unrugelach mini turnovers

(from the Pie and Pastry Bible, Charles Scribner's Sons 1998)

"These tiny turnovers have the same balance of filling to dough as my number one favorite cookie: Rugelach, but they are easier to prepare because they aren't rolled. Rugelach means rolled, therefore I have dubbed these "unrugelach." The buttery cinnamon/walnut flavors fill your mouth with opulent pleasure, but despite their richness, they are easy to keep on eating because of the fresh tanginess from the apricot jam filling."

yield: about 22 1/2-inch turnovers

ingredients:

dough

  • 1/2 an 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (sift into the cup and level off) bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
filling
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup apricot lekvar or preserves (well stirred)
topping
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • two 12-inch by 17-inch cookie sheets or inverted half-size sheet pans, lined with parchment or foil
food processor method
Into a food processor with the metal blade, place the cream cheese, butter and sugar and process until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides once or twice. Add the sugar and vanilla and process for a few seconds to incorporate them. Add the flour and salt and pulse in just until the dough starts to clump together.

electric mixer method
In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until blended. Beat in the sugar and vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in the flour and salt just until incorporated.

both methods
Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and press it together to form a ball. Place the dough in a bowl, cover it well, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

make the filling
In a medium bowl, with a fork, stir together the sugars, cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts until well mixed. Using a 1 1/4-inch cookie scoop or tablespoon measure scoop out flat measures of dough, placing them on a cookie sheet. Refrigerate the dough and removing one at a time, roll it quickly between floured palms to form a ball. Dust it well with flour and place it between 2 sheets of plastic wrap.

Use the flat bottom of a tumbler to press the ball flat and then a light rolling pin to roll it into a 3 1/2-inch circle. Remove the top sheet of plastic wrap and spread the dough evenly with a rounded 1/2 teaspoon of apricot lekvar or preserves. Carefully place 2 teaspoons of the nut mixture on one half of the dough circle, leaving a narrow border.

Use the plastic wrap to lift the other part of the dough up and over the filling to encase it. Leaving the plastic wrap in place, press along the border of the dough to seal in the filling. Remove the plastic wrap, brush away any excess flour, and place the turnover on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving at least 1 1/2-inches between each one. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. For the best shape, cover the turnovers with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before baking.

Set the oven racks so that they divide the oven in thirds. Preheat the oven to 350°F. at least 15 minutes before baking time. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping. With a pastry brush or feather, brush each turnover with milk and sprinkle evenly with the sugar and cinnamon topping.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. For even baking, rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and back to front half way through the baking period. Use a small pancake turner to transfer the turnovers to wire racks to cool completely.

To Store: In an airtight container, 5 days at room temperature; 3 months frozen



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