Polish Butter Cookies or ciasteczka maślane are a simple cookie that many remember from their childhood. I’ve made them a couple of times recently.
They remind me of spritz cookies, which might be something my dad likes. I remember my mother making them for my dad to share with his coworkers before Christmas when I was a child.
They did not fit my childish idea of Christmas cookies. Where was the frosting? They weren’t dipped in chocolate. You can see where my priorities were.
Tastes change, and now, I find that I have an appreciation for simple things including cookies. Ania Gotuje (who’s recipe I’ve adapted) describes them as proven and worth remembering.
To me, Polish Butter Cookies have a “short” texture, meaning that there is a high proportion of fat to flour in the recipe. Given the name, that’s no surprise.
While I don’t mean to describe them as heavy, the texture is also somewhat dense and compact, like shortbread. Egg yolks are the only leveling,
Preparing Polish Butter Cookies
The first time I made ciasteczka maślane, I tried to pipe the dough with a large star tip and a pastry bag. The dough is stiff, and I applied enough pressure to split the seam in my plastic piping bag.
I finished preparing the cookies by rolling the dough into small balls (about 3/4-inch in diameter). I dipped the dough balls in sugar and placed them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. I made an indentation with my thumb and filled it with jam.
I found that the little kiss of jam on my piped cookies tended to melt and run. The thumbprint on the humble cookies in the first batch provided a nice space that kept the jam in place while baking.
In my first batch of piped cookies, I also tried topping them with Amarena Wild Cherries in Syrup (delicious little things that we have around for cocktails). It did not go well There is too much syrup in the cherries. It cooked out and made for a messy appearance and cleanup. I may try some of the candied cherries that you might use in a fruitcake next time.
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I made Polish Butter Cookies for a second time because I wanted to make them with a cookie press. I’ve been thinking about replacing my old cookie press which was missing a key part. Why hadn’t I tossed it years ago? Maybe I thought the missing part would turn up. It didn’t. So I treated myself to a new press by OXO.
It works like a dream, and I love the way these little flowers turned out. After all, we eat with our eyes first. If you’re using a cookie press, remember that the cookie dough needs to stick to the pan so that it will stay in place as you lift off the cookie press. Do not line the baking sheet with parchment, do not grease the sheet. The good news is that there is so much butter in the dough that the cooled cookies release from the pan nicely for very easy cleanup!
To top the second batch, I looked for something thick that wouldn’t run during baking. I used some plum butter that I had in the fridge, and it worked beautifully. It stayed in place so well that I could have made the plum butter centers of my flower cookies larger.
I was so worried about the topping running that I made a small indentation with the handle of a wooden spoon to give the jam a “nest.” With the plum butter, that was unnecessary.
Get the timing right
I baked both batches for 15 minutes, one on a light pan and one on a dark pan. If your baking sheet has a dark finish, you may want to check them at 12 minutes rather than waiting for the full 15 minutes. Something I should keep in mind, no matter what I’m baking.
Try the Polish Butter Cookies because not every occasion calls for over the top cookies. There is a place for simple, dignified treats too.
PS – If you enjoy shortbread-like cookies, you’ll want to try these Polish Almond Crescent Cookies!Print
A shortbread-like cookie, ideally made with a cookie press and topped with a dab of jam.
- 14 tablespoons butter (200g), softened
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (100g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups flour (320g)
- 1/3 cup corn or potato starch (50g)
- pinch of salt
- marmalade or jam for decorating cookies
- Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C)
- Beat the butter and egg yolk until light. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, mix until well combined.
- Slowly blend in the flour, corn or potato starch, and salt, don’t over mix.
- Using a star or flower disc on a cookie press, pipe cookies onto a baking sheet. They will not expand much, so you can put them as close together as your cookie press allows. (Or roll the dough into small balls, place on a baking sheet, and make an indentation with your thumb). Add a small amount (1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon) of jam to the center of the cookie.
- Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until the butter cookies are just becoming golden around the edges. Cool on the pan before removing.
Keywords: Polish butter cookies, ciasteczka maślane
An accountant by trade and a food blogger since 2009, Lois Britton fell in love with Polish cuisine during the years she lived in Poznań, Poland. As the creator of PolishHousewife.com, she loves connecting readers with traditional Polish recipes. Lois has a graduate certificate in Food Writing and Photography from the University of South Florida. She is the author of The Polish Housewife Cookbook, available on Amazon and on her website.