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These tasty little cookies are light and flaky and filled with an easy homemade almond apricot jam. They look fancy but are very easy to make! Perfect for dessert tables, gifting to family and friends, or nibbling while decorating and watching holiday movies.
Kolaczki cookies have been a staple at holidays and family gatherings on my mom’s side since long before I was born. I have loved them since I was little.
Traditional kolaczki contain lots of dairy, but I finally created a dairy-free version, and I promise you no one will know the difference!
They are just as light and flaky as my Grandma’s! These Vegan Kolaczki might just become a new favorite in your house, too!
What is Kolaczki?
Kolaczki are jam-filled cookies popular during the holidays. They have origins in Poland and the Czech Republic and other countries as well. My family’s kolaczki recipe is made with flour, sour cream, vegetable shortening, eggs, sugar, baking powder and salt. More traditional recipes usually call for cream cheese, not sour cream, and many don’t contain eggs.
There are so many different spellings of these jam filled cookies – kolaczki, kolacky, kolache, and more! – and they are all used interchangeably. As far as I know, Kolaczki is the proper Polish spelling, but I’ve seen my 100% Polish relatives use the spelling “kolacky” as well.
In my vegan version of kolaczki, I use dairy-free yogurt to replace the sour cream and eggs that my relatives use. I replaced the vegetable shortening with dairy-free butter. I also added a touch of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract to the dough for added flavor and warmth.
My all-time favorite filling for these Polish cookies is almond, but apricot is the flavor you’ll find most often, and I love those as well. I decided that I would combine these two flavors for the most delightful tasty jam I’ve ever had!
Nielsen-Massey has been crafting premium vanilla products and flavors since 1907. Each vanilla bean is handpicked, hand cured, and carefully inspected to ensure it meets strict quality standards. You can taste the difference and this is why I choose to bake with these exceptional extracts.
Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
I used Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract in my vegan kolaczki dough for a warm, sweet flavor. Madagascar Bourbon is the most versatile, all-purpose vanilla, perfect for any sweet or savory recipe. Vanilla from Madagascar has a sweet, creamy flavor with velvety after tones.
Pure almond extract
In my vegan kolaczki filling, I used Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract. Almond extract is one of the most popular flavors used in baking. Theirs is made with the purest oil of bitter almond for optimal results. It delivers a sweet, nutty flavor that complements vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch and more. It’s a match made in heaven with my homemade apricot jam!
The dough for this recipe comes together quickly and easily in the bowl of an electric mixer. I have also made this dough by hand before, so know that is an option if you don’t have a mixer. Just make sure your dairy-free butter is softened to room temperature for ease of mixing.
Bake to share
Nielsen-Massey will be your holiday baking ally all season long with the kickoff of its first-ever #BaketoShare campaign, designed to help family and friends share more special moments this holiday season through the act of baking.
We love nibbling on these vegan kolaczki with mugs of hot cocoa while decorating our tree and holiday music playing in the background.
Our neighborhood friends often exchange baked goodies during the holiday season, and it feels wonderful to pass on a piece of my heritage on those plates.
How do you Bake to Share?
Visit NielsenMassey.com to learn how to #BaketoShare this holiday season with guides for hosting holiday gatherings, new holiday recipes and gift giving ideas.
More vegan holiday cookies and treats
- Chocolate Peppermint Rice Crispy Bars
- Cranberry Pistachio Cookies
- Cinnamon Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
- Cherry Chocolate Walnut Truffles
- Classic Vegan Toffee Bars
- Cinnamon Chickpea Blondies
- Cranberry Almond Muffins
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
For the Vegan Kolaczki Dough
- 1 cup (240 g) room temperature dairy-free butter
- ¼ cup (50 g) organic cane sugar
- ½ cup (125 g) plain dairy-free yogurt
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 ½ cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the Almond Apricot Filling
- 1 cup (190 g) dried apricots
- ⅓ cup (65 g) organic cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) fresh lemon juice
- ¾ cup (180 ml) water plus more as needed, to thin
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract
- Dusting of organic powdered sugar if desired
For the Kolaczki Dough
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the dairy-free butter and sugar until smooth. Add the dairy-free yogurt and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add a little at a time to the mixture with the wet ingredients, beating well between each addition. (Pro tip: be sure to turn the speed of the mixture way down as you are adding the flour mixture and only increase the speed once it's well combined. Otherwise, you will have flour all over your kitchen.)
- Continue to beat the mixture until it pulls away from the sides of the mixer and dough forms.
- Divide the dough in half. Form each half into a smooth ball and then flatten into a disc about 4.5 x 4.5 inches and 1 inch tall. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour until firm enough to roll out, or up to a day.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Roll out one of the discs of dough on a floured surface into a rectangle* about ⅛ inch thick. Sprinkle additional flour on the dough and/or surface and rolling pin if it starts to stick.
- Cut the rectangle of dough into 2 ½-inch squares.
- Add ¾ -1 teaspoon of Almond Apricot Filling (recipe follows) to the center of each square. Fold 2 opposite corners of each square over to meet in the middle and gently press down to seal. If you're having a hard time getting the corners to stick, add a teeny amount of filling between the two corners to act as a glue. Continue with the remaining disc of dough.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned on the bottoms. Cool on a wire cooling rack until completely cool. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.
For the Almond Apricot Filling
- Place the apricots, sugar, lemon juice and water in a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Take off the heat and add the almond extract.
- Using an immersion blender in the pot**, purée until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add additional water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time until the desired consistency is reached. The mixture should be fairly thick, but spreadable. If the mixture is too thin, it will ooze out of the cookies while baking.
- Store in the fridge until ready to use.