The tang of apricot, the crunch of pecan and the richness of cream cheese come together in this delightful, satisfying cookie.
This time of year puts our creativity to the test as our pantry begins to empty. Dwindling food stores bring to mind cooking shows where random ingredients are selected and presented to the contestants with the challenge to create something magnificent. My challenge ingredients were a bag of dried apricots, a bag of pecans and a desire to nosh on something sweet. I made the dough in the evening and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, the cookies were quick and easy to make. A quick batch was ready for an after-lunch dessert with mugs of freshly steeped tea.
Apricot Pecan Rugelach
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 lb. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 cup finely chopped dried apricots
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tsp cinnamon mixed with 3 tbsp granulated sugar for topping
- Cream the cheese and butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
- Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla to butter mixture. Mix well.
- Mix in flour on low speed. Mix until just incorporated.
- Divide the dough into two parts. Quickly roll into balls and flatten.
- Wrap each flattened ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- To make filling, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, apricots and pecans. Mix well.
- On a well-floured surface, roll each flattened ball of dough into a 9-inch circle.
- Spread half of the filling evenly on each 9-inch circle of dough.
- Press the filling into dough slightly, so it will roll easier.
- Cut each circle into 12 equal wedges. First cut each circle in half. Cut those halves in half. Cut all the quarters into three even wedges.
- Starting with outside edge, roll wedge toward middle, forming a crescent-type shape.
- Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet, point side down.
- Brush cookies with beaten egg. Sprinkle cookies with a little of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. Cookies will be lightly browned.
- Let cool on a wire rack.