We always called them Russian Christmas cookies when I was a kid. My mother called them Kiflice (Kif-lic-uh). They are a tradition in many Eastern European countries and there are many different recipes. This is the recipe that my Ruthenian grandmother used and taught to my mother.
1 pound cream cheese (450 grams) (room temperature)
1 pound butter (450 grams) (room temperature)
4 cups flour (500 grams)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
powdered sugar as needed
Cream the butter and cream cheese in a mixer. Add salt, sugar, flour, and baking powder.
Add the egg and mix together until it forms a ball. You'll have to scrap the mixture from the sides a few times with a rubber spatula.
Divide the ball into four pieces. Sprinkle a board with powdered sugar and roll each piece out to a rectangular slab about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick (12-20 mm). Wrap each slab individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for four hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
Working with just one slab at a time, roll out on a board sprinkled with powdered sugar to about an eight inch thickness. Cut into 2 inch by 2 inch squares. Add 1/2 teaspoon of filling to each piece. Fold up two opposite corners, pinch together and roll under a bit.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly golden. (They won't get much color)
Use a Silpat (silicone baking mat) on a baking sheet for best results.
Apricot and/or Raspberry filling:
Use pie filling. Preserves and jellies are too thin and will just run out of the cookies while baking.
1/2 pound (170 grams) shelled walnuts
1 cup sugar (200 grams)
3/4 cup milk (175 ml)
1/4 cup (50 grams) white raisins (optional)
Crush the nuts and put in a pot with milk and sugar. Cook until most of the milk is evaporated. Add white raisins if desired.