FOR THE PASTRY:
- 2 ⅓ cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon table salt, OR ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks/ 8 ounces/ 226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
FOR THE FILLING:
- 2 ¼ cups (9 ounces/ 257 grams) chopped almonds or pecans, roasted and unsalted
- ¾ cup (9 ounces/ 255 grams) apricot preserves
- 1 ½ tablespoons (32 grams) honey
- ¼ teaspoon table salt, or ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (113 grams) powdered sugar, for rolling and topping
Make the pastry:
- Add the flour and salt to a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Add the butter, cream cheese, lemon zest, and vanilla to another bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, until it looks light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed just until combined.
- Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a flat disk. Wrap the discs of dough tightly in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator for 1 - 2 hours. You want the dough to be firm, but not hard. (The dough may be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Just set it out on the counter to soften about 45 minutes before you want to use it.)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine all the filling ingredients in a small bowl. (This can be done ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature before using.)
- Liberally sprinkle a work surface with powdered sugar. Remove one portion of dough from the refrigerator and roll out into a 12-inch circle. Use as much powdered sugar as you need to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface and the rolling pin. As you roll, slide a large spatula or dough scraper underneath the dough to ensure it's not sticking to your work surface.
- Spread half the filling over the top of the dough to within a ¼ inch of the edge.
- Using a large, sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into quarter wedges, then slice each quarter into 4 wedges. In other words, slice the disk as you would a pie, creating 8 triangle-shaped pieces.
- To shape each cookie: beginning with the wide end of the dough, roll up each wedge and place it point side down on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Pat each cookie down slightly. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
- Generously dust the rugelach with powdered sugar and bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet, dust the cookies once more with powdered sugar, and bake for an additional 5 - 10 minutes. When done, the dough will look "set", and will be very lightly tinged with brown on top. It's better to err on the side of slightly underdone than risk over baking the cookies.
- Transfer the rugelach to a wire rack and let cool completely
- Store in an airtight container for a week or freeze.
To roast raw almonds or pecans: Spread the almonds or pecans out in a baking pan and let them roast in a 350-degree F (176 degrees C) oven for about 15 minutes, until they are lightly browned and fragrant. Let the nuts cool to room temperature before using.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 377Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 206mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 13gProtein: 7g