Christmas Kolacky (grain-free, vegan)

Some holiday traditions start when you’re a kid. They’re instilled in you by your parents, and you carry them with you all your life.

Frosting faces after frosting cut-out cookies? That’s one of those traditions.

Other traditions are borrowed, adapted, chosen as an adult, or gifted to you. Kolacky is one of those traditions. I never had one until my sister started working at a law firm with an administrative assistant of Czech heritage and generous heart. And every year she would make walnut kolacky for my sister. And every year, I’d get to eat it when we went to visit for Christmas.

One year, in my pre-gluten-free days, I asked for the recipe, and she generously shared it with me. But, I’d never made them. Some things are best when made by other people.

It’s been a few years since I’ve had her kolacky, and I still had the recipe in my giant 3-ring binder of recipes I’ve yet to convert.

And then I saw Cara’s post for Jam-Filled Kolache. Kolache, kolacky – same thing, different spelling. (Check out her beautiful photos for how to fill and shape these puppies.)

And I knew, this was the year.

Christmas Kolacky or Kolache - however you spell it.

Christmas Kolacky or Kolache - however you spell it.

Czech Kolacky (grain-free, vegan)

6.25 oz coconut oil (softened)
1.5 cups (180 g) almond meal
1/2 cup (56 g) sifted coconut flour
1/4 t. salt
1/4 cup (28 g) arrowroot starch
1/2 cup warm almond milk
2 t. psyllium powder
2 1/2 t. yeast

The Night Before Baking:
In a measuring cup, mix together the warm almond milk, psyllium powder and yeast. Stir well and allow to sit for 5 minutes – until yeast starts to ferment and mixture (which will be very thick and gelatinous) starts to puff.

In the bowl of your food processor, pulse the coconut oil, almond meal, and coconut flour until crumbly. Add the proofed yeast mixture and process until well mixed. It will be sticky and wet. Scrape dough into a bowl. Lay plastic wrap on top of the dough and refrigerate overnight.

Walnut Filling
1/2 pound (8 ounces) walnuts
1 T. Earth Balance soy-free
2 T. almond milk
1/3 cup palm sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract

In the bowl of your food processor, pulse walnuts until finely ground. In a small saucepan, heat Earth Balance, almond milk, and palm sugar until melted and sugar is just dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and walnuts. Set aside until baking time.

(You don’t want to do this right before you bake, but you don’t have to do it the night before, either. You just want to make sure it’s fully cooled before filling the kolacky.)

On Baking Day
2/3 cup palm sugar – processed in a coffee mill until finely powdered

Preheat oven to 350°. Sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with powdered palm sugar. Roll out half of the dough at a time. Cut with round cookie cutters. Transfer cut dough to a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Put a spoon full of walnut filling in the center of each circle, and fold two sides up to meet in the middle. You’re making a little “bowtie” kind of shape. Gently press the edges of the dough together. If the dough cracks, gently smooth over any cracks.

Repeat until all the dough is rolled, cut and filled.

Bake each sheet for approximately 12-16 minutes, or until edges are browned. Cool until you can handle the kolacky. Dust with additional powdered sugar, dumping off any excess back into the bowl.

These are best the next day.

While these are far from healthy, they do have  a plethora of health-supporting ingredients – coconut oil, walnuts, almonds. And, it IS the holiday season. So, I’m thinking I MIGHT be able to get away with adding these to Ricki’s Wellness Weekend. Right, Ricki? :)

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21 Responses to Christmas Kolacky (grain-free, vegan)

  1. These look tasty! The filling reminds me of povatica.

    Psst…you might wanna check my latest post…

  2. Wow, I want those, Deanna! Doesn’t matter if I’ve never heard of them before … they look absolutely scrumptious! :-)

    I have yet to try anything with psyllium powder … are there any, uh … adjustment periods for introducing that ingredient into one’s diet? ;-)

    Thanks, dear!
    Shirley

    • Deanna says:

      Shirley, you crack me up. I haven’t had any problems, but I tend to eat a pretty high fiber diet anyway. So, a little in baking hasn’t seemed to affect me at all. I’m liking baking with it – it’s much more sticky/gelatinous that flax or chia. It seems to really hold things together well. And, I’m learning how much to use (less than I originally thought). So, I think in the small amounts needed, it probably works out to be fairly affordable (though that first $9.00 purchase was a bit of a shock).

      • Thanks so much, Deanna! I’ve seen it in more and more in recipes. I first saw it in a Ali’s very popular kneadable bread recipe (xanthan free, vegan, etc.): http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2011/04/gluten-free-bread-xanthan-free-vegan.html But just taking a look again, her recipe calls for whole psyllium husks so I guess those are the precursor to the powder. So definitely something to check out, in either form–thanks!

        Shirley

      • Deanna says:

        Yep, I’ve got some whole husks, too. I like the powder because you use less of it and it really disappears in the final product. Just make sure you get the unflavored, nothing but psyllium powder. I hadn’t seen that bread recipe. I’ll have to check it out.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Those look lovely and remind me of a Polish nut roll I use to make. My Father would love these–so much healthier than the kind he grew up on.
    Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing.
    Peace and Raw Health,
    Elizabeth

    • Deanna says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth! You’re the second person to mention that Polish nut roll. (Povitica, right?) I’ve never made that, but when I’ve looked at recipes, it looks delicious. Maybe that will be next!

  4. Deanna we made these every year for Christmas when I was little. They were my dad’s favorite and mine too. I made them once for him a few years ago before gluten free. My dad’s health was failing this year and I thought I would try to find a recipe that I could make for him. Thinking this would most likely be his last Christmas. Though he won’t get to taste them, as he didn’t make to this Christmas. But I will be making them in his honor, thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

    • Deanna says:

      Wow, Shelly – what a beautiful sentiment. I hope they turn out for you, and I hope you can enjoy them with memories of your father close to your heart.

  5. Cara says:

    I’m going to have to do the nut filling now! I think that will be my favorite version :)

  6. Ricki says:

    I’ve never heard of these, either, but wow, do they look good! And I’ve also been seeing psyllium in more and more recipes. I knew it was very popular in raw recipes a while back, but recently people seem to be using it more and more in baking. Fabulous recipe! Thanks for including it in WW this week. :)

  7. Karen says:

    I am so excited to see this recipe. My college roommate was (probably still is?) Czech and going home with her for the holidays, making these was a major tradition…and Klotchke’s (sp). But these were my favorites. I cannot wait to make these. My SIL always made the nut roll so please make that your next thing to work on! Like saying ‘hello’ to an old friend…. Sweet! Thank you!

  8. I’d never heard of Kolacky before! I have a roommate who is eating a primal diet–these would be a great holiday treat for me to make him, thanks for the idea/recipe.

    • Deanna says:

      For primal I’d sub honey for the sugar in the filling, and skip the powdered sugar coating. But I think they otherwise fall within the primal realm – though a wee bit indulgently primal. :)

  9. foodartlife says:

    Hi there – wow these look so delicious! I wonder if coconut oil would be okay to sub for the earth balance? Thanks also for stopping by my blog to enter the straw giveaway and doing all the sharing – much appreciated! So far, I’d say your odds are good :)

    • Deanna says:

      You’re welcome! Oh you could definitely sub coconut oil for the Earth Balance in the filling. (I really like the Earth Balance coconut oil spread – have you tried that? Spreadable coconut oil. Yum!)

  10. Pingback: Anti-candida, sugar-free, gluten-free Low Fat Cinnamon Walnut Bread Recipe | Diet, Dessert and Dogs

  11. Pingback: Anti-candida, sugar-free, gluten-free Low Fat Cinnamon Walnut Bread Recipe | Ricki Heller

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