Busia’s Best Polish Desserts
When it comes to Polish desserts, Busia knows best! Check out some of our favorite old-world Polish recipes filled with classic ingredients like poppy seeds, honey, plums and more.
Traditionally, these loaves were eaten after sundown on Christmas Eve as part of a 12-course meal. At our house, we never can wait that long to bite into the pretty spiral slices of this tender, coffee cake-like treat.—Linda Gronewaller, Hutchinson, Kansas
In late summer when plums are in season, this tender fruit-topped cake is delectable! The plum slices look so appealing arranged in circles on top. For variety, I sometimes substitute fresh pear or apple slices instead. —Anna Daley, Montague, Prince Edward Island
These sweet pastries have Polish and Czech roots and can also be spelled “kolaches.” They are usually filled with poppy seeds, nuts, jam or a mashed fruit mixture. The ice cream is a unique twist on traditional kolachkes, and it’s simplest to use a square cookie cutter to cut the dough. —Diane Turner, Brunswick, Ohio
These elegant blintzes can be served as an attractive dessert or a brunch entree. The bright cherry sauce gives them a delightful flavor. I sometimes substitute other fruits, such as raspberries, blueberries or peaches. —Jessica Vantrease, Anderson, Alaska
This traditional khruchiki recipe has been handed down through my mother’s side from my great-grandmother. As a child, it was my job to loop the end of each cookie through its hole. —Sherine Elise Gilmour, Brooklyn, New York
There’s no need to run to the bakery for delicious jelly doughnuts! These sweet treats are lighter than air. I’ve been fixing them for 25 years for my husband, our two daughters and their families. They disappear almost as fast as I make them. —Kathy Westendorf, Westgate, Iowa
My Rugelach makes a classic addition to holiday trays. The flaky, buttery pastry slices encase a spiced fruit and walnut filling. —Laurie Klett, Hamilton, Michigan
A perfect partner for your Christmas goose, this warm and fruity side dish can simmer while you prepare the rest of your menu, or make it a day ahead and reheat before serving. —Shirley A. Glaab, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
While traditionally known as palmiers, these puff pastry-based cookies (French in origin) are popular in Poland! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
These traditional Polish treats will keep for a long time in an airtight container. One year, I sent a batch to my sister, but the box got lost. She received it 12 days later…and the cookies still tasted great! —Jean Doxon, Omaha, Nebraska
A Swedish friend shared this recipe with me many years ago. A chocolate glaze tops tender cookies filled with apricot jam.—Beverly Stirrat, Mission, British Columbia
Filled with fruit, nuts, chocolate and loads of flavor, these traditional Italian treats hit the spot. We enjoy them at Christmas with a hot beverage.
My oldest son is a huge fan of these thumbprints, so I make sure they’re on my baking list every Christmas. Lemon zest and poppy seeds help give this crisp cookie fantastic flavor. —Kelly Pember, Wheeler, Wisconsin
Pear lovers will find it hard to resist going back for seconds (and maybe even thirds) of this old-fashioned cake. Almond extract beautifully complements the pears and tender cake.—Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
When I came across this unusual appetizer, I just knew I had to try it. Although I prepare these squares every Christmas, no one tires of them. – Jo Baden, Independence, Kansas.