Have I mentioned that when my daughters are bored, they go into the kitchen to make something? Not a case of food craving since Speedy and I are often left to finish what they have made. It’s more of a need to create something with their hands. And it doesn’t really matter what time it is — whether it’s between midnight and sunrise, or whether it’s mid-afternoon and we’re really still full from lunch and could reasonably wait for the evening meal. When the girls make something, Speedy and I eat.
For instance, earlier this month, Alex got bored, it was about two hours before dinner and I was already about to start cooking dinner, but she decided that everyone should have a snack of corned beef with potatoes and pan se sal while waiting for dinner.
And we all had corned beef and pan de sal.
Last Tuesday, Sam got bored and decided she’d bake cookies. She took Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook from the kitchen shelf, flipped through the pages and chose rugalech, a Jewish holiday cookie.
Sam mixed the cream cheese dough (yes, cream cheese!) then used jelly (the Kablon passion fruit jelly that I mentioned in an earlier post) and walnuts for the filling. And her cookies were delicious! She wasn’t too happy though that they didn’t brown as well as she’d like. And I wasn’t able to take photos because it was around 4.00 a.m. by the time she finished baking, there was a ton of mixing bowls, baking trays and a dozen other things to wash and I was so darn sleepy.
Sam did not use all the cream cheese dough that she mixed. She put about half of it into a resealable bag and kept it in the fridge. After Speedy cleaned out the fridge, I decided it was about time that someone did something with the cream cheese dough. Sam was asleep (she often is during the day) so I did the baking. I rolled the chilled dough into small slightly flattened spheres and pressed a chocolate disc on top of each. Then, I baked them for about 18 minutes. Richly-flavored yet light in texture, the subtly salty cream cheese in the cookies provide a lovely contrast with the dark chocolate.
Chocolate-topped cream cheese cookies
- Beat the butter and cream cheese until light and smooth.
- Add the sugar and salt, mix until combined.
- Add the egg, mix until combined, then add the egg yolk and mix until blended.
- Add the flour in batches, mixing after each addition.
- Form the dough into a flattened disc, wrap in cling film or slip into a resealable bag and chill for several hours until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 325F (yes, slightly lower than the usual 350F standard baking temperature because of the cream cheese content of the dough).
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Form the dough into balls no more than an inch in diameter. Flatten slightly between your palms and arrange on the baking tray about two inches apart.
- Press a chocolate disc onto the top of each cookie.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the cookie bottoms are lightly browned. The cookies will spread and flatten a bit during baking.
- Cool the cookies on the tray for about three minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve.