Good morning! Just ten more days until Christmas, honestly, I am like a kid bursting with excitement. My brother, sisters, parents, husbands, boyfriends, nieces and nephew will be celebrating together along with 6 dogs and 1 cat. I am sure that at times it will be a little crazy but I know we are going to have a great time together, and since we haven't been all together in 2 years we have a lot to catch up on.
This week I am baking up a storm and rugelach is one of my favorite things to bake: not only because it is delicious but because you can change the fillings, using anything from simple jam and fruit spreads to chocolate. I make about 5 different versions of this cookie to give to family and friends with each filling tailors to their taste.
Apricot Walnut Rugelach
Recipe from Real Simple
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cups cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
8 ounces cream cheese, cold, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 large egg beaten
Pulse the flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. salt in the food processor until combined. Add the butter and pulse until a few pea sized lumps remain. add the cream cheese and vanilla and pulse until the dough forms a ball.
Divide the dough in half and place on two sheets of plastic wrap. Shape into 1 inch thick discs. Wrap and chill until firm, 2 hours or up to two days.
Combine the walnuts, brown sugar, nutmeg and the remaining 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. of salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
Working with one piece at a time roll dough on a floured surface into a 13 inch round. Top with 1/4 cup of apricot jam and sprinkle with half of the nut mixture. Cut the round into 12 equal wedges, like a pizza. Roll up each wedge starting at the outer edge. Repeat with other disc of dough, jam and walnut mixture.
Place rugelach 11/2 inches apart on 2 rimmed baking sheets topped with parchment paper or a Silphat. Brush with the egg and spring with sugar. Bake until golden, 25-30 minutes. Rotate the sheets half way through the cooking time. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.