1 cup butter (at room temperature, cut into chunks)
1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese (at room temperature, cut into chunks)
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
one vanilla bean pod – scrape out the seeds in the centre
2 cups pecans (see tips)
3/4 cup apricot jam (see tips)
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon
In a bowl sift together flour and salt. Set aside.
Cut up the butter and cream cheese into chunks, into a bowl to be creamed.
Cream together until light and fluffy.
Add the lemon zest, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds to the butter mixture. Combine well.
Beat in the flour mix. Mix well.
Work the dough into a ball, then split the dough into 2 balls.
Flatten each ball into a 6 inch disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours.
Now it’s time to make the filling…
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then spread the nuts evenly out onto a cookie sheet. Toast the nuts in the oven for 6 to 9 minutes, or until lightly browned. Watch carefully, and don’t burn them!
When the nuts are toasted, set them aside to cool. When they are cooled, using a knife chop them up.
Then get out your food processor!! Use it to combine the chopped nuts, jam, honey and cinnamon. Combine until the pecans are coarsely ground.
Putting it all together!
After the dough has rested and chilled for the required time, take out one disc at a time from the fridge – it’s time to roll it! (leave the other disc dough in the fridge until you are ready to work with it)
Generously dust a clean work surface with about 2 tbsp to 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. (the more the better!)
With a rolling pin roll the dough out into a 16 inch circle of even thickness. If the dough is too stiff, just knead it in your hands for a bit.
Using half of the jam filling, spread it out evenly onto the dough, leaving about a 1cm space from the edge.
Using a knife slice the dough first into 4 equal quarters.
Then slice each quarter into 6 equal pieces.
It’s time to roll the rugelach! For each wedge, start from the edge of the dough and roll to the centre.
Roll, roll, roll until you have a cute little crescent!
Then take each dough crescent, generously dust it with powdered sugar, and place on a cookie sheet. Space them about 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 14-18 minutes, until the tops start turning golden brown.
Immediately remove them from the pan, and place them on a cooling rack.
Generously dust them with powdered sugar again.
Repeat all the above steps for the second disc of dough and the remaining filling.