cream cheese cookies

when i was little, my grampa would always take my brother and i to a little bakery by our house. he would let us choose whatever we wanted from the brightly lit glass case housing trays and trays mounded with pastries, doughnuts and cookies. it was always a daunting task, as behind the glass cases were shelves with more treats. i was never big enough to see beyond the counter and back to the shelves lined with sweets. so my grampa would lift me up to see over, and allow me to ask "whats that one" about fifty times. with so many options, i would occasionally stray from my usual and delight in a glazed doughnut, or raspberry danish, which always had more visual appeal than my humble favorite. but the next time... it was my true bakery love, the cream cheese pastry... apricot of course... eaten with a tiny carton of whole milk clad in red and white. this is not a danish, but a crumbly crusted, apricot filled, sugar topped little half moon. i can't remember what my brother or grampa would get, probably because i was so immersed in the bliss of my pastry. this little cookie is one of those things among many others that i will always associate with my grampa. his jell-o always had bubbles along the edge of the bowl, equal was always sprinkled on grapefruit halves, and he would always remind me not to step in the dog "dirt" in the back yard. and his earlobes. the biggest, softest earlobes anyone ever had. but this one, this little cookie, i can hold in my hand and remember the sweet times we had together.

cream cheese cookies ...recipe here(i used my own assembly method)

for pastry dough
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons water for egg wash

for apricot filling
  • 1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped dried apricots (10 oz)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2/3 cup mild honey
  • 1/4 cup sweet orange marmalade
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup water

Make dough:
Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl until combined.
Beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes in a stand mixer (preferably fitted with a paddle attachment) or 6 minutes with a handheld. Reduce mixer speed to low, then add flour mixture and mix just until combined.
Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill until firm, about 1 1/2 hours.

Make filling while pastry chills:
Bring apricots, raisins, honey, marmalade, cinnamon and water to a boil in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until dried fruit is softened and mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cool until warm, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Chill until cold, about 2 hours.

Assemble and bake cookies:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.

roll out one piece of dough on a floured board to a rough 11 inch circular shape. with a drinking glass or pastry cutter cut rounds of the dough and set aside. 

place one heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle. with a finger dipped in water, moisten the edge of the circle, and fold it in half. pinch the edge to adhere it to each other. 

using kitchen shears, cut a vent in the top of the cookie.
brush the cookie with egg wash and sprinkle the top with granulated sugar.

Arrange cookies 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake until golden, 17 to 20 minutes, then transfer with a metal spatula to racks to cool completely. Make more cookies with remaining dough and filling on a lined cooled baking sheet.

No comments:

Post a Comment