The recipe for these pretty little Polish holiday cookies comes from the Nielsen-Massey archives. Cream cheese makes the dough extra-tender; experiment as much as you like with fillings, anything from jam to frangipane to chocolate hazelnut spread laced with oats will be delicious. —Posie (Harwood) Brien
about 4 dozen
cream cheese, softened
butter, at room temperature
almond extract (optional)
3 1/4 cups
all-purpose flour, divided into 2 3/4 cups and 1/2 cup
Beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract (if using), and salt until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and beat well.
Add 2 3/4 cup of flour and mix until the dough just comes together. Press the dough into a disc (it will be sticky), wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Once dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350° F. Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of flour with the confectioners' sugar and roll the dough out, dusting it as much as needed in the flour/sugar mixture, to 1/8" thickness. Cut the dough in 2 1/2" squares and transfer the squares to parchment-lined baking sheets.
Spoon about a teaspoon of jam on the center of each square of dough, and spread it slightly in a line. (Don't add too much jam, or the cookies won't stay closed.) Fold up two opposite corners of the square that have less filling and press firmly to close—you need to make sure the dough is pressed together or it can pop open while baking.
Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, or until just golden brown. Remove from the oven, let cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving, if you like.