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Oh, look, I’m finally posting Christmas things just a few days before Christmas. I’m the worst. Because my dad’s family is Polish, I grew up eating a lot of Polish foods, especially at Christmas time. These cookies are a staple from my childhood. They’re called Kołaczki Świąteczne (ko-watch-ki shvee-ohn-tetch-ne …ish) and are really easy to make, but super delicious. This vegan keto kołaczki recipe uses few ingredients and is nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free. It’s perfect for the holidays!
So, if you’ve made the original recipe before, you’ll note that mine varies in a few ways. Firstly, I add a little sweetener to the dough. While this isn’t traditionally done, I’ve found that it dramatically improves the texture and keeps the cookies softer. You’ll also notice that the ratio of butter to cream cheese is a bit different. This is just the ratio that I found produced the best results. Traditionally, these are made with a 1:1 cream cheese to butter recipe, but because vegan cream cheese really lacks the tang of actual cream cheese, and vegan butter is a little more overpowering than typical butter, these proportions tasted best to me.
This recipe is super simple, and just requires the following ingredients:
- vegan cream cheese
- vegan butter substitute
- lupin flour (see below for substitutes)
- vanilla (optional!)
- fillings: either jams or the nut filling below
- powdered sweetener
That’s it. It’s crazy simple. If you don’t want to use processed cream cheese or butter, there are may whole foods options out there! Brands like Kite Hill, Miyoko’s Kitchen and Heidi Ho all make great vegan cream cheese substitutes from nuts. Miyoko also makes a great butter! I also have a vegan butter recipe in my cookbook!
As for the filling, you can use sugar-free jams, dried fruit, chocolate, or my personal favorite, this nut paste…
Nut Filling For Vegan Keto Kołaczki Świąteczne
- 1/4 cup (30g) walnuts or pecans
- 1 tbsp powdered sweetener
- 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon (depending on how cinnamony you want it!)
- Enough water to form a paste (around 1/2 tsp)
- Method: Use a mortar and pestle to mash ingredients together until a smooth paste forms. It takes a little while, but is worth it! You can also scale this up and make it in a food processor.
Notes on Making Low Carb Vegan Kołaczki (Polish Cream Cheese Cookies)
- Traditional fillings include apricot jam, plum jam or a nut mixture like the one above. Feel free to use whatever sugar-free jam, jelly or other filling you want!
- Truth time – I find it really tedious to make the cookies in the little folded shapes, especially if I’m making a lot of these. So, it’s totally acceptable to make these into thumbprint cookies as well (see the pic above). I totally did that when making larger batches for family celebrations, and they taste just as lovely.
- If you are less concerned about the carb count of these, I’d recommend using chickpea flour or a chickpea and fava bean blend. While soy flour and lupin flour are far lower in carbs, they’re also more difficult to find and lupin flour is far more expensive (at least where I live).
- I tried these with pea protein to try and make them more protein-rich, and while it technically worked…they just tasted like protein powder… So, while it’s technically an option, just be aware that it will taste very protein-y.
- To make sure the filling doesn’t spill out of the thumbprints, I make the hole with the measuring spoon I’m using to scoop the filling (1/4 tsp in this case), so the hole is the same size as the scoop of filling.
- If you can’t have walnuts or pecans, you can make the “nut” filling out of sunflower seeds as well!
- The nutrition information here does not include a filling, so be sure to add that in to your calculations!
- While I strive to provide accurate nutritional information, different brands and varieties of ingredients have different nutrient values, so your calculations may vary.
This vegan, keto and gluten-free twist on a classic Polish Christmas cookie are sure to make your day merry and bright! They're egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free and coconut-free to boot!
- 6oz (168g) vegan cream cheese
- 3oz (84g) vegan butter substitute
- 4-5oz (112-140g) lupin flour or soy flour
- 2 tbsp of powdered sweetener, plus more for dusting
- optional: 1 tsp vanilla extract
- fillings of choice
- Preheat your oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter, sweetener and vanila (if using) until fluffy.
- While still mixing, slowly add in the flour and mix until completely combined and a somewhat soft dough forms. You may not need all 5 ounces! So, stop adding when the dough is stiff enough to actually come together. It will still be soft, but that's what the next step addresses! 🙂
- Remove the dough from the mixer and form into a flat disk. Wrap in parchment and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 4-12 hours.
- Once chilled, remove the dough and prepare in one of the following ways:
- Make thumbprint cookies by rolling 1 tbsp of dough into balls, flattening them and making a depression in the middle to fill with about 1/4 tsp of filling. I found that scooping a blob of the dough into the powdered sweetener, and then rolling it into a ball worked best.
- Make the pretty rolls by rolling out the dough to about 3mm thick, and cutting into 5cmx5cm (2"x2") squares, then adding about 1/4 tsp of filling to the center of each one and folding opposite corners over to make the shape shown.
- Bake for 18 minutes, until just starting to turn golden at the edges. Let cool completely before dusting with powdered sweetener, and enjoy!
The prep time includes the minimum chilling time. The nutrition information is for UNFILLED cookies. To obtain accurate information, be sure to include whatever filling (sugar-free jam, nut mixture, dried fruit, chocolate etc.) that you use! Finally, if making these into thumbprints, I'd recommend adding in 1 tsp baking powder with the flour to keep them from being too dense! Not necessary, though. 🙂