There are many Russian recipes, using cottage cheese or curd cheese, which is an excellent ingredient for both sweet and savoury baking. The other day got a big tub of curd cheese in Waitrose deli just for 45p, and since I wanted to bake some Russian-style cookies for a long time, this was a good chance to use the cheese. Curd cheese cookies are lovely with a raspberry or apricot jam, but made with Christmas preserve with mulled wine (a new tasty jam from Mackays) they were elevated to a different level. I say "were" because there is less than a half left already, and there were over 20 earlier this morning.
Curd cheese cookies with jam (makes 20+ cookies)
80g caster sugar
150g butter, softened
a pinch of salt
30g ground almonds
300+g plain flour
270g curd cheese
Mackays Christmas preserve with mulled wine (about 300g, almost a whole jar)
a bit of milk, less than 2tbsp
In a big mixing bowl beat the softened butter with caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Add the ground almonds, flour, curd cheese and mix well. First use a fork, then your hands to knead the dough. It is pliable but quite thick dough. Roll it in a big ball, and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough ball in half, roll out the dough to 5mm thickness and cut small squares with a knife (about 9x9cm). Place a teaspoon of jam on each square and fold two sides to make an open envelope. Brush a bit of milk over the side where the flap goes over, to "glue" the sides.
Place the cookies on trays covered with the oiled foil or parchment paper and bake in the oven preheated to 200C for about 20 minutes. Check after 15 minutes if the cookies are golden in colour, they might be ready by then,
Take the trays out of the oven, let them cool for about 3 minutes, if you can wait that long. They are delicious hot and cold, with tea or coffee.
I used Mackays Christmas preserve with mulled wine in this recipe, but any good quality raspberry or apricot jam will do. New jam from Mackays is made from strawberries, raspberries, black currants, red currants, red wine among the other ingredients. This festive jam made with whole fruit has a great taste and smells lovely too of mulled wine. It's another fabulous new addition to Mackays' range of scrummy goodies.
These cookies will make a nice foodie gift. They will keep for a few days in a closed container but don't cook them too far in advance.
Disclosure: I received a few jars of new preserves for the purposes of creating a recipe.