Being an avid cookbook reader is nothing new for me. As a kid, I used to pour over cookbooks for hours and hours. The first half of my year was spent analyzing the loose pages of my mom’s Cut-Up Cake Party Book, trying to decide which cake shape would make for a totally epic July birthday party. After my birthday had come and gone (and having the perfect cake had not suddenly made me the talk of the town), I got to switch my focus to my other favorite read, Ideals Christmas Cookbook.
This Christmas cookbook has always had a spell over me. It is full of very fancy, gourmet recipes- “French-Style Appetizer”, “Ham Balls”, “Beef Tingler”. It’s very, very 1970, but I would look at it and fantasize about the wonderful world of the adult holiday season: a never-ending string of dinner parties, cocktail dresses, waltzing, tiny appetizers, laughter echoing through glamorous ballrooms.
But this is real life and grown-up-dom isn’t exactly what I had imagined. No waltzing and most of the dinner parties I attend, I’m wearing a long white apron and passing the tiny appetizers. As for the off-the-shoulder black cocktail dress I bought at 19? It hangs in the basement, still wearing its price tag.
It’s fine, though. I probably wouldn’t even like being at the Ideals’ Christmas party anyway. I’d be grossed out upon realizing “French-Style Appetizer” is actually just a piece of toast with a slice of Spam on top. And knowing me, I’d probably spill the “Beef Tingler” all over my cute cocktail dress.
It’s fine because I have the one recipe from this book that stands the test of time, that you don’t need a party invite to enjoy. Tender, warm, buttery jam-filled turnovers will never go out of vogue and will never stop being my favorite Christmas cookie.
Gather up your tattered cookbook and let’s do this. Just 4 ingredients for the dough- flour, butter, cottage cheese, a splash of cream.
Think biscuits. Cut cold butter into flour.
Add cottage cheese, using a fork to blend. Drizzle in cream to bring it all together.
Press the dough into a disk, wrap, and chill.
After your dough has chilled for a couple hours or days, roll it out, and grab your biscuit cutter. Can’t find yours? Me neither. A juice glass or mason jar ring will do as fine a job.
Dollop each round with a spoonful of jam. I’m partial to apricot and raspberry but an orange marmalade or sour cherry preserves would be just as nice.
Fold the circles into half moons and press edges. They might pop open as the buttery layers puff up in the oven- don’t sweat it, it just means you’re finally getting the hang of making flaky doughs.
Bake ’til golden as you salivate over scent of fruity-buttery goodness that fills your house. These turnovers are best enjoyed solo, 5 minutes out of the oven, no cocktail dress or ballroom required.
- 2 c. All Purpose Flour
- 1 c. Unsalted Butter, cold & cut in small pieces
- 1 c. Small Curd Cottage Cheese
- 1/2 c. Heavy Cream
- Your Favorite Jam or Preserves (Apricot and raspberry are my favorites)
- In a large bowl, cut cold butter into flour using a pastry cutter or 2 knives until mixture is crumbly. Add cottage cheese and cream. Lightly stir together with a fork until just combined. Press into 2 disks, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and chill at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to about an 1/8 inch thickness. Using a biscuit-cutter or glass, cut in 2 1/2 inch circles. Place about a 1/2 tsp. of jam in the center of each circle, fold in half, and press edges together with fingertips. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake until lightly golden, 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool briefly before serving.