Rugelach (suitable for Christmas or Hanukah)

apricot rugelach bestcontributed by Dame Meme Hopmayer
Yield: 48 cookies

8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 9 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins or currants
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup high quality apricot preserves (pureed in food processor)
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk

1. Cream cheese and butter until light. Add 1/4 cup sugar, salt and vanilla.

2. With the mixer on low speed, add flour and mix until just combined.
Place the dough on a well floured board and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball in quarters, roll each into a ball and wrap each piece in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.

3. For the filling combine 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the raisins and the nuts.

4. On a well floured board, roll ball into a 9 inch circle. Spread the dough with 2 tablespoons apricot preserves and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of filling. Press the filling lightly into the dough. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges – cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into thirds. Roll up each wedge starting with the wide edge. Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes.

5. Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine 4 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies.

6. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until lightly browned. Remove to wire rack to cool.

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