- 8 ounces bar cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 cups jam, jelly, or preserves
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, add flour and salt; beat until combined (do not overmix).
- Divide dough into 3 portions; flatten each into a disk. Roll each disk to an 1/8-inch thickness between sheets of parchment. Stack dough (still in parchment) on a baking sheet; refrigerate 20 minutes. (To store, wrap in plastic and freeze on sheet, up to 2 weeks. Thaw until pliable before using.)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Mix egg yolk with 1/2 teaspoon water. Working with 1 dough sheet at a time, peel off parchment (save for baking). With a 2 1/2-inch round or 2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon jam into center of each and brush exposed dough with egg wash. Shape cookies (see below); arrange, 2 inches apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate 20 minutes (reroll scraps).
- Bake until cookies are light golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool completely on wire racks. (To store, cover and keep at room temperature, up to 4 days.)
Jams, jellies, and preserves that include pectin work best as a cookie filling. If you like, brush top of filled star cookies with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar before baking. When using rounds of dough, firmly pinch edge to form 4 corners. If using star-shaped dough, fold points over to center and press lightly to seal.