Cretan Cookies with Cheese Filling – Kalitsounia me Portokalia kai Sokolata
Small sweet pies filled with fresh cheese candied orange zest and chocolate.
All over Crete you will find different version of kalitsounia (kαλιτσουνια); form savory to sweet ones.
With this recipe I will present you sweet kalitsounia filled with fresh cheese, but instead to top them with cinnamon, I added candied orange (πορτοκαλια) zest (to be precise: chopped Γλυκοκουταλιουπορτοκαλι) and chopped chocolate (σοκολατα) to the filling.
This was a surprise and great present for my Creta friends who really appreciate the new version.
On Crete anthotyro (ανθοτυρο) cheese is a fresh unsalted cheese from sheep, similar to ricotta and it is delicious and does not smell as sheep! Sometimes this is also called myzithra (μυζήθρα) but in the area I spent my holidays myzithra is a fresh salted and a little bit drier cheese from goat.
Read more about Greek cheese: http://www.greece.org/hellas/cheese.html
Cretan Cookies with Cheese Filling
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, optional or simply olive oil
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, or milk or fruit juice (I used peach juice)
- 1 small glass of brandy
- 2 cups pounds of fresh soft unsalted and fresh anthotyro cheese (or ricotta)
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 egg yolk (or 1 tablespoon cornstarch)
- 3 tablespoon fresh candied orange zest (Glyko Portokalaki), chopped
- 3 tablespoon chopped dark chocolate
- 1 egg, beaten (for glaze) optional
- To prepare the dough whisk the dry ingredients together (sugar, flour and baking powder) in a bowl.
- Add oil and batter, mixing with a spoon.
- Stir in the strained yogurt and mix with spoon until the dough begins to stiffen, add the brandy to soften the dough as needed.
- Knead the dough in the bowl for approximately 10 minutes until smooth, and set aside to rest.
- Prepare the filling combine all ingredients together until well blended.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- On a floured surface with a rolling pin, roll a piece of doughto a thickness of 2 mm and cut out circlesof a diameter of about 10 cm preferably using a cutter. Or, take a piece of dough the size of a walnut and roll it out to 10 cm.
- Place a spoonful of filling into the center of the circle and spread out close to the edges. Raise the rim of the dough up around the cheese and, with wet fingers, pinch firmly the edges to pull the dough in around the cheese.
- Place the sweets on the baking sheet and brush lightly with beaten egg to glaze and bake at 350°F/180°C for approximately 20 minutes until lightly browned.