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.
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.
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?