Christmas is right around the corner which means I’m getting in a cookie mood! I just can’t resist starting to plan our cookies early. This year I knew I wanted to try making Hungarian Cookies because they look so elegant.
Don’t let them fool you! They look so dainty and delicate but they’re really so easy to make! Whether you call them Hungarian Christmas Cookies, Kiffles Cookies, or Apricot Kolaches, they will always be a hit with anyone you share them with!
You can scroll down to the printable recipe card or read on for tips and tricks!
I don’t have a trick for making these gorgeous holiday cookies because the dough really is very basic. I also love this kolache cookie recipe because you don’t have to make the traditional apricot cookies (though I love the flavor). You can fill them with your favorite flavor. Another very traditional version is lekvar cookies which have a plum or prune filling. Walnut filling is also very popular.
My short cut for these cookies involves using apricot preserves. I don’t make my own filling. These are also great with other flavors of preserves. I’m a huge fan of blackberry. I’ve also wanted to try making them with apple butter filling but I haven’t done it yet!
Still, the traditional Hungarian kolache recipe has an apricot filling. So when we’re making holiday cookies, I like to go with the classic flavor.
Many people call these Kiffles Cookies or Hungarian Cookies. Either way, they taste delicious.
They’re perfect for cookie swaps because you can make a bunch of them in one batch. The prep time takes the longest because you do need to chill the cookie dough, but then they bake up quickly.
Plus, they just look good all wrapped up, or set out on a tray for holiday gatherings.
If you’re looking for more of my favorite cookies to bake for the holidays, try Santa’s Trash Cookies, Lingonberry Thumbprint Cookies, and Peppermint Cake Mix Cookies!
HUNGARIAN KOLACHE COOKIE RECIPE
This recipe makes about 60 cookies from one batch of dough. It takes about 30 minutes to prep everything and then you do need to chill the dough for about 2 hours for the best results.
The ingredient list is very simple and you probably have almost everything you need in your kitchen already!
- Cream Cheese
- Apricot preserves
- Powdered sugar (for garnishing)
Exact measurements for each ingredient are included in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
HOW TO MAKE HUNGARIAN APRICOT COOKIES
Start by beating together the room temperature butter and cream cheese until they are combined and smooth.
Then whisk together the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the dry flour mixture to the cream cheese and butter mixture. Beat to combine all of the ingredients into a dough.
Separate the dough into four equal parts and wrap each portion in plastic wrap.
Press each portion of dough into a flat disk shape and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Heat the oven to 375°F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
Take one portion of dough out of the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface.
Roll until the dough is about 1⁄8” thick.
Use a pastry cutter or square cookie cutter to cut 2″ square pieces of dough.
Place a spoonful of the apricot preserves on top of each dough square. Then bring two opposite corners together and pinch them over the preserves.
Repeat the process with remaining batches of dough until it has all been prepared.
Place cookies on the baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Bake in batches until all of the cookies have been baked.
Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack. When the cookies are completely cooled, sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and enjoy!
HOW DO YOU STORE KIFFLES?
I recommend storing these Hungarian cookies in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. You want to place the Kiffles cookies between layers of wax paper or parchment paper.
I don’t recommend dusting them with powder sugar before storing them. Save that step for right before you serve them. If you are refrigerating the cookies, give them about half an hour to warm to room temperature before serving.
You can store the kolache cookies in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
CAN I FREEZE KOLACHE COOKIES?
You can definitely freeze these apricot cookies for up to one month. Again, I don’t recommend garnishing with the powdered sugar if you’re planning to freeze them. Wait to do that until you’re ready to serve them.
MY COOKIES WON’T STAY CLOSED WHILE BAKING!
If you’re having trouble with your cookies opening while they bake, try moistening the tip of your finger and smoothing down the pinched edge where you closed them. This could help!
- 1 cup butter (room temperature)
- 8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 jar apricot preserves
- Powdered sugar (for garnish)
- Beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth and well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the cream cheese mixture and beat to combine.
- Separate the dough into four equal parts and wrap each in plastic wrap. Press the dough into a disk and place it into the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours.
- When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough until it’s around ⅛ inch thick. Use a pastry cutter to cut out 2-inch squares from the dough.
- Place a small amount of apricot preserves on top of each square. Bring the two opposite corners together and pinch them over the top of the preserves.
- Continue rolling, cutting, and filling the dough until it has all been used.
- Place the prepared cookies on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown. Continue cooking in batches until all the cookies have been baked.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When the cookies are cool, sprinkle powdered sugar over the top before serving.
These look beautiful and delicious. I think these would be the hit of our family Christmas party.
Pam Westom says
I’ve made 2 batches of this cookie and I cant keep the cookies from staying closed.
What’s the trick?
I tried the pinch, roll, pinch and that still had 4 that opened mid baking.
After you pinch them closed, moisten the tip of your finger and smooth down the edge where you closed them. This could help!
NAOMI BETANCOURT says
To the person whose kiffles open, a little less jam might help.
i would try a wash of egg whites. That’s what my nagymama did and it worked every time. The egg whites act like glue.
They taste delicious, however mine did not stay closed at all: :-( what’s the trick ??
After you pinch them, moisten the tip of your finger and smooth down the edge where you closed them. This could help!
Beth Newell says
My dough was soooo sticky! I had a really hard time getting the squares off the floured & waxed paper & then trying to pull the ends up across the filling they kept breaking & looked horrible. This was a LOT of work for very little reward. I hope they taste better than they look!
Tom K says
I recommend making these as “empanadas” instead. A lot easier to make–use a small bowl as a cookie cutter for the dough and make semicircles after folding over. Make a good empanada seal on the edge. You can put in more filling too. Just put fork holes or slits in the top and cook at 325 degrees to reduce risk of apricot filling blow-out!
Marilyn Lenhart says
Hi my name is Marilyn. I buy the Apricot filling in a bag, and it’s always so runny. How can I thicken it so the filling don’t run out of the cookies. Thanks.
I put some dried apricots in the food processor with the jam to make it thicker
Evelyn Guerriero - Leonard says
Dough was way too sticky. I couldn’t get the dough to get off the board. It stuck to the rolling pin as well. It was a mess and lot of work.