Apricot Almond Rugelach.
FOR THE PASTRY:
- 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 1 8-oz package cream cheese, slightly softened
- Approximately ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, a little more or a little less depending on your personal preference
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
FOR THE FILLING:
- 2 ¼ cups chopped almonds (or pecans)
- ¾ cup apricot preserves
- 1 ½ tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup powdered sugar, for rolling and topping
- Stir together the flour and the salt and set aside.
- Beat together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and lemon zest with an electric mixer until well blended and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the flour mixture just until combined.
- Divide the dough in half, shape each into a small disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or two. 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 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Spread the almonds in a baking pan and toast in the oven for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Turn out into a medium bowl or plate and let cool to room temperature.
- 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.
- Beginning with the wide end, roll up each wedge and place point side down on your parchment lined baking sheet. Pat each 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. Dust again with powdered sugar and bake an additional 5 - 10 minutes. When done, the dough will look "set", will be very lightly tinged with brown on top. *It's better to err on the side of slightly underdone than slightly over done.
- Transfer the rugelach to a wire rack and let cool completely
- Store in an airtight container for a week or freeze.