Easy apricot-walnut rugelach

While we’re happy to dig into heart-warming rugelach pretty much 24/7, they’re particularly fantastic Hanukkah treats, given their Jewish roots. These little twists are packed with an unexpected filling that’ll surprise the taste buds of everyone on your holiday baking list—in an amazingly awesome, “can I please have that recipe?” sort of way.


Makes forty-eight 21⁄2-inch-wide rugelach


3⁄4 cup (11⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into chunks

6 ounces (two 3-ounce packages) cream cheese, slightly softened and cut into chunks

1⁄2 cup powdered sugar

Generous 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda

1⁄8 teaspoon salt

2 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour, plus more if needed



Very generous 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Very generous 1 cup apricot preserves

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon



1 large egg beaten with

1 tablespoon whole or low-fat milk for garnish

A generous 2 tablespoons granulated sugar for garnish



Set out six large sheets of baking parchment and a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat on medium speed until very well blended and smooth. On low speed, beat in half the flour until evenly incorporated. Beat or stir in the remaining flour until evenly incorporated.

Divide the dough into three equal portions. Roll each portion out into a thin, 12-inch-diameter round between sheets of baking parchment. Stack the rounds (paper attached) on the baking sheet and refrigerate for 45 minutes or until cold and firm, and for up to 2 days, if desired.
For the filling: In a food processor, process the walnuts, preserves and cinnamon just until any large pieces of nuts and apricot are chopped fairly fine and the mixture has spreading consistency. (Alternatively, chop the walnuts with a large knife. Finely chop any large pieces of apricot. Stir together the walnuts, apricots and cinnamon.) The filling may be made up to 2 days ahead, covered and set aside in a nonreactive container at room temperature.
Baking Preliminaries: Position a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350°F. Line several baking sheets with baking parchment.
Working with one dough round at a time and keeping the others chilled until needed, remove the top sheet of parchment. Using a third of the filling (no need to measure), spread it evenly to within 1⁄4 inch of the edge; the filling layer will be thin. Using a pizza cutter or large sharp knife, cut the round into quarters, then eighths then sixteenths.
While the dough is still cool and slightly firm, working from the outside edge inward, roll up each wedge into a pinwheel. Space the rugelach about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Lightly but evenly brush the tops with the egg wash, then generously sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Repeat the process with the two remaining rounds.
Bake one sheet at a time for 17 to 23 minutes or until the rugelach are nicely browned all over. Let the pans cool on wire racks until the rugelach firm up, about 3 minutes. Then transfer them to racks using a wide spatula.
Thoroughly cool on wire racks before packing for storage. Store these, airtight, for up to 1 week. They can be frozen, airtight, for up to 1 month.

Excerpted with permission from the publisher, Wiley, from Simply Sensational Cookies by Nancy Baggett. Photography by Diane Cu and Todd Porter  Copyright © 2012. Grab a copy of the sensational cookbook here.

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by Nancy Baggett | 2/1/2016
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