COTTAGE CHEESE PASTRY DOUGH
1 cup unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 16 pieces
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely minced
1 cup small curd ricotta or dry cottage cheese (aka hoop or baker's cheese) or half cup dry cottage cheese and 1/2 cup cream cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
For the dough, sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl; cut in the butter until the mixture resembles small crumbs. Blend in the farmer cheese to make a soft dough; then the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. (For a food processor, pulse the dry ingredients together until combined. Add the butter; pulse until mixture resembles small crumbs. Add remaining ingredients; pulse until dough comes together. Knead on a lightly floured board to form a smooth ball.) Wrap the dough in plastic, and refrigerate overnight.
For the filling, cream the cream the cheese and sugar together in a bowl until blended. Stir in remaining ingredients to make a thick filling. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, divide the chilled dough in half and roll each half into a 9-by-12 inch rectangle. Lightly brush each rectangle with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
Spread half of the cheese filling on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch plain border all around. Fold in the 2 shorter ends on each rectangle. Beginning with the longer side, roll each piece into a log but stop halfway. Cut off the remaining half of each piece and repeat, making another log. Each portion of dough will make 2 narrow logs.
Brush the tops of the 4 logs with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Chill, 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove logs from the fridge; cut them into 2-inch pastries. Place the pastries on the baking sheets. Bake until tops are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool slightly, then dust with powdered sugar.
makes 2-3 dozen
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