crescent jam and cheese cookies Recipes

crescent jam and cheese cookies

Because if I don’t mention this today I believe my husband will pop out of lurkdom and tsk-tsk me publicly for it, let me own up to one thing: I snore. Just kidding! I emphatically do not snore, not even when I have had wine with dinner and a lingering head cold and it would have been completely understandable. Not even then.

farmer cheese
sieved

Wow, that was totally not what this post was supposed to be about. Let me try again, from the place where I own up to something: I often get really cranky with recipes when I cook. Why wasn’t this tested better? Would it have killed them to add this highly relevant detail? How many editorial hands did this recipe pass through and not a single one of them could have corrected this bogus weight? It’s not pretty and, tellingly, the tendency has only become exacerbated since I began writing my own cookbook. It leads to a lot of grumpiness in the kitchen. A recipe I feel would benefit from an overhaul is a needling reminder that even with a team of very able people involved, perfection is unattainable and one day someone will be standing in a kitchen wondering how nobody saw that inevitable typo in my book and lordy, is it too early for a drink?

rolled, cut and dolloped with jam

So last Thursday, I decided to make some delightful looking cookies from The Gourmet Cookie Book as a hostess gift for our Christmas Eve dinner. Plus, I love a recipe that calls for something I’m trying to use up, in this case, a brick of farmer cheese. But the recipe put me in a bad mood. [This is the part I am supposed to own up to, says my husband, as he had to listen to me complain about the recipe for an hour.] First, it told me I’d have more than enough cheese when I barely had enough which sent me into a fit of “Should you pack the measuring cup? Should it fall loosely in there? This recipe is from 1973, at no time over the last 37 years could they have inserted that important detail?” and other distractions. Then, I was mixing the dough and I checked and rechecked and what? Where was the sugar? What kind of cookie doesn’t have sugar in it? It would be terrible. Or, perhaps, there isn’t supposed to be any sugar but don’t you think they should mention that in the headnote so people don’t become alarmed? I spent 15 minutes debating whether I should follow the recipe or add sugar, getting increasingly grumpy with each (uh, single-step) pace of the kitchen floor before deciding to the take the recipe at its obviously incorrect word. When it was time to roll out the cookies, I was positive that they’d open up and jelly would burn up all over the pan and really felt more detail was warranted on how to avoid this. I really sound like fun, don’t I? Hey, who wants me to review their cookbook?!

ready to bake
first batch, dusted

I hope you know where this is going: These are some of the best things I have ever made. Oh, if I could go back in time and just tell myself to shut it, awesomeness is nigh I would. Instead, I will tell you this so you can make your way through this recipe with serenity. What came out of the oven was a veritable dream, a cross between a croissant and rugelach with the kind of pillowy flaky layers pastry chefs work tirelessly to achieve through focused applications of regimented amounts of butter to floury doughs. But you can pull it off with 10 minutes and a big mixing bowl. The absent sugar that I fretted over is its greatest feat: just a light dusting of powdered sugar and the sweetness of the jam (and I find most jams very sweet) within carries the whole cookie to the perfect coda, that I’d normally classify as “grown-up sweet” but it turns out 15 month-olds don’t mind them much either.

texture

One year ago: Pear Bread and Parmesan Cream Crackers
Two years ago: Braised Beef Short Ribs with Potato Puree, Swiss Chard and Horseradish Cream and Gramercy Tavern’s Gingerbread
Three years ago: Blue Cheese Iceberg Wedge and Linxe’s Chocolate Truffles
Four years ago: Pecan Squares, Boozy Baked French Toast and Onion Soup

Crescent Jam and Cheese Cookies
Adapted from The Gourmet Cookie Book

We are so infatuated with these cookies that I’m breaking my Never Post About Cookies Right After Christmas, When The World Is Cookie-d Out, Rule to tell you about them today. We want to fill them with Nutella, with chocolate chips. We want to try out different jams and maybe even some of that exalted chestnut paste. Plus, having no sugar in them, they seem destined for savory applications to, be it herbed goat cheese or a slip of caramelized onions.

Makes about 30 cookies

2 sticks (1 cup, 8 ounces or 227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
7.5 ounces farmer cheese (a lowfat cottage/ricotta-style cheese; I buy mine from Friendship)*
2 tablespoons (1 ounce or 30 grams) sour cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (8 3/4 ounces or 250 grams) all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling cookies out
1/4 teaspoon salt
Jam or preserves (I used raspberry)
Milk, for brushing cookies
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Cream butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Force cheese through a sieve right onto creamed butter and stir it in. Add the sour cream and vanilla and combine the mixture well. Whisk or sift together flour and salt in a separate bowl and gradually blend it into the cheese mixture. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill it for at least 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll one-fourth of the dough out very thinly on a lightly floured surface and chill the remaining dough until it is to be used. Cut the dough into 3-inch squares** and put about 1/2 teaspoon jam or preserves in the center of each. Fold the dough in half on the diagonal, pressing firmly down to seal the two sides around the jam. Roll the triangle into crescents, starting at the wide end. Arrange crescents on a baking sheet (they won’t expand terribly much, so just an inch or so between them is fine), brush them lightly with milk and bake them for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are golden. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and dust them with powdered sugar. Continue making cookies in the same manner until all the dough is used.

* Or enough pot cheese to fill a 1 cup measure once forced through a sieve. (Pot cheese is the primary recommendation of the recipe, but I didn’t test it with this so cannot provide a definite weight.)
** For the first batch, I used a ruler and a knife and honestly, it is always a pain to try to cut dough into a perfect grid. The second batch, I remembered I’d just bought some square cookie cutters and hoo boy, it sure sped things up!

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255 comments on crescent jam and cheese cookies

    1. deb

      Hi Mira — I am definitely expecting some questions on substitutions! I’m too neurotic to recommend anything I haven’t tested in my kitchen but if you promise to take my advice with a caveat: I think that ricotta is a bit wetter than farmer cheese (some more than others). What I might do is leave it in a coffee filter for a while so some of the water/whey drains off and when it looks more like that brick you see in the second photo as in, able to hold a shape but still very damp (the paper it sits on is not transluscent, it is actually soaked from the cheese, for reference) you should be good to go. Hope that helps.

  1. Francheska

    These remind me of the pastries we make here in Puerto Rico, quesitos and pastelillitos so good with coffee in the morning @__@ must make this with guava jam

  2. These look amazing!!! I was just starting to wonder what I should bring to a potluck New Year’s Eve Party, and I think these will be perfect! Thank you so much, and have a Happy and Healthy New Year!!!

  3. eko

    Ah, hindsight is over-rated;). I know not usually living in it – keeps me humble! I believe I will be making these before a new year apprpaches!:9

  4. Deb,
    I am always looking for holiday cookies *without* nuts, since my daughter has a nut allergy. She LOVES raspberry jam and powdered sugar of course, and we both love moons.
    I am going to be making these this week for New Years!
    THANKS!!!!

  5. Joygerm

    Hi Deb – My square cookie cutter is 2 5/8″ (as I noticed is the one you linked to on Amazon). I’m assuming it’s okay that it’s not quite 3″, yes?

  6. Liz

    What a curious cookie. I wonder if Whole Foods would have Farmer Cheese, I’ve never even heard of it. And your little darling is, of course, the cutest taste tester around ;)

  7. Liz

    ..and this may sound silly, but I would advise people to let the cookies cool before dusting with the powdered sugar, or they might end up with a sticky mess :)

  8. I would eat dairy for these little nuggets of love! The first picture of them reminded me of a chocolate filled cookie a neighbour used to make all the time. I was very young, but I do remember the cookie not being very sweet, but with the gooey chocolate you didn’t notice. I may have to make these, in a few weeks of course.

    Your comments on recipes are the reason why I prefer cooking over baking. If I think it needs something, I add it. If there are steps missing, I make it up. But baking, that’s a science that you cannot mess with too much. But my all time favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe comes from me misreading the recipe and also adding in a few of my own things.

  9. Beth

    This reminds me of a Christmas cookie my friend makes — similar dough, crescent shape, and powdered sugar, but with an almond paste in the middle. She says they’re a Polish cookie, and calls them kieflies (I am sure I’m spelling that incorrectly). Our friends wait all year for these cookies. I’m willing to bet these would be just as delicious…

  10. haha, I love hearing about how you fuss over recipes. This is why I know your cookbook is going to be awesome (no pressure!). I keep reading about the Gourmet Cookie book on other blogs and need to go check it out. These cookies look so good, especially with as little that is in them. Also: square cookie cutters = brilliant!

  11. Erin

    Hi Deb, I am a frequent visitor who does not comment but I must concur on your editorial rant! I have been raving about your recipes for months and I tell everyone how wonderfully detailed your recipes always are. Seriously. I have fancy, hardcover cookbooks I spent $50 on that don’t do it so well. And I am also pretty upset I missed these for Christmas. They look amazing, and will go on my long list of your recipes to try. And please, count at least 10 of your future cookbooks already sold. I am buying one for myself and everyone I know.

  12. Hermione

    Mmmm! I for one, am never opposed to cookie recipes. It’s cold and so rainy that the locks on my car stopped working. I don’t have the energy to pretend I’m going to eat nothing but salad.
    I will most likely have to make do with ricotta. There’s so much that is a holy Grail for me and commonplace for you. I did see chestnuts at Trader Joe’s though!

  13. Kat

    I was looking at that cookbook at Borders and I definitely questioned the taste of the people in the 70s and earlier. Glad to see that the oddities came together!

  14. Amy

    These look phenomenal, but I’m nursing twins and can’t have cow’s milk because they’re sensitive to it. If you wanted to share a thought about subbing goat cheese, I’d br your very best friend. I was thinking caramelized onions inside?

  15. I share your recipe frustration but sometimes in reverse: today in the midst of baking a cake I realized I was about to run out of sugar and debated back and forth about whether I could skip the last 1/2 cup or whether it would totally mess up the ratios. silly me. these crescent cookies, however, would make a lovely surprise snack (or breakfast?) for overnight guests. thanks!

  16. Connie

    Love the little prologue about snoring :) and the cookie recipe looks really lovely! Am still in a holiday baking mood since I only made 1 cookie recipe this whole season!

  17. I do not snore either, although my husband tells me that sometimes I make very ladylike sounds when I sleep….I choose to believe that he is not referring to snoring. The recipe looks lovely!

  18. Rachel

    Hi Deb!

    First time commenter, long time recipe follower. Do you think that I could use regular cottage cheese in these? Or should I just do the ricotta-cheese thing you suggested earlier?

    Thanks so much!

  19. Jean

    Due to a holiday vacation, my cookie exchange is in Jan so this recipe is perfect timing. I can’t wait for your cookbook…btw, do you need recipe testers?!? I’m great at following directions. ;-)

  20. anne

    I was just at my in-laws’ for Christmas where my husband’s aunt was baking up a huge batch of these – the Polish call them kolacky? But she used cream cheese. I wanted the recipe because I have a huge batch of homemade too-sweet jam and this sounds like the perfect application. Thanks!

  21. These look great, but truly I commented to squee over your little boy, his tummy pudge, and the jammy drippings of an obviously delectable cookie down his front. Oh, and I second whomever up there offered herself as a recipe tester. (Pick me, pick me!) Happy New Year to you and yours!

  22. Sarah

    Oh Deb, I adore each and every blog entry. I love your voice and style. I can’t wait for your cookbook! Thank you for this blog. — Sarah in Portland, OR

  23. These cookies look so delicious! I would love to try them, even if you did snore!

    I’m constantly trying to see how much sugar I can cut out of a dessert recipe. This is the best yet: no sugar in the cookie. Cool!

    Kathleen

  24. Shannon

    Lovely! Your photos are what totally suck me in. Cookbooks never, ever have enough pictures for me! I especially love the ones of the process, so I can tell if I’m doing it right.

    Speaking of details in recipes, I’m dying to try these, but not until I find out what you mean by rolling them out “very thin.” It’s hard to tell from the picture. I’m one of those cooks, like you, who likes to have exact instructions!

  25. These cookies look delicious. I agree with the exact directions too and side notes for recipes that tell you that a usually necessary ingredient is missing on purpose.

  26. I recently bought the Gourmet cookie book just for the Bourbon Ball recipe, and I ended up marking almost every page as ‘must make someday.’ This recipe, though, was a ‘must make really soon’ bookmark. Now I really have to try it–they sound absolutely delicious. I’m ready to be less indulgent now that the holidays are pretty much over, but I think there’s still room for these. plus, I’m really in to not-too-sweet cookies right now.
    And I know exactly what you mean about the recipe thing–I drive myself crazy, too. Sometimes I fix the recipe and it’s a good thing, and sometimes I ‘fix’ it and realize I should have left it alone.

  27. Hi Deb, I come from Austria originally and know of these crescents with sweet and savoury fillings. I’d like to try out your version but am used to metric measurements. How many grams of farmers’ cheese would I use? We do have a simple formula of 1 part butter, 1 part cheese and 1 part flour of 250g each but this does not apply to your recipe. By the way, a walnut filling is superb as well. Cheers from sunny Australia, Ingrid

  28. Erin from Mississippi

    These look wonderful and I will try them out this Friday for new Years, but I think I also might make a savory batch as you had mentioned and put a little cheesy-nutty-veggie inside! What wonderful little morsels! Thanks for this recipe :)

  29. Mary

    Your cookbook will be something to look forward to because I print out all your yummy recipes and stash them in my cupboards. I made your apple cider donuts this fall and couldn’t stop eating them. Wow they were delicious. These little cookie things look very good.

  30. Anna

    @ Ingrid: 7.5 ounces = 215 g

    I have a handy iPhone app to do metric conversions for me, as I also don’t use the American measuring system.

  31. Carole

    Thanks for describing “Farmer” cheese! Around here, what they call Farmer cheese is definitely not any where close to cottage or ricotta. Gotta try this cookies–as soon as I get my kitchen back. It is being attacked today by workmen removing a wall so I can install my “new” old kitchen wood stove :-)

  32. linda

    i enjoy baking rugelach & this is such a nice twist…

    rugelach is freezer friendly (assemble & freeze) then glaze & bake off as needed…i image this would whole true with crescent jam & cheese cookies…yes?

  33. This is a basic twist on the standard KOLACHE recipe that uses cream cheese instead of farmer’s cheese and then then adds a bit of sour cream to the recipe. I would recommend a classic poppyseed filling or prune filling, for sure.

  34. This is tooooooo much – I have EVERY ingredient in the house! OH NO – I don’t need another cookie in our house – but lemme tell you, our UPS driver is some lucky dude!

  35. Krista

    These remind me of a Polish cookie my grnadmother makes calls “kolachi”, however, we use cream cheese in the dough instead of farmers. Sometimes my grandmother rolls the dough in powdered sugar/flour mix (since theres no sugar in the dough), it lends a slight sweetness to the cookie. The traditional jam is apricot and prune. I will try the creasnt shape since I often fret over lost jam. Thanks for the post!

  36. And here I thought I was just going to skip over this post. Glad I didn’t – I love the sound of these and LOVE the idea of making them savory! BTW, you’re not the only one grumbling about recipes, wishing the directions were more clear or questioning something that seems amiss. I think we all do that to some extent!

  37. I’m so cranky when recipes are problematic that I start swearing like a trucker…or worse.

    That said, I’m glad you went into detail on the end result, because I usually find cookies with jam to be cloying. Now, however, this is a recipe I’ve bookmarked and will try someday soon.

  38. Ha! I have been there, stressed over whether to follow a recipe strictly or make a change because it seems something has been left out of the recipe. I mean who wants to spend all that time and all those ingredients and then have the recipe fail. And yet, with recipes that I have made for years and then shared on my blog, I think I leave out details because they just seem too obvious to me or I do something automatically without thinking, so I forget to add it to the recipe notes. Tricky business!

    -Brenda

  39. you had me laughing at the snore comment. neither do i, but i used my flip video cam to show my wife she does. all in good fun though.

    i love how there is only powdered sugar in these cookies. the flavor profile is not compromised because you have the butter and cheese. caramelized onions is a fantastic pairing with goat cheese also.

    have a great day in nyc

  40. well, dear deb, all i can say is ‘hallelujah!’…as a diabetic for over 30 years, i am always looking for yummy, semi-healthy munchies……with the utilization of either all-fruit already made jam, or simple dry fruit home-made concoctions i too, can become a member of cookie-heaven.
    thank you.

  41. Rhonda

    Nope just in time for our Christmas on New Year’s day party…everyone will be home and have time off finally. My Mom thought the snow was really pretty and she was a lucky one to get a flight home as quickly as she did. It’s funny how sometimes the most frustrating recipe comes out the best. And I really wish publishers would hire me as a proof-reader. I would work for you for free, especially if taste testing is involved too. Happy New Year!

    1. deb

      Hillary — It breaks up any bigger clumps and makes it soft and silky enough that it easily mixes with the butter.

      Jen — I wouldn’t make them more than a day in advance. They begin to get stale. You could, however, assemble the cookies and freeze them, baking them directly from the freezer when needed.

      Shannon — I definitely avoided naming a thickness. My feeling was that you should roll them as thin as is comfortable, without them being translucent or hard to pick up. Because you’re doubling the dough by folding it over and then rolling it up, it can get very thick. Gourmet, however, says that you shouldn’t go thinner than 1/8-inch. I might have at times, though not by much.

  42. Firstly, knowing your blog, I expect that there will be minimal typos and issues with your cookbook. Unlike most recipes I find on the internet, I rarely need to make any substitutions when I make one of your recipes, so I keep making more and more of your recipes (including the heavenly mushroom stilton galette recipe for Christmas this year). I can’t wait to read your cookbook and start cooking from it. I know it’s going to become one of my favorite cookbooks (and I hope that at least one galette is making it into the cookbook, by the way).

    These cookies sound delicious and kind of German-esque cause I’ve had similar jam rolls at German bakeries.

  43. lizzzzzzzzzzzz

    Deb,
    These are so close to my Austrian Grandma’s recipe that is a must on the Christmas cookie tray. She used very well drained SMALL CURD COTTAGE CHEESE if farmer’s wasn’t available. We make a nut, sugar, cinnamon mix which is our favorite. Would you believe without the sugar and so much butter it is quite low calorie( relatively speaking)— all the more reason to make them!
    Jacob will have such sweet memories of waiting for hot treats from your oven!!!!

  44. I just have to tell you that I appreciate the effort you take to make sure recipes are tried and true! There hasn’t been one thing I’ve made from your blog (and I’ve made serveral!) that hasn’t been outstanding!! Thanks!

  45. Long-time reader (and huge fan!), first-time commenter. My best friend is allergic to eggs, and I love to bake, which means I am always on the lookout for desserts she can eat. This is definitely getting made soon. Thanks so much for posting!

  46. JanetP

    Ah, you crack me up! These cookies sound delicious, and I have some apricot jam just waiting to be used…. And the Jacob! Oh, the Jacob!

  47. CSM

    These look like Hungarian kiffel but your recipe is much more complex. To make my pastry dough, I use 1 lb butter, 1 lb cream cheese, 1 lb flour. I mix it, break the large ball of dough into 4 or 5 smaller ones, flatten them, and put them in the fridge for 1 hour. I roll, cut, stuff, and bake for 25 minutes. These are a holiday tradition.

  48. I can’t wait to try these cookies! Perfect for my husband who can’t eat sugar but can eat fruit sweetened jams. I’ll just skip the dusting of powedered sugar for him.

  49. Lataa

    I am drooling at work! These look scrumptious ( I never normally use that word). Definetly worth breaking the no- cookie- recipes- after- christmas- deal.

  50. I want to make these with strawberry preserves and a few chocolate chips in each one! I also love the links to pictures – the recipe-related ones are helpful, and the baby-related ones are just a delight!

  51. Karen

    Hey, these are just like the rugelah that I make, only a different shape (plus I do an egg with milk wash.) This kind of dough is devine and pretty much fool-proof.

  52. Love this story! I’m a recipe follower myself. So when the recipe is wrong, confusing, incomplete – it just makes me nuts. I talk up a storm (to myself) in the kitchen. My family just stays away until I produce something yummy to eat. Or show them my disaster and retreat to the couch in a humph.

    Glad it all worked out for you. I might just have to try these little delights!

  53. Julie

    What do you use to sanitize your counters before you roll dough out on it (and all the other cooking you do on it)? I’m always scared my cookies are going to taste like lysol. If you know of something a little more organic to clean counters I’d love to know.

  54. kathy in st louis

    Julie, try simply soaking a clean rag with water, then using it to wipe down your counters. However, if you’re afraid things will taste of a cleaner, you may want to use less – or use something else entirely.

  55. This recipe is a lot like a recipe for cheese crescents from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest (1 cup butter, 2 cups flour, 1 cup cottage cheese). Katzen calls for the dough to be rolled out and shaped like rugelach. There is no sieving of the cottage cheese in the recipe, and it still works.

  56. Susie

    I snore. Not always, but especially when I’ve got a head-cold and/or had a drinky or three. But I’d never admit to it either :).

  57. Chandana

    Thank you for your post. I was debating if I should buy the Gourmet Cookie book. The reviews on Amazon are mixed, but after reading your post I will not buy it.

  58. Alexandra

    Having grown up in the Bronx, we know that Pot cheese and Farmer cheese are NOT the same thing. Sad to say, though, no one outside of Manhattan recognizes that difference – or sells it. I live in a suburb of Boston and even the Russian groceries don’t carry Pot Cheese. Of course, Zabar’s does.

    Pot Cheese is a smaller and irregular curd cottage cheese without the creamy fluid, sold loose in a container. It is delicious and almost sweet tasting. Farmer Cheese is dry and dense with a very very small curd, sold in a brick like form. Farmer Cheese is great for making blintz filling – especially if you put it through a sieve. Pot cheese is great for that too- but also lovely on its own. Which are you using for these cookies?

  59. Jae

    Deb- I recently got that book and had the same problem. Two out of the three came out great and the third was a disaster. I have to go back and redo it to find out if it was me or the book. I also find that they replace things in the notes, and not in the recipe which further confuses the issue!

    But these look delectable.

  60. Lynn

    Thank you for posting both metric and English measures! Made it so much easier to pick up these ingredients at the grocery store today in Italy. I purchased ricotta instead of farmers cheese and will need to sub sour cream with yogurt. Just can’t get sour cream over here. Will make tomorrow and post results!

  61. Joelle

    Farmer Cheese is mostly available around here around Passover. Which got me thinking…I frequently end that holiday with too much jam and cheese in the fridge. And since it doesn’t call for a leavening…think these would sail with matzah meal? Potato flour?

    And on the irritating recipe note: I’ve given up on all but my most reliable recipes – even the World Peace Cookies have been tossed. There’s something funny about what I’m doing – the last 2-3 years (since I moved into this house) *nothing* has come out right. I went back to my favorite recipe writer – Maida Heatter – and had instant success.

    Because there was a woman who tested her recipes.

  62. Hmmm, I really like the concept of doing them with savory fillings. I might give that a try as part of the New Years Eve table of tasty nibbles. It would be especially fun since I could do all different fillings with all the lovely jars of tasty things currently in the fridge…..of that lovely jar of artichoke & red pepper tapenade that I found in my stocking……I’ll report back.

  63. KatP

    So you took that block on the paper and pushed it through the wire mesh in the photo below and it looks like what you have in the container? (I know silly Q probably but just beginning baking and want to make sure I know what you meant. :) )
    I am going to make my own farmers cheese by the recipe on Allrecipes in less you recommend another.
    Thank you for posting we are very excited to do this with our homeschoolers. : )

  64. Debbie

    As a couple of other people have commented, this is a variation on a kolachy. Instead of farmers cheese + sour cream, just use an 8oz brick of cream cheese. Every Polish-American person I know in the Chicagoarea is familiar with kolachy, but the cookie doesn’t seem to be well known anywhere else. They are folded differently to expose the filling. Poppy seed, prune, and apricot are the most common fillings and the dusting of powdered sugar is essential.

  65. Emily

    Well, I was given that cookbook as a christmas gift this year!! I noticed those cookies the one time I have had time to flip through it and thought they looked good. Now I will definitely have to try them! Thanks for the info. ;)

  66. PS – I just looked, I don’t have sour cream in the fridge but I do however have GREEK yogurt – I’m using that instead when I make the recipe. Like I even need to bake any more food! I think I also might need an intervention to keep me away from my kitchy!

  67. Deb, go savory! I make a savory rugelach with Indian-spiced carmelized red onions that’s divine. Pastry is similar in concept, with cream cheese and sour cream and filling has garam masala and cumin seeds sprinkled on top.

  68. I make a similar cookie which actually never had a name. The recipe is from my Hungarian mother in law and I just name it after her. Lil’s Hungarian Nut Cookies.
    The cookie also has no sugar in it except for the confectioners’ sugar sprinkled over top after baking. The pastry is flaky and light and the best!

  69. Anita

    This is similar to the recipe passed from my German/Hungarian grandmother, to my mother, to me. It is filled with a walnut filling (ground walnuts, whipped egg whites, sugar – I add amaretto) and rolled into crescents (kipferl), then dusted with powdered sugar. I also like filling the crescents with poppy seed filling.

  70. Faith

    I kept looking at these all day long, until I finally decided I had to make them tonight. They are AMAZING. I wasn’t so great at rolling them, but after taking a bite I really didn’t care. As my boyfriend pointed out (after one came unrolled and just looked like a triangle) they are quite a bit like turnovers. YUM!

  71. Jen

    Saw the photo of Jacob eating the cookie, made me melt. He’s a heart-breaker that one!!
    I as well can get grumpy in the kitchen. Especially when I can’t figure something out!!! Can’t wait to make these cookies!

  72. Sarah

    i made them, they are delicious! i wasn’t able to find farmer’s cheese at whole foods, but the cheese guy there recommended a similar ricotta, which worked great. my cookie cutter was 2 3/4″ which worked okay–i couldn’t quite master the crescent so i just went with triangles. no problem with powdering them right away, the sugar didn’t melt away or get sticky.

  73. I just bought that book yesterday {it’s on sale for half price at Crate and Barrel} and that was the first recipe I was planning to try! Thanks for taking all those hits for the team!

  74. Homesteader

    I had to laugh when I was making the recipe, and had some questions and doubts, as you did. For starters, I’ve never creamed butter with a mixer and I stood gaping at the bowl when the beaters instantly sucked up all the butter, so I had 2 big butter pops. lol! Needless to say, I’m a n00b, and had a few other things to work out along the way. I think those questions and doubts are fun, as they have less to do with the recipe author, and so much to do with our own confidence in our ability to succeed. (I think your recipes are fantastic, and your site is a joy to consult.)

    A few homemade hacks: I used homemade ricotta that had turned out kinda rubbery. After smushing it through a colander, it was perfect for the recipe – what a great way to save a ruined batch of cheese! I didn’t have any sour cream, so I substituted yogurt and a dash of baking soda. I didn’t have powdered sugar, so I ground up some regular sugar in my coffee grinder. I used a little tea strainer to scoop up the powdered sugar and sift it over the cookies – straight out of the oven – worked fine. I also had a hard time rolling them, and some opened, but those were interesting, as they looked like gremlin mouths – good idea for Halloween!

    The cookies were really sumptuous. I filled them with some spicy pear butter I had oodles of, and that my son, home visiting from college adores. These cookies provided the perfect vehicle to send him home with the pear butter wrapped in pastry goodness.

    Thanks so much,
    Your fan

  75. Colleen

    It seems like a chevre would be about the same texture/ fat as the farmer’s cheese and would be delicious with a savory filling– or even a not too sweet jam. Deb, I know that you do not like to make predictions when you have not tested things, but if this seems way off, it would be good to have your input.

    If anyone tries this, please post the results. I am not making treats for around the house for a few months, but if no one else has done the experiment by then, I will give it a go.

    Happy New Year everyone! May the new year find you all in the kitchens you deserve!

  76. Faith

    I should have mentioned in my earlier comment…I substituted cream cheese, and the pastry came out looking like the pictures with regard to color and flakiness.

    Actually, the pastry dough held up so well to the jam, I want to try it for a full pie crust some time.

  77. S

    I JUST made these for the first time last week (with apricot jam). My husband’s great-grandmother was from Austria and she made these every Christmas. They call them kipfels. The recipe they use only has 5 ingredients: butter, cream cheese, eggs, flour, apricot jam. (Ok, 6 if you count confectioner’s sugar to sprinkle on top after baking). I thought it was a cookie recipe so I spent a lot of my time cursing while working with the dough (it’s more like pastry making than cookie making). Next time I would use parchment paper b/c some of my jam did leak out onto my pan.

    It was all worth it b/c they tasted wonderful and my in-laws were very touched that I made them.

  78. I’ve put the butter and goat cheese out to soften, the fresh basil is snipped, I’m heading to the market to buy a a new head of garlic, an onion, and some farmer cheese. I’m making a variety of sweet and savory… I just happen to have powdered sugar on hand for the first time in years, because I iced gingerbread cookies last week!

  79. These jam-filled crescents are awesome. I could enjoy these with a glass of wine or a good cup of coffee.

    btw, it’s never too early for a drink (laugh).

    Happy New Year! Looking forward to your posts in 2011.

    Velva

  80. NicM

    Ooh I have homemade ginger-orange marmalade from Christmas and farmer’s cheese is very easy to make. I think I’ll do half savory for my husband who doesn’t like sweets (crazy, but more for me!).

  81. JJ

    I live in a small town, 2 hours away from the nearest city, where it is impossible to find Farmer’s Cheese. Any suggestions for a good substitution?

  82. Jill

    Hi. I live in Turkey and I’m a big fan of your site! I’m making these cookies right now for a New Year’s party tomorrow. The dough is chilling in the fridge. I used a mild Turkish farmer cheese called Lor peyniri and instead of sour cream (which I can’t get here) I used extra-thick strained Turkish yogurt (süzme yo?urt). I hope they turn out because yours look SO good!

  83. Gabby

    Bogus recipe ingredients have brought back terrible memories of a so called”easy” lemon tart that called for the rinds of SEVEN lemons. It was terrible. All that rind in one 8 inch tart. Maybe it was just me, but I swear, SEVEN lemons. Oh, and , naturally, the cookies look amazing!

  84. I would make these every Christmas with my grandma (a very good cook) and haven’t made them in about 20 years now. I am planning to make them with my kids tomorrow. Thanks for reminding me of a special time long ago.

  85. linda

    I made the cookies and the dough is super amazing. However, I could not, no matter what I did, stop the filling from leaking out. I pinched each one 3 times. I put a little milk around the edges to help seal them and I even took a fork and went around the edge and then pinched them again, but they still leaked. What’s the secret, Deb? What did I do wrong? Thanks for another fantastic recipe!!! Linda

  86. Kaiza

    These look delicious! Conversely, my grandfather gave me a recipe for tart dough that went something like “a pound of butter, a pound of cream cheese and a pound of flour”….needless to say there was much flailing of arms at the lack of sugar and detailed direction…and they too were amazing! I can’t wait to try making these!

  87. MikeW

    I haven’t had these since I was a little kid!

    BTW, I always loved it when they leaked jam — it was worth the burnt fingers & lips to scrape the gooey, caramelized jam off of the cookie sheet as a prequel snack.

    Try it some time! I’m looking forward to it, I’ll make sure to be a bit sloppy so that a few crescents leak.

  88. Sarah

    Theses are very similar to the Eastern European Kolacky (Kolache), that have been my family cookie staple my whole life. No sugar, just flaky cream cheese dough and jam, cheese or poppyseed filing.

    They are always a hit and perfect when you want a less sweet treat.

  89. Sami

    I just finished making these! Unfortunately, I left the powdered sugar at the store, so I will dust them tomorrow, but I had a taste test anyway. I used strawberry jam for half and half Nutella – and then I made the leftovers with Nutella too because it is SO GOOD. Nice call!

  90. Jill

    They turned out great, but I also couldn’t keep the edges together so there was significant leakage. No matter, though; dusted with powdered sugar, they look lovely and taste amazing! Thanks for the great recipe.

  91. Marianne

    These are such perfect cookies! I made the Polish Apricot-Filled cookies from the 2004 December issue of Gourmet, for my family this Christmas, and they were SO delicious. The recipe is very similar, but it uses cream cheese, and they are filled with a home made apricot fruit filling. (And My 13 month old also really really enjoyed them!) But I am really glad to know about this recipe, because it sounds slightly less labor intensive, but just as incredible!

  92. Sara Rund

    Echoing Laura, there is a similar recipe in The Settlement Cookbook. It’s for apricot horns, and the dough is made up of one pound each of flour,unsieved creamed cottage cheese and butter. This makes a very soft dough that has to be chilled, then formed into one inch balls, just two or three at a time, so they don’t soften up too much. What I’m getting at is that I think you can play around with substitutes for the farmer cheese, and still arrive at that “it’s hard to believe I achieved this in my kitchen” flaky, tender dough. Also, for Beth and anyone else who mentioned kiefle, my Serbian MOL says that the Martha Stewart recipe for Vienna Tarts (in the MS Christmas Cookbook but not on the website) tastes like the kiefle her mother used to make.

  93. I love you. Thank you. That is all. (Um, and I’m breaking my “no more baking because I’m tired of cookies after Christmas” rule too.) Fabulous, amazing cookies!!

  94. Mistie

    Hi! I haven’t commented before, but I just had to on these cookies. I just made some today for my annual New Year’s Eve party. They are soooo good! I got sick of rolling and cutting though, so my leftover dough I used to make a very rustic tart-like dessert. That was delicious too. Although, I couldn’t resist adding a little too much jam–it made the tart nice and runny. Vanilla ice cream is a nice compliment.

  95. These are my go-to cookie that I make every Christmas. I adapted my recipe from a recipe that was a lot like what it sounds like you came across: no sugar in the dough, and way less cheese than what a normal person would use (like 3 oz. of cream cheese instead of an 8 oz. package). After making them for so many years, though, my own adaptation makes much more sense, and has worked with so many jams and other yummies (a favorite is cherry preserves). Thanks for putting this recipe up, because I haven’t been able to find an online reference to these cookies of mine to give people an idea of what I’m talking about. :) Your blog is awesome!

  96. NS

    These are amazing. I just made them with ricotta instead of farmer’s cheese (drained in a coffee filter per Deb’s suggestion) and they came out perfectly. I did a sampler of different fillings: 3 kinds of jam (rose, lemon-ginger, and cherry), chocolate chips, and caramelized onions + ricotta + parmesan. I’ve only tasted the rose and the savory ones (because after burning my mouth TWICE stuffing them in there straight from the oven I’m trying to let the rest cool before I scarf them down) but they were phenomenal.

  97. The Russian Heritage Cookbook has an almost identical recipe: butter, farmer cheese, and flour. Then sour cherry jam in the middle. No salt, no sugar, no sour cream, no cream cheese. I never actually made them with farmer cheese because it’s too darn expensive. Instead I drained cottage cheese overnight and pressed it through a sieve. The dough turned out wonderfully tender and flaky. I tried them another time with cream cheese (because I was feeling lazy) and they turned out quite greasy and not nearly as good.

    You’re making me want to dig out that recipe again! I always overfill the darn things, though. A half teaspoon of jam doesn’t seem like enough! But then they leak. Ah well. Maybe someday I’ll learn. Lol.

    1. deb

      Sarah — I have to buy that book! Thanks for the heads-up.

      Linda — Not sure, only one or two of mine leaked. I was absolutely obsessive about only putting a half-teaspoon (like, measuring teaspoon not teaspoon from the cutlery drawer) in the middle, which is a very tiny amount.

      Alexandra — I don’t think anyone said they were the same thing. I used, as I mentioned, farmer’s cheese. The recipe says either can be used.

      JJ — It looks like some folks in the comments have had success with draining cottage cheese very well and sieving the solids. Scroll up and you’ll see other things people have tried with success, including cream cheese! I can only attest to the farmer’s cheese that I used.

      Other substitutions, mentions of mascarpone and chevre — My gut tells me that they’re too soft but if anyone tries this (or other cheeses) with success and can report back, everyone will appreciate having more options!

      MJ — For 30 cookies x 1/2 teaspoon = I get 5 tablespoons. Which is 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon, or very little jam.

      KatP — Looks like a good recipe on AllRecipes. My MIL makes her own from buttermilk, but I think this is better because you can start with full-fat milk while it is nearly impossible to find full-fat buttermilk north of the Mason-Dixon line!

      Gale — I think a ricer would be just fine. I have an OXO one and the holes are pretty small.

  98. Beth

    I think I did everything wrong when making these. I used full fat cottage cheese. I didn’t drain it. I used whipping cream instead of sour cream (a little less) because I was out of sour cream. I did not measure my squares. I used more than 1/2 a tsp of jam (oh, boy did they leak). Every cookie was a different size (some double than others). One batch, it took me 40 min of checking and rechecking to figure out I had turned off the oven the batch before. And to NOT top it all off, I was out of powdered sugar. I think I did everything feasible to mess this cookie up.

    They were soooo good (Homer Simpson Style, drool and all). Me and mine ate through the whole batch that night. They were ugly, misshapen, unpowdered, and covered in caramelized jam, but they were GOOD!

  99. I made these yesterday for a NYE party, using queso fresco (for those looking for farmer’s cheese subs, this worked great) and strawberry and apricot jam. I was able to roll the dough pretty thin without any problems, and though I also measured the jam I still had a few leaks–no big deal, though. They were a hit!

    Picture! http://flic.kr/p/96zgSY

  100. karina

    I feel a little disappointed when I tried a substitution of ricotta because there was no cheese taste or fragrance coming through. I shld have known because ricotta is so mild?

    Do u taste the farmers cheese or cream cheese? Or does the cheese only provide for the light fluffy texture?

    (Everyones been talking abt the wetness or texture but I am also wondering what farmer cheese taste like… )

  101. CoCo

    I didn’t bother with the sieve…I did use caramelized onion jam for a savory cookie–a delightful snack paired with a glass of wine!

  102. Me and a fellow devoted follower of yours made these for our New Years Eve dinner party and they were fabulous! We made caramelized onions (sauteed in truffle oil with a little salt and pepper and some wine) for the filling, omitted the powdered sugar and found that a pizza cutter was a great substitution for the knife/cookie cutter. They were delicious as appetizer accompaniments to the butternut squash soup starter. Thanks for another wonderful recipe and best wishes for a wonderful new year for you and your family!

  103. jen

    ps I know you guys in the US don’t make mincepies, but if any UK readers want to try these with mincemeat, they are awesome and really seasonal. YUM!

  104. Pam

    Can I just say WOW!?!? This was my first try at one of your recipes and it far exceeded my expectations. I went out and tried to hunt down the Farmers Cheese but all I could find was a pretty solid block of something yellow and wrapped in plastic labeled “Amish Farmers Cheese”. I grated it using the fine hole of grater but it looked like it would be at least two cups grated so I just used about half of it. I was very skeptical of what kind of results I would have but …. WOW. What a delicate pastry! Not too sweet, which is a nice change from the holiday overload. Thanks!

  105. stacy

    I had two wheels of rugelach dough (made with cream cheese) left from holiday cookie baking, and at your suggestion made a savory version. The filling was softened goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and herbs. delicious. I can wait to try more versions. thanks! love your blog!

  106. Tali

    Hi, I haven’t read all the comments…but I did try it with part skim ricotta (a dry one) and it produced a light “springy”, flaky dough. I filled it with Nutella…YUM! The kids were my taste testers and they gobbled it up :). My 6 years old daughter (which is the dictionary definition for “sweet tooth”) did feel the lack of sugar in the dough and commented- mom, I didn’t like the dough but I did like it- translation: go heavier with the Nutella please!. All and all, this recipe is a keeper for me because of the texture and it’s versatility. I assume that adding sugar to the dough will change the delicate nice texture, but I will try it next time. Oh…almost forgot, I decided that I will try making the Hamantaschen this year using this dough.

  107. Frank Finamore

    My mother has made these for years. They are my absolute favorite. She does it from memory and I haven’t yet learned to make them from her. Thanks for the recipe and the gorgeous pictures!

  108. Omar

    Very pleased! I used a pizza cutter with various combinations of chestnut paste, peach and raspberry jams. l am intrigued to try Nutella, savory versions and a rugelach. Thank you Deb for another “go to” recipe that I know I’ll be using for years!

  109. I’m loving this!! The powdered sugar really adds that je-ne-sais-pas-quoi aspect to these little buddies. They’re like puffy moons. I’m looking forward to whippin’ these up for friends in the snowy midwest ;)

    Thanks!

  110. G

    I used cottage cheese and greek yogurt, which are available here in Berlin, but I used too much jam and found them overwhelmingly sweet. I only baked 1/4, so I’ll try another 1/4 batch today with a cottage cheese filling and see if I like it better.
    Happy New Year’s!

  111. Maria

    I made these yesterday and they are delicious. They are so flaky. You don’t taste the farmers cheese at all, but I’m sure the cheese is why the cookies are so flaky. I filled them with Nutella (well, the brand they sell at Whole Foods), chocolate chips, herbed goat cheese, mixed berry jam, cranberry raspberrypreserves, cream cheese, peanut butter, and then some with peanut butter and jam, and cream cheese and jam. You really need to put 1/2 teaspoon in them or they will leak. I will be making these again very soon!

  112. JOANNE

    Love your blog!!! I check it every day when i am supposed to be working! I substituted greek yogurt for the cheese, used ½ wheat flour, and substituted olivio spread for half the butter to cut down on calories a bit. And when i ran out of raspberry jam I used the almond/fig spread someone gave me in a gift basket. They came out great! Taste like pie crust filled with sweetness! I got 44 cookies, so they were a little smaller, but that’s ok because hubby is supposed to be on a diet. LOL, there are only 6 left! Next time I will open the other jar that came in my gift basket: carmelized onion/balsamic spread.

  113. jeannie

    Just a note about the recipe. I have this book and if you read the notes at the bottom it says that 1 cup of cheese is about six ounces.

  114. I made them with ricotta and they came out beautifully – it was Trader Joe’s ricotta, which seems a little bit drier than some other ricottas to me, so no draining was necessary. I filled some with strawberry jam, some with chocolate, and some with chocolate and peanut butter. They were all good but the jam ones were really the best because of the sweetness of the jam with the unsweetened dough. This is definitely the place to use quite sweet fillings without having the whole thing be overwhelmingly sweet. I brought them to a friend’s for dinner and all of them (including the not quite as good peanut butter and chocolate) were devoured!

  115. deb

    jeannie — 6 ounces of sieved cheese did not fill a 1 cup measure. My entire 7.5 ounce package barely filled it, too, but since that amount worked for me, it is what I recommend. [Most of this post is about having issues with this recipe as written.]

  116. Nancy from PA

    My Grandma Bair used to make something like this, only the filling was a cooked date/nut mixture. Yummy! I think I’ll try your savory version. I’ve some Italian poultry sausage calling to me from the freezer.

  117. just got them out of the oven and half of them are already gone! made it with ricotta as I couldnt find farmers cheese, tastes fantastic but was a bit challenging to roll out, was a little sticky. used nutella for half and goat cheese for the other. OMG they are delicious! best pastry/cookie as of yet!

  118. Erica

    I used ricotta cheese and drained it before adding to the butter. My fillings were Nutella, Crofter’s Organic Europe Superfruit conserve, and Alouette Light Cucumber/Dill cheese. I sprinkled the later with dill and they were delicious. A sliver of smoked salmon in these savory ones would have been just the thing. I lined my baking sheets with parchment and mine baked for 17 minutes each.

  119. Kellie

    Made these tonight and they are HEAVENLY! I used homemade raspberry and cherry freezer jam I made over the summer….so good, I can’t even tell you! Thank you!

  120. Hoo, yes!!

    We’ve been making (and inhaling) these for years, cobbled together from two old Martha Stewart recipes (back when she FEATHERED her hair, I kid you not). They are the bomb. Puts puff pastry to shame. We love it with apricot. And no sugar in the dough.

    Definitely rule-breaking material, these.

  121. AmyLynn

    These made a disaster of my kitchen, particularly my baking pan (was out of parchment paper), but they were sooo lovely! Thanks for sharing the recipe, and the encouragement – I’m sure I would have given up halfway through if I hadn’t read your post first.

  122. I made these cookies for New Years Eve and they were SO fantastic – the crowd inhaled them. My pickiest friend came over and said “I just ate 4 of these cookies…what are they? I love them!”…total success!! Thanks for sharing!

  123. ks

    I new here, but I just made these cookies and they are wonderful. I used my sister’s homemade plum jelly for the filling and my husband, who doesn’t like sweets at all, just inhaled several of them and wants me to make more.

    I still have half the dough in the fridge and I think I might try filling at least part of it with a potato/vegetable curry and make something kind of like samosas with it. Just to see how it is. I’ll probably put nutella in the other part for the kids (and me–I wont lie, these things are completely addictive).

  124. I made these for the New Year’s Eve and had to come here again and say how amazing and addictive these cookies are!!!
    And the recipe is so easy (but it’s good you warned us about confusing things like that there is no sugar in the dough:-)
    I think I wll have to buy this book as I have also tried the “Benne Wafers” seen on “The Wednesday Chef” blog… Needles to say they were also great!

  125. ellabee

    Thanks so much for this — I actually remember my mother making these from the magazine, and they were a HUGE hit with us. She made them repeatedly over the years, particularly for parties. Thank you thank you thank you.

    I don’t care for most sweet cookies, so this is probably the best single thing for me that you could have plucked out of that big book.

  126. jeannie

    I finally made these and they are delicious. My family ate the entire batch last night( I have two teenagers). Oddly enough 4 oz. of the sieved cheese filled my measuring cup. I guess the cheese I used was drier? So I have to wonder if you should go by the weight given in the recipe or the volume?

  127. Di – Bluebell Cafe – London

    Hi, have just made these little lovelies. I used ricotta and didn’t sieve it at all (shock, horror!) the dough mixture turned out brilliantly and is surprisingly easy to handle. Thought it would be a nightmare. Have tried them with dark choc grated and also raisin and cinnamon…thanks

  128. Bridget

    These are incredible. I made some and got rave reviews from everyone at my office. I cannot wait to try them with other kinds of filling. I had a bit of difficultly keeping them in the crecent shape, and some of the jam exploded as the dough doesn’t stick to itself very well. Any suggestions?

  129. Laura

    I made these tonight, only half the recipe because there are only two of us in the house. I used an herbed chevre, filled them with sun dried tomatoes and sprinkled with kosher salt when they came out – and they were delish! Next time I’d consider some sauteed mushrooms as well, as long as everything is chopped fine and they aren’t overstuffed.

  130. Faith

    Bridget- I had trouble with that the first time I made these (I’ve made them twice now). I found two things helped the second time around. 1) I used a bit less filling that called for. 2) I rubbed the milk along the edges that I was pressing the dough into. A few swipes with my finger along each edge before sealing almost completely eliminated the problem for me. I hope this helps!

    I have a separate question. How long do you think these would keep for sealed in an airtight container at room temperature? I haven’t managed to keep them around for more than 24 hours, but I think my mom would really love these, and her birthday is coming up.

    1. deb

      I thought they were a bit stale after more than a day, so I wouldn’t keep them for long. They don’t go bad quickly, just don’t have as wonderful of a texture.

  131. Danielle

    I found farmer cheese at my whole foods so I went ahead and made these. It came in a 1lb. block and I just used all of it. The dough was super easy to work with and the cookies are fantastic. More like little tiny croissants or something. I made half with apricot preserves and half with Nutella. I found it easiest to spoon some Nutella in a ziptop baggie and snip off a corner so I could pipe on the right amount for each cookie. Getting the right amount on there with a spoon is tedious. I’m definitely going to try these savory next.

  132. Karl Katzke

    I agree with the earlier Sarah on this being VERY similar to the cream cheese dough that’s in my family Kolacky recipe.

    For the perfect filling, instead of Jam, use Solo apricot, poppy seed, or other fruit fillings. Other brands don’t seem to have the right sugar/liquid/solids ratio; Solo brand is where it’s at.

    Jordan: No, you probably can’t make the dough ahead of time. It’s pretty sensitive to moisture content and likes staying at room temp. They’re also very sensitive to moisture after they’ve been cooked. We keep them in a tin and dust them freshly with powdered sugar before eating.

  133. Hi Deb!I am so happy you posted this. I love your recipes but I recently gave up sugar and I thought I wouldn’t be able to enjoy most (if not all) of your baked goodies, but this was very encouraging! I can’t wait to make these.

  134. Aparna Mulgund

    I would love to make these but I cannot find Farmers cheese in my grocery either, but I am thinking maybe I can substitute Indian paneer instead, it has the same consistency as farmers cheese. Do you think so?

  135. Kathleen in Bklyn

    I have not even made it down to the actual recipe yet, but I’m laughing–your rant is the voice in my head when I’m trying something new! HILARIOUS! Thanks for the laugh, o Never-Snored-In-My-Life Deb!

  136. Phatima Pour Hakimi

    I tried it last saturday and omg it was to die for. my whole family loved it and it’s soo easy to make THXX A LOT

  137. Julie

    You have no idea how happy this recipe made me! I lived in Austria years ago and these looked quite Austrian/Hungarian/German etc. as other posters have said. I decided to try it with a cup of Quark (unstrained), a German-style cream cheese you can find in some stores here (I used Appel brand) and it worked perfectly. I realized these were tiny versions of the Marmeladezipf, a pastry I enjoyed regularly for breakfast before work while living in Vienna. YUM. Thanks for the wonderful recipe and memories!

  138. Jordan: i’ve made them and only used 3 our of the 4 quarters and about 4 or 5 days later (left them in the fridge) used the last quarter and it turned out just fine. just my two cents.

  139. My dough is chilling as I write this, and I cannot wait! :-) I found a block of “verse kaas” in the supermarket here, and it bore a resemblance, so I decided to give this deliciousness a go. I have no sieve, so pushed it through the finest openings on my grater, and I’ve got black cherry jam ready for the filling. I ALMOST grabbed the apple, peach and apricot chutney; I think that would work well for savoury appetisers. And someday I’ll try this with chevre: yum.

  140. aline

    Just made these and they are amazing! Used 3 different fillings: nutella, home made dulce de leche and strawberry jam :) To cut the dough i used a small plastic container that was roughly 3x3in, all worked very well! I’ll definitely be making these again. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  141. Christina

    These look divine! I’ve been dying to make them ever since I saw them the day you posted these. Only one problem (aside from those pesky New Year’s Resolution-thingies). Where I live, in Southern California, the stores don’t seem to stock “Farmer’s Cheese” per se. They do, however, carry and ample supply of Mexican fresh cheeses, like Cojita, Queso Blanco (Southern California, after all). Are any of these reasonable substitutes, do you know? Or are they going to be too hard/salty whatever? The finer points of cheese are not my area of culinary expertise.

  142. Thank you for the recipe – my family is in love with these cookies now too. Our Small Person especially loves the ones with damson plum jam in the middle =)

    Ok, so! This morning I made a batch filled with a homemade apple filling, and I added some sharp cheddar cheese to the dough alongside the farmer’s cheese. AMAZING. Again, thank you.

  143. Mmm! This looks like one of my favorite Hungarian desserts, which are little pockets of dough filled with farmer’s cheese, deep fried and topped with sour cherries. Can’t wait to try this version too!

  144. These are amazing! I made them with queso fresco which tends to be a bit saltier, also I used salted butter because it’s what I had, but I just held back the salt and they are AMAZING! Until they came out of the oven I was convinced they were going to be too salty. NOT SO! I think I’m always going to have a batch of this dough in my fridge!

    I love your blog, love the recipes and the humor and the inspiring photos!

  145. marianne

    tasty. I found farmers cheese, but it was not pliable like what was shown (didn’t realize how hard it was until I opened it). As i’m stuck in a blizzard i grated teh cheese, and when blended realized that this dough wouldn’t come together. i doctored it with some cottage cheese. a bit tough to roll out, but tasty tasty tasty. OMG tasty actually. I’ll be using this recipe again! thanks!

  146. Made these with mascarpone cheese rather than farmer’s cheese, and full fat yogurt rather than sour cream and they turned out great. Also, in addition to jam, I made some with high end chocolate bits. Also great!

  147. Amanda

    Jordan– I made the dough and wrapped well in the fridge for 3.5 days before I had time to roll them out– still rolled out well, and baked well. Fresh is probably best, but this worked well. Despite also putting even less jam in, and brushing the sides to help seal (and pressing them together like crazy), the jam leaked out an burnt on almost every single one. Some with mini chocolate chips were less messy, so I’ll try again with different fillings! Delicious, but I’m not a fan of time-consuming rolled out dough, but I still think I’d make again! A dough scraper w/ inch measurements on it made the cutting easy.

  148. Lynne

    I have an old Droste’s cocoa tin that I’ve been using to store tea. It is just a shade under 3″ square and worked like a charm to cut the dough.

  149. Kathleen

    Jordan, I also made the dough in advance and chilled it 2 days in advance. It worked great. I found the dough handled much better when it was a bit colder than room temp so I balled up the scraps and chilled them while I rolled out other batches of dough.

  150. ash

    YUM! These definitely don’t keep well, though (might be because of all the humidity). My fillings: 62% chocolate + crushed toasted hazelnuts, lemon curd (deb’s recipe!) + chopped white chocolate, creme de marron, raspberry jam, nutella. Yes, I DID go a little filling-crazy. But it was fun eating them later and not knowing which filling we’d get! (:

  151. Stephanie

    These look delicious! Has anybody tried using mascarpone cheese? I don’t think I will be able to find farmer’s cheese in grocery.. :T

  152. Kathryn

    Almost a year later, I finally made these. I made my own farmer’s cheese, using a half gallon of whole milk and a quarter cup vinegar. If you google it, it’s really easy to make it. I did not have the required 7.5 ounces, so I just added more butter to the cheese till I did. They turned out amazingly fantastic! I’m actually still in the process of baking them. I rolled out the dough too thinly, but will rectify with remaining dough. Love the hot pepper jelly idea. Love that this recipe is forgiving. My jam did leak out but I’ll use parchment for next batch (I used raspberry). Most excellent recipe, thanks Deb!

  153. There is a cafe near me that sells cookies called “Kipfel”, when I googled this I got “Kipferl”, but they don’t have jam in them. Your cookies look a lot like the Kipfel at the cafe. Do you know if these cookies are sometimes called Kipfel or Kipferl? Thanks!

  154. Hi – Measurement alert! I just made this dough, with ricotta because that’s what I had and no time to go to the shop and try to figure out what the Belgian equivalent of farmer’s cheese is (though if anyone can tell me I’d be grateful). However, my usual equivalent for 1 american cup of flour is 142 g which x2 = 184g, and while I tried the 250g in the recipe, I found the dough did not come together until I added the last +/-30g. Got a beautiful dough once I did that, though. Can’t wait to bake these.

  155. Ilona

    I made these yesterday to go into the cookie tins I like to give as gifts for Christmas. They were, without a doubt, the best thing I’ve made from this website so far! (And I’ve found quite a few great recipes here already).

    It was a bit of a bumpy start, however: I used ricotta, but didn’t strain it; the dough was probably a bit stickier than it should have been. I had to compensate by flouring my counter quite liberally. The first batch leaked profusely, as I was a bit too generous with the jam, and also didn’t seal the cookies tightly enough. I learned from my mistakes, though, and got the hang of it pretty quickly after that.

    These were a bit time consuming, but absolutely worth the work – the dough is so flaky and soft, and the cookies have just the right amount of sweetness. Especially when still a bit warm, these are heavenly. They will definitely become part of my annual Christmas repertoire. Thanks for the recipe!

  156. Looks wonderful! Here’s one more addition to the ethnic mix: Slovenian. I grew up in Cleveland, eating cookies much like this at holidays. Just found an almost identical recipe in “Woman’s Glory,” a vintage 1950’s Slovenian American cookbook, but using cream cheese instead of farmer cheese. Filling is a simple date-nut-marmalade mix. (So happy to discover this amazing blog :-)

  157. Lett

    These were soo good! so flaky! I used strawberry jam in some and chocolate in others, but i can’t wait to try them with tahini next!

  158. diane

    I made these with my Grandmother ours is a little different it calles for 1 pound of cottage cheese 1 pound of butter and 4 cups of flour jam ans powder sugar for dusting they are So Good the only difference is the dough

  159. My back hurts from standing at the counter, I’m covered head to toe in flour, and I still have half the dough to roll out and fill (this is why I usually stick with simple projects) – but I just ate the first cookie, filled with chocolate-almond paste and raspberry jam, and it was WORTH IT. Thanks, Deb!

  160. Staci

    Yum! I make a similar version of this called Kiffles. Its a German recipe passed down from my grandmother’s family that calls for cream cheese and I don’t dare show up to Christmas Dinner without them!! I can’t wait to try your recipe with savory fillings. What a great appetizer!

  161. Jen (Toronto, Canada)

    As always, Deb, your pastry recipes are delish. One note: I stretched the implications of “refrigerate for at least 3 hours” and made the second half of the batch 48 hours after making the dough. this was a bad move – while the dough was still very tasty, I couldn’t roll it out thinly enough and the dough seemed greasier than before. made with raspberry jam (great) and nutella (didn’t shine) and look forward to using it for savory fillings. thanks!

  162. SW

    I made these tonight after having a bad day. They turned out awful! I was so excited, but now I’m crying.

    I followed the directions, I don’t know what went wrong. half a tub of farmers cheese and 2 sticks of butter, etc, all wasted. I feel so terrible.

  163. CaM

    I made these with Neufchâtel cheese from whole foods and they turned out fabulous! Also after rolling them all up, I stuck them in the freezer and have been baking them straight from it for 18-20 minutes. It’s been about a month and they’re still incredibly tasty!

  164. Kat

    I was LOLing at your comments, I have been making these cookies since I was a teenager! The recipe is very similar, but it calls for quark which is a German cottage cheese, and it is my grandmother’s recipe. My absolute fave cookies! Though we cut out circles, use egg white to seal (with a fork), then brush with egg yolk. So good! We call them just Jam Pockets.

  165. Charlotte

    I made these yesterday evening with homemade raspberry jam. I couldn’t find farmer cheese at the grocery store (and I didn’t have time to venture to the specialty stores to find some), so I just used whole-milk ricotta and used paper towels to dry it off. They came out deliciously! I didn’t realize I should place them with the corner on the bottom, so some of the first batch had the edges pop up while baking.

    I split it up by making the jam and the dough in the morning and baking in the evening after work, so it didn’t feel too labor intensive. It’s a very enjoyable cookie, which is still delicious the next day. Peak taste was after it cooled slightly from the oven, though.

  166. Hi Deb…..can I make the dough, refrigerate and put together and bake the next day (or two)??? I’ve bought all the ingredients and am anxiously waiting to make them for my sister’s party!

  167. Katie

    So, my farmers cheese was a bit harder than it seemed like others’ was. Not sure if this is an issue anyone else had, but it wasn’t really wet/soft enough to easily mix with the butter. What I did is melt the cheese just a bit, which gave it a consistency that allowed me to easily combine it with the butter and other ingredients. I think the cookies turned out really really tasty, so if others have the same issues, melting the cheese a bit might work for you too!

  168. Kathy

    I just made these up and loved them! Not too sweet, which is always a huge plus as I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. One tip for rolling such a sticky dough out thin: I put the dough in between two sheets of plastic wrap instead of rolling out with flour. I could roll it out much thinner than otherwise and no mess :-)

  169. Monica Rae

    So, I bought quest fresco for the first time ever and it lists as an alert ate name “farmer’s cheese.” Any thoughts on if this is the same farmer’s cheese needed for this recipe?

  170. Vidya

    I made these with standard cottage cheese and just dumped everything in the food processor and it worked excellently. I also had serious trouble finding sour cream without gelatine in it. Weird. Anyhow I just added lemon juice to heavy cream and stood that for a few minutes.

  171. Ellen

    Deb–just found this. So, my question is are they bready with so little jam and so much pastry–despite how yummy flaky cheese pastry might be? Just wondering from the picture you posted and comments on adding more (agree that would be a major leakage problem). Thanks. Ellen

  172. deb

    Ellen — They’re not bready (thank goodness) because it’s a flaky dough, like a rugelach but even softer and more flaky. But as long as you seal it well, you can definitely try to put more jam in. I think people mention more jam because this is NOT a sweet cookie. The only sweetness is from the jam and the powdered sugar, so it’s a very grown-up cookie. We loved this, but it’s good to keep in mind if you want to adjust accordingly.