Kalitsounia Me Kanella (Cretan Cheese-Cinnamon Pastries)

Course : Greek
Serves: 20
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1 1/2 cups fresh mizithra or ricotta
2 tablespoons grated hard ricotta
2 large eggs -- separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter -- melted
4 tablespoons milk -- (or more)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 dash salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

Preparation / Directions:

For the filling, combine the cheeses, lightly beaten egg yolks, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and melted butter in a bowl. The mixture should be thick enough to mound, but not stiff; add 1 tablespoon milk, if necessary. Set aside while you make the dough. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, then cut in the butter and mix by rubbing between your fingers. Mix in the vanilla, egg whites, and enough milk to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, then break off small pieces and roll as thin of a dime. (The dough will be elastic and can be rolled easily.) Cut into circles 4-inches in diameter (teacup size), then on each circle place a teaspoon of the cheese filling. Wet the circle edge with water or milk and fold over to form a half-moon, then seal with the tines of a fork or pastry wheel. Arrange the Kaltisounia on buttered cookie sheets and bake in a moderate oven (350F) for 25 minutes, or until the pastry puffs up and turns a light chestnut color. Remove from the oven, and place on racks, and dust with confectioners' sugar and cinnamon. Serve hot or cold

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