Kelly Rossiter Photo
Kelly Rossiter

YIELD Makes 3 dozen cookies

My daughter, who is attending university an hour away from our home, gets a bit jealous when she reads about the food I am cooking. She's a good cook and baker, but her schedule doesn't always allow her as much time in the kitchen as she would like. So when I made these for my husband's family Hanukkah party, I had to promise her that I would make them again this week when she arrives home for the Christmas break.

Traditionally, these are baked with nuts and raisins in them, but you can find all kinds of different flavours in bakeries now. I made some of this batch with grated chocolate inside, and sometimes you see them with fruit jams as well. Initially, I forgot to photograph them and by the time I remembered, there was this lone little pastry left.

This recipe is from The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden.


4 oz unsalted butter, cold
4 oz curd or cream cheese
4 oz sour cream, plus a little more if necessary
a pinch of salt
1 cup plain flour
1 egg yolk to glaze
For the filling
2 oz superfine sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp raisins, finely chopped
4 oz walnuts, finely chopped


  1. Using an electric beater or a food processor, beat the cold butter (it must be cold) to a cream. Add the curd cheese, sour cream and salt and blend well. Add the flour - just enough so that the dough holds together in a soft ball - and combine briefly in the processor. If necessary, add a tablespoon or more extra sour cream, or a little more flour. Do not work the dough any further. Wrap it in clingfilm and leave it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  2. Divide the dough into 4. With floured hands, roll each piece into a ball. On a floured surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll each ball out into a large round as thin as possible. You will need to keep dusting the sheet of dough with flour and to turn it over, because it is very sticky.
  3. With a pointed knife, cut each round like a cake, into 6 triangular wedges. Sprinkle each wedge evenly with a mixture of the filling ingredients. Roll up each triangle tightly with the filling inside, beginning from the wider, curved end and finishing with the point in the middle. Curve the rolls slightly into little crescents and place them, point side down, on well-greased baking trays, a little apart from each other.
  4. Brush with egg yolk and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 20-25 minutes, until slightly covered. Let them cool.
This recipe appears in: European
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