INGREDIENTS (makes 1 dozen)
- 3 oz. Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 3/4 cups poppy seeds
- 3 oz. whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
For the dough: cream together cream cheese and butter. Slowly add in flour. Blend and shape into a ball. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
For the filling: Stir together the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set the bowl aside. Grind the poppy seeds in a food processor or blender with about half the milk. Place the poppy seed mixture and the remaining milk in a small, heavy saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in the reserved sugar-and-cornstarch mixture and the almond extract. Simmer, stirring often, until very thick, a matter of 3 - 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Assembly: Roll dough out 1/8 inch thick on a floured pastry board. Cut into 2 1/2 inch squares and place 1/2 tsp (approx) of poppy-seed filling. Overlap opposite corners and pinch together. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and refrigerate about 10 - 15 minutes.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool. Sprinkle lightly with confectioner's sugar and enjoy.