WHEN READER KATHLEEN — who is known around these parts as “Katreader” — sent me her grandmother’s recipe for Pillow Cookies, I knew I’d have to try them. These offer a delicious surprise in every bite: a dollop of sweet jam, concealed between layers of delightfully-tender cream cheese cookie dough. Turns out they are as fun to make as they are to eat:
Ingredients for about 2-dozen cookies
2 sticks (one cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (one 8-oz. package) cream cheese
2 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
An assortment of jams — I used strawberry, apricot, and black raspberry
Confectioner’s sugar (for dusting)
Special equipment I used: an electric mixer; a 2-inch diameter biscuit cutter; parchment paper for lining a baking sheet
1. Cut cream cheese and butter into pieces; let soften to room temperature.
2. In an electric mixer, blend cream cheese, butter, and salt; gradually add the flour.
3. Divide the dough into 4 equal-size balls; flatten each ball into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
4. On a lightly-floured board, roll out one disk at a time to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out rounds with the biscuit cutter, placing each round on the parchment- (or Silpat-) lined baking sheet.
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 400°, or until edges have slightly browned.
Incidentally, pillow cookies don’t have to be round. Kathleen’s grandmother cut the dough into strips, which she then folded over as for ravioli. As you can see up top, I made little empanadas with some of mine, by simply folding over a single round, and sealing its edge with the tines of a fork.
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