Pecan Raisin Rugelach
Cream cheese pastry is the basis for this sinfully scrumdiddilyumpshus treat, also known as a cookie, which doesn’t begin to conjure up its lush richness. Bear in mind that you could substitute or add such filling ingredients as dried cranberries, dried cherries, chopped pitted dates, chopped walnuts, etc.
Cream Cheese Dough:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
4 T granulated sugar
½ t salt
1 t pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup lightly toasted pecans, finely chopped
¾ cup golden raisins
½ t ground cinnamon, divided
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
6 T granulated sugar
½ cup apricot preserved pureed in a food processor
1 T milk
1 t cinnamon
3 T granulated sugar
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, puree cream cheese and butter until light. Add 2 T granulated sugar, salt and vanilla. Add flour at low speed and mix just until combined. Turn out onto a floured surface and gather into a ball. Cut into four quarters, wrap each in plastic wrap and chill at least two hours or overnight.
To prepare the filling, mix together the pecans, raisins, ½ t cinnamon, brown sugar and 6 T granulated sugar.
Assemblage: Roll out each ball of dough into a 9 inch round. Spread 2 T of the apricot preserves onto each circle. Sprinkle ½ cup of the filling on each round. Place on top a square of wax paper that covers the round. Gently roll a rolling pin over to press the filling into the dough. With a pizza cutter, cut each round into 8 wedges. Beginning at the wide edge, roll up each wedge and place on a parchment lined baking sheet with the points tucked under. Chill for 30 minutes before placing in a 350 degree oven.
Make an egg wash with the egg and milk and brush on each rugelach. Mix 1 t cinnamon with 3 T sugar and sprinkle on rugelach. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 32 rugelach.