oozing jam running amok.

But back to the recipe…

Once the cookies are baked, remove and place on cooling racks lined with paper towels. These are a buttery, rich cookie and could stand a little blotting.

Then, sprinkle with powdered sugar…pretty and delicious, like cherries in the snow!



Y.U.M…well, at least I think so. Jon isn’t a huge fan (too buttery, he says…WHAT?)…but that just means more for me.

Bake on!



  1. Oh my! Sarah would you link this to Friday Favorites- goes live tonight? Thanks for suggestion on baking 1/2 the time without jelly.. the oozing mess always turns into nightmare ! laura

  2. I love a recipe with simple ingredients I keep on hand. And my kids LOVE me to make thumbprint cookies. These will have to be my next ones to try. Thanks!

  3. I love anything cherry! And I appreciate the shortcut you shared – I am somewhat of a “lazy” cook myself. Thanks for joining us at the #HomeMattersParty – we hope to see you again next week!

  4. Your cookies look delicious! We stayed in St. Joseph for a week last year. It was our first time visiting that area and we absolutely loved it! P.S. No such thing as a cookie that’s too buttery. No. Such. Thing. 🙂

  5. Oh my goodness those look delicious, but can you make them in strawberry instead? Thank you for linking up to the Home Matters Linky Party this week! #homematters

  6. These cookies look delicious. And beautiful! Thank you for joining us at #purebloglove. We enjoy having you every Thursday night at 8PM, EST through Sunday night. ~Cydnee

  7. Came across your recipe and this Polish girl has to try them, thanks for sharing!


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