Embark on a journey into the heart of Polish culinary tradition with the delightful “Roczki,” also known as “Kolacky.” These sweet, rolled pastries encapsulate the essence of a time-honored heritage, bringing forth the warmth of home kitchens and the richness of cultural celebrations.
The process of making Roczki is a delightful blend of artistry and tradition. The dough, a combination of flour, butter, and cream cheese, yields a rich and flaky texture that forms the perfect canvas for the filling. Generously spread with fruit preserves—often apricot or raspberry—each pastry is then carefully rolled into a crescent shape, creating a visually appealing treat that promises a burst of flavor in every bite.
As these pastries bake to golden perfection, the tantalizing aroma fills the kitchen, reminiscent of family gatherings and cherished moments. Roczki represent not just a delightful dessert but a connection to the past, where grandmothers and mothers passed on the secrets of creating these delectable treats to younger generations.
So, roll up your sleeves and embark on the joyous journey of making Roczki. With every fold of the dough and dollop of preserves, you’re not just creating pastries; you’re weaving a tapestry of memories and traditions that transcend time. Indulge in the sweet legacy of Roczki, and let each bite transport you to the heart of Poland, where food is not just sustenance but a celebration of heritage and love.
*For the Dough:*
– 2 packages active dry yeast (two ¼ ounce packages or 4 ½ teaspoons total)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 6 ½ to 7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
– ½ teaspoon salt
– 1 pound unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
– 1 large egg
– 3 egg yolks
*For the Nut Filling:*
– 1 pound pecans, ground fine
– 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
– Zest of 1 lemon
– ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 3 egg whites
*For Rolling Out the Dough:*
– 2 +/- additional cups of granulated sugar to roll out the dough
– 3 egg whites lightly beaten, mixed with 1 teaspoon water for brushing on top of the cookies before baking.
1. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment or wax paper, ensuring it hangs over the sides of the pan.
2. *To Make the Dough:*
– Dissolve the yeast in ½ cup warm water.
– In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, salt, and butter chunks. Mix until crumbly.
– In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, cream, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, add yeast, cream, and eggs. Use the dough hook on the stand mixer and blend until smooth.
– Press the dough into the prepared pan, cut it into 9 equal-sized pieces, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
3. *To Make the Filling:*
– In a medium bowl, combine ground nuts, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon zest.
– In a separate clean bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Alternate adding sugar and egg whites to the nut mixture until incorporated. Adjust sugar or lemon juice to taste. Do not overmix.
4. *To Make the Cookies:*
– Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
– Fill a small bowl with ½ cup granulated sugar for rolling the cookies.
– Roll out one square of chilled dough on a sugared surface to a 10×10 inch square. Cut into 2×2 inch squares.
– Spread about 1 teaspoon of the nut filling onto each square, leaving one end clean. Roll into a cigar shape, seal with egg white wash, and roll in granulated sugar.
– Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet and repeat until the pan is filled.
– Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown.
– Dust cooled cookies with powdered sugar before serving, and store in an airtight container. Enjoy these delightful Roczki, a cherished Polish pastry!