The Savannah contingent of the Webner family — specifically, Aunt Corinne — recently sent along a sheaf of Christmas cookie recipes that looked interesting. I picked this one as my last new Christmas cookie recipe for this year and made it last weekend when I was in my two-day baking frenzy.
I picked the recipe because I wanted to mix some fruit-based cookies in with the chocolate, lemon, and iced cookies and because it looked within the comfort zone of my limited baking skills. It turned out to be easy and fun to make — I particularly liked rolling up the dough over the filling — and very tasty. I’m going to make it again this weekend and mix up the fruit and nut combinations for the filling, just to do some experimenting.
Apple Butter Rugelach
Ingredients: 1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into pieces; 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, slightly softened and cut into pieces; 2 cups all purpose flour; 3 tablespoons white sugar; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1 teaspoon cinnamon; 1/2 cup apple butter; 1/4 cup chopped pecans; milk to brush on top of cookies and cinnamon for sprinkling
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt, then add in butter and cream cheese and mix at low speed. Dough will be crumbly then come together; mix until it is just combined. Remove mixture from bowl, shape it into a large rectangle, then wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for two hours.
After removing dough from refrigerator, cut dough into four equally sized pieces. On a floured surface, roll each piece into a 12 x 4 inch rectangle. Spread apple butter onto rectangle, leaving space around the edges, then sprinkle pecans onto apple butter. Working from the long end, carefully roll the dough into a 12-inch log, then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes to make it easier to cut.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and remove dough from freezer. Brush the dough log with milk and sprinkle cinnamon on top, then cut the dough log into 12 equal pieces and place them upright on baking sheet. Bake for 22-25 minutes until lightly golden, then let cool.