Rugelach

8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
3/4 cup unrefined or regular granulated cane sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole-grain spelt flour (may substitute all-purpose flour)
1/4 cup light-brown sugar
3/4 cup golden raisins
1 cup walnuts pieces, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup whole milk

In bowl of a food processor, combine and pulse the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Add 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar and the vanilla and process again. Add the flour and pulse just until dough starts to clump together.

Scrape dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and press it together to form a ball. Divide into 4 portions and cover each with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 350 F.

Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit for 15 minutes. In a bowl, combine the light-brown sugar, raisins, walnuts, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon; set aside.

Roll out each dough portion, 1 at a time into a 9-inch circle with 1/8-inch thickness. Rotate often to prevent sticking. Use back side of a soup spoon to spread 2 tablespoons of the jam evenly on each round. Sprinkle about a 1/2 cup raisin-nut filling on each round. Press filling into dough.

Using a knife, cut each round into 12 wedge-shaped pieces. Use a thin knife if necessary to loosen wedges from board. Starting at wide ends, roll up wedges and bend ends around to form a slight crescent shape.

Place rugelach, points underneath, about 1 1/2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 30 minutes or until firm.

Just before baking, use the milk to brush rugelach. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle over cookies.

Bake in preheated oven for 16 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 48 cookies.


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