Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies
Gourmet was no longer produced in the penthouse at the Plaza, and "Gourmet's Chef" had been replaced with a serious test kitchen. So when a reader wrote in requesting a recipe for something her mother used to make—"a delicious cookie made with pot cheese and filled with jam"—Gourmet's cooks responded with these rich little pastries that are like the most delicate, flaky rugelach imaginable.
Force enough pot cheese through a sieve into a dish to measure 1 cup. In a bowl, cream 2 sticks, or 1 cup, butter, softened, until it is smooth, stir in the sieved cheese, 2 tablespoons sour cream, and 1D4 teaspoon vanilla, and combine the mixture well. Into another bowl, sift together 2 cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and gradually blend the flour mixture into the cheese mixture. Wrap the dough in wax paper and chill it for at least 3 hours.
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 squares tightly into triangles and roll them into crescents, starting at the wide end. Arrange the crescents on a baking sheet, brush them lightly with milk, and bake them in a preheated hot oven (400 F) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and dust them with sifted confectioners' sugar. Continue making cookies in the same manner until all the dough is used.
1. Pot cheese is a very dry version of low-fat cottage cheese; if you can't find it, use farmer cheese. It takes about 6 ounces sieved cheese to make 1 cup.
2. Do not roll the dough too thin—1/8 inch is perfect.
3. Use your fingers to roll the triangles into crescents, curving up on the narrow corners.