Shared Plates: February 2017 Contest Winner
These cookies were a tradition in our home during the holidays.
Growing up in Romania, with a Hungarian family, they were a staple. Whether they were filled with the walnut filling or homemade prune butter, they were a must have. One to two weeks prior to the holidays, my mother and both of my grandmothers were busy making hundreds of cookies for all of us to enjoy. Of course, I was in the middle of the goodies, elbow deep in the powdered sugar.
Today, here I am, in the U.S., with my own family, trying to keep the tradition going. I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as my family does. — Hannah Hiller
Hungarian Walnut Cookies
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until creamy, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour until well incorporated. The dough will be nice and soft. Divide into two discs and refrigerate at least two hours (or overnight).
½ pound freshly and finely ground walnuts
1 cup sugar
¼ – ½ cup boiled milk
1/8 cup melted butter
Mix ingredients in a bowl using 1/4 cup of boiled milk (it should be thick, but spreadable. Add more milk if needed).
½ cup powdered sugar for rolling and dusting
½ cup flour for rolling
Preheat oven to 350 F. Flour both sides of one dough disc. Spread powdered sugar on work surface and roll out dough as thin as possible. Cut dough into 2”x2” squares. Place dab of walnut mixture in the middle of each square, then pinch together two opposite corners and slightly press down over the filling. Place cookies on a lined sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Bake on the center rack for about 20 minutes (peek once in a while to avoid burning them).
Dust with powdered sugar.