Judith's Cheese Pastries

Judith's Cheese Pastries
4.5 from 2 ratings
Hanukkah may best be known for fried foods. However, there's another Hanukkah story about a woman named Judith who saved the Jews from a death order thanks in part to some amazing cheese cakes. This recipe by Marcy Goldman and adapted by Peggy Wolff appeared in the Chicago Tribune.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Judith's cheese pastries
Total time: 12.32 hours
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
  • 1 cup farmer cheese
  • 2 teaspoon finely minced lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 pound cream cheese
  • 1/2 pound farmer cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoon melted butter
  • powdered sugar
  1. For the dough, sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl; cut in the butter until the mixture resembles small crumbs.
  2. Blend in the farmer cheese to make a soft dough; then the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla.
  3. (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.)
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic, and refrigerate overnight.
  5. For the filling, cream the cream cheese, farmer cheese and sugar together in a bowl until blended.
  6. Stir in flour, finely minced lemon zest, egg, vanilla extract and pinch of salt to make a thick filling. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  7. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  9. On a lightly floured surface, divide the chilled dough in half and roll each half into a 9-by-12 inch rectangle.
  10. Lightly brush each rectangle with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
  11. Spread half of the cheese filling on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch plain border all around.
  12. Fold in the 2 shorter ends on each rectangle.
  13. Beginning with the longer side, roll each piece into a log but stop halfway.
  14. Cut off the remaining half of each piece and repeat, making another log.
  15. Each portion of dough will make 2 narrow logs.
  16. Brush the tops of the 4 logs with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.
  17. Chill, 10 to 15 minutes.
  18. Remove logs from the fridge; cut them into 2-inch pastries.
  19. Place the pastries on the baking sheets.
  20. Bake until tops are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
  21. Cool slightly, then dust with powdered sugar.