Soft crumbly slightly tangy pastry filled with sweet raspberry and apricot preserves, kolaches are traditional central and eastern Eurpoean holiday cookies. Usually they are made with cream cheese, but I subbed homemade strained vegan yogurt or labneh and the texture and taste are comparable to the original.
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
- 1 cup vegan butter, softened
- 1/2 cup unsweetened thick coconut yogurt or strained/Greek-style vegan yogurt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
- about 1/3 cup each thick raspberry and apricot preserves
- Sift together flour and salt onto a piece of parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl with a handheld beater or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together thick yogurt and butter until fluffy. Add flour in several additions by holding up the parchment paper to funnel it into the mixing bowl, beating until fully incorporated after each addition.
- Bring the dough together in a ball with your hands. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
- Divide dough into 4 parts and flatten to 3/4" thick discs. Wrap each disc and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the sugar onto a clean work surface. Working with 1 disc of dough at a time, roll the dough out over the sugar to a square of about 1/16-1/8" thickness. Cut into 16 smaller squares (about 2" squares) using a fluted pastry cutter.
- Spoon 1 teaspoon of preserves into the middle of each square. Fold opposite corners to meet in the middle and press firmly to seal, leaving the other two corners open. Preserves will push out from the center as you push down on the pastry.
- Carefully transfer cookies to the parchment-lined baking sheets (an offset spatula works well for this), leaving about 1" of space between each cookie.
- Repeat the process with the remaining discs of dough and sugar. Save the scraps of dough and re-roll them to form more cookies.
- Sprinkle centers of each cookie with more sugar.
- Bake at 325˚F for about 12-15 minutes until bottoms and edges are golden brown.
- Transfer cookies to cooling racks and cool to room temperature. Enjoy!
- Cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 1 week.
- I recommend Coyo brand coconut yogurt for this recipe. It has a thick Greek yogurt/labneh consistency and does not need to be strained. If you use another vegan yogurt, thicken it by straining off the liquid through a coffee filter or fine cheesecloth/nut milk bag for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Discard the liquid and use the thickened yogurt.
- Alternatively, you can swap yogurt for your favorite vegan cream cheese.