These crescent-shaped cookies are a Jewish holiday tradition. The rich and flaky cream-cheese-based cookie dough can be filled with anything from fruit jams and chopped nuts to dried fruit and cinnamon-sugar. This version features two kinds of apricot filling: apricot jam and sugared dried apricots.
- 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons cold buttermilk
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons apricot jam
- 1 large egg white
- 1/3 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons sanding sugar
Place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse 10 times. Pulse in cream cheese until the mixture becomes crumbly. Sprinkle in buttermilk and pulse until the mixture comes together when pressed. Transfer the dough to a work surface, and divide into thirds. Wrap each third in plastic, and shape into a disc. Refrigerate discs for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper. In a small bowl combine apricots, sugar, and nutmeg; set aside.
On a floured board, roll out one of the discs to 1/8-inch thickness. Using an inverted bowl, cut dough into a 7 1/2-to-8-inch circle. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into wedges, dividing it first in half, then into quarters, then into eighths. Brush each section lightly with jam, and sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon of apricot mixture, leaving the narrow ends clear. Roll each cookie into a crescent shape, beginning at the wide end, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush each cookie with egg white, and sprinkle with almonds and then sanding sugar. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, and store in an airtight container. Repeat with remaining 2/3 of dough.