These little traditional Jewish cookies are so festive. Filled with nuts and fruit, their complex flavor will liven up any holiday cookie assortment.
They’re a bit messy, but this recipe makes a ton, so your kitchen will be in shambles only until you roll them all up and bake them off or freeze them.
Lots of people like these with chocolate. If you’re one of those people, just replace the juice and currants with mini chocolate chips. (Which, by the way, I haven’t seen in the stores for ages. If you know a good brand, please post it in the comments for everyone to see.)
for the dough:
8 ounces (225g) cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons or 165g) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (300g) unbleached all-purpose flour
for the filling:
1 cup (150g) dried currants
1/2 cup (110g) fruit juice
1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (110g) pecans
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup apricot jam
for the topping:
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg well beaten with 1 tablespoon of cream or milk
1. Cover raisins with fruit juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Add salt and vanilla, and mix until light and well blended. Add flour and mix until just incorporated. Divide dough into four equal parts. Form the parts in balls and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
3. In a food processor fitted with the blade, pulse together brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and pecans until pecans are finely chopped. Set aside. Drain currants; set aside.
4. Roll one ball of dough on a floured surface until it is about 8-9 inches in diameter. Warm apricot jam in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Spread 2 tablespoons of apricot jam on the dough, followed by 1/3 cup of the brown sugar mixture, and 1/4 of the currants. With a rolling pin, gently press the filling into the dough.
5. Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut the round into 12 equal wedges. Starting with the outside of each wedge, roll up and place each cookie, with the point on the bottom, on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate* while you preheat the oven to 375 degrees (190 degrees celsius).
6. Mix together cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Brush cookies with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
7. Bake at 375 (190 celsius) degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until the corners start to brown.
*At this point, you can freeze any cookies you don’t plan on baking right away. Place a parchment lined cookie sheet full of all the remaining cookies and freeze for 2 hours. When they are frozen, you can take them off the cookie sheet and place them in a storage container. When you are ready to bake them, simply remove them from the freezer, and preheat the oven. While the oven heats up, brush on the egg, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake according to the instructions above, adding more time if needed.