Simmered dried apricots with a hint of vanilla are a perfect combination of tart and sweet. (We tested apricot jam in this filling, and it wasn't the same.) The mixture is slathered on rounds of cream-cheese dough, which is sliced into wedges and rolled into crescents before baking. The dough and filling can be made a couple of days in advance and refrigerated to make assembly easier (the dough disks wrapped in plastic, the filling in an airtight container).

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Ingredients

Dough
Filling

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter with cream cheese, granulated sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add flour and beat on low until just combined. Divide dough into 3 disks; wrap each in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

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  • Filling: In a small saucepan, bring apricots, 1 1/3 cups water, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer until apricots are tender and most of liquid has been absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer apricot mixture to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Let cool completely. (You should have about 2 cups filling; if not, thin slightly with water, a teaspoon at a time.)

  • Meanwhile, finely grind pistachios in food processor. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of dough to a 10-inch circle, 1/8 inch thick. Spread evenly with 2/3 cup apricot mixture. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ground pistachios. With a pizza wheel, cut circle into quarters, then cut each quarter in half, then in half again, so you have 16 wedges. Starting at outside edge of each wedge, roll up into a crescent shape. Arrange 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sanding sugar and 1 tablespoon ground pistachios. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer rugelach on sheets to wire racks; let cool completely. Rugelach can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

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