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Ma Mesich's Kolacki (ethnic) -- Quad-Cities Online Recipe Book
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Ma Mesich's Kolacki (ethnic)

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The walnut filling is the favorite filling of my relatives, expecially my brother-in-law Bill. The story goes that Bill as a youngster would invite friends over to the Chicago three-flat and say, "Help youself to the Kolaki, but touch the walnut and I break your arm." To make the walnut filling I use my mother-in-law's ancient grinder, which was given to her over 60 years ago by another relative. The cookies freeze very well. My mother-in-law and I made 500 for my daughter's wedding and they were frozen for two months. We intend to make 500 more for my second daughter's wedding, whenever that may be.

Ingredients

Dough:
1 pound butter
4 cups flour
4 eggs
8 ounces sour cream
2 packages granular dry yeast
3-4 tablespoons warm milk
1 tablespoon sugar
Filling:
Canned fillings such as raspberry, strawberry, apricot, prune, poppyseed, almond.
Walnut filling:
3/4 to 1 pound ground walnut meats
Four egg whites
Sugar to taste

Instructions

Mix butter and flour until crumbly. Mix in remaining ingredients gradually. It will form a sticky dough. Flour up your hands and knead it a bit, adding flour to keep it from getting too sticky. When it is no longer too sticky, you have enough flour in it. Divide it into four balls. Wrap balls separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. You can also freeze the dough at this point, to be made up into cookies at a later time. I like to do this in steps, making the dough one day, and on another day, putting the cookies together. While dough is cooling, make the filling. Canned fillings such as raspberry, strawberry, apricot, prune, poppyseed and almond can be used. I prefer Solo brand in a can but there is also Bohemian Kitchen brand in a jar. I also like to make my own walnut filling. Grind walnut meats. Add four egg whites and sugar. It should be rather think but not too gloppy, so that it will stick on a spoon rather like peanut butter. Add more ground walnuts or more egg white to achieve this if needed. To assemble kolacki: Take one ball of dough at a time out of the refrigerator. This is important because it warms up quickly and gets hard to manage. Throw a cup of flour on work surface. (I use my countertop.) Flour the rolling pin and begin to roll out a rectangle. Flip the dough numerous times as you do this, adding flour each time to keep it from sticking. Roll out very thin. Use a sharp knife (or a ravioli roller or pizza cutter) and cut 2-inch squares. Quickly using a soup spoon and a table knife, put a quantity of filling into the spoon and scrape a bit into the middle of each square. Or, fill a plastic bag with the filling, cut a small bit off the corner and squeeze a bit of the filling onto the dough. If your dough becomes too sticky as you use it, squeeze it back together and refrigerate again. Using floured hands, pinch the dough together, or roll it, or fold it on the diagonal. Place on a sprayed cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. They will puff up, and brown only the slightest bit, and that means they are done. Remove and shake or place onto a tea towel to cool. When cool, shake a sieve of powdered sugar over the cookies.

Teresa Mesich
Rock Island



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  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.






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