Exploring the world of holiday baking and cookies, I chanced upon these beautiful and delicious cream cheese cookies that are a Christmas tradition in Poland and popular across the Eastern European countries. What better way to send across my Christmas wishes to all my friends! These wonderful crumbly cookies almost resembling short crust pastry are just melt in your mouth. Use your choice of preserves or jams as a filling. I went with strawberry preserve which is the most loved at home. Do not forget the dusting of confectioner’s sugar on top which provides the perfect balance between the salty cookie and tangy filling and reminds you to celebrate the beauty of the snowflakes outside. Perfect treat for the season and a beautiful addition to your holiday spread.
- All-purpose flour – 1 cup
- Salted butter – ½ cup (1 stick)
- Cream cheese block – 3 oz. (½ cup)
- Any preserve or jam of choice – ¼ cup
- Egg white – separated from 1 egg for sealing ( vegetarians can use flour slurry in case they want to avoid egg white)
- Confectioner’s sugar to dust
Whisk the butter and cream cheese together nicely. Add the flour and mix well until the dough comes together. Clingwrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Can be refrigerated overnight too.
Remove the refrigerated dough and roll it out on a well-floured surface to about ½ cm thickness. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares. Gently lift using a spatula and transfer to a parchment lined tray. These measurements give you about 10 cookies. You can proportionally increase the quantities of the ingredients if you want more.
Add a tsp. of the fruit filling in the middle of the squares (jelly and jams without fruit pulp don’t hold well so do remember to use jams rich with fruit or pulp if not using preserves). Take two opposite corners of the square and fold over the filling and using a bit of egg white (or flour slurry), press and seal together. Make sure you do not skip this step as the folds will open out while baking otherwise! (I wonder how I discovered that! 😊)
Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pastry browns slightly. Make sure to cool the cookies well before dusting them with the confectioner’s sugar. Happy baking and Merry Christmas to all!