Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
Taste Tip: This dough must be prepared in advance. Dough can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated, or wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and frozen for up to a month. From a recipe in Gourmet magazine.
• 2 1/2 cups flour, plus extra for rolling dough
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 egg, separated
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/3 cup cherry preserves
• 2 tablespoons decorative sugar
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and cardamom, and reserve.
In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, cream cheese and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract, and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing just until combined and dough forms. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces, flatten each piece into a block, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 to 3 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough blocks (1 at a time, keeping remaining dough refrigerated until ready to roll) to 1/4-inch thickness. Working quickly (dough is easiest to work with when chilled), trim edges to make 8- by 12-inch rectangle. Rewrap scraps in plastic and chill, until ready to re-roll.
Using a pastry wheel, cut rectangle into 2-inch squares. Using a spatula, transfer squares to prepared baking sheets, placing 2 inches apart. With a small knife, carefully make a 1-inch-long cut in 1 square, from tip of each corner in toward center, halving each corner (you will have 8 points). With tip of knife, lift every other point and gently fold into the center (forming a pinwheel), overlapping ends slightly. Press center lightly to form a small well. Brush cookies with a lightly beaten egg white. Place 1/2 teaspoon jam in center and sprinkle with decorative sugar. Repeat process with remaining chilled dough and scrapes.
Bake until edges are pale and golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
2016 Finalist: Pam Hopf of Edina, Minnesota