my family’s Austrian cream cheese cookies
Growing up, friends and family devoured these Austrian cream cheese cookies every Christmas, Easter, and even on holidays in between. They are light but textured, and traditionally filled with lekvar which is an Austrian prune butter or apricot jam. I filled these with a mixed wineberry and mulberry jam that I had made back in the summer from berries I picked locally, but apricot has always been my favorite.
The dough, which is somewhere between cookie and pastry, is rolled super thin. When baked, it puffs ever so slightly and becomes flaky.
Though I am an avid proponent of my kitchen aid stand mixer, I have found that the power of the mixer causes the gluten to develop, making the dough too tough for these delicate cookies. So just like my ancestors made it for generations, the dough must be made with your hands.
So squeeze away and get the added benefit of stress relief! Isn’t that what baking is really about anyway?
Makes about 5 dozen cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- ½ cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 cups flour
- 1 ½ cups jam or preserves
- Powdered sugar
Mix the butter and cream cheese in a bowl. Add the sugar and egg yolks. Add in the flour and pinch and squeeze the dough with your hands until it comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the dough in quarters and working with one piece at a time, roll out dough as thinly as you can. Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut into squares.
Fill each square with a dollop of jam at the center. Fold one side into the center then fold the other side over it. I keep a bowl of water nearby to wet the corners of the dough so they stick together.
Bake until golden, 16 minutes, and let cool. Dust with powdered sugar.