I am having the hardest time writing this post. I think the sugary goodness of the rugelach pinwheels is distracting me. I can't think of anything witty or articulate. I am completely reduced to Homer Simpson drool noises. These were an enormous pain to make, but are just so good. Can I tempt you further?
1 package (8oz) cream cheese
2 sticks butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 C flour
1/4 C + 2 T sugar
1/4 C light brown sugar
3/4 C chopped dried fruit (I used raisins, but craisins, dried cherries, or dates would be great)
1 C finely chopped nuts (I used walnuts, but I think pecans work well too)
1/2 C fruit preserves (I used apricot)
1 C sugar
2 t cinnamon
Put the cream cheese and butter together in a stand mixer. Mix until smooth (you may need help from you spatula throughout this process). Add the sugar and blend in. Add the flour a half cup at a time, blending well, and using the spatula to keep the batter off your paddle and back in the bowl. Divide dough into 2 sections and refridgerate for at least 2 hours.
Make the filling. Combine the sugar, brown sugar, fruit and nuts. Mix well and set aside.
Right before the dough is ready, heat up your preserves until very liquidy and then allow to cool. I microwaved mine for about 20-30 seconds and stirred well.
Rolling out the dough is tricky, I'm not going to lie. You need it to be rectangular which is difficult and it needs to be about 1/8 of an inch thick. The dough is very sticky and you'll need to work fast. Even though I made this in winter, in a not too warm kitchen, my dough kept getting too soft to work with. If your dough starts to stick, do not panic. I strongly recommend rolling it out on waxed paper or plastic wrap. Remove and roll only one of your two dough sections at a time. Flour your surface well and if the dough gets too soft, stop rolling it out and gently pop it back in the fridge. Give it about 10 minutes to cool down, then get back to rolling it out. Once the dough is rolled out, spread it with half the preserves and sprinkle it with half the filling. Then starting with the long side of your rectangle, gently and carefully roll up the dough into a log. Wrap in plastic wrap and pop back in the fridge. Repeat with the second section of dough. The dough logs will need to stay in the fridge for at least another hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cover your baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix the topping together in a bowl. Remove a log of dough and slice into 1/4 inch rounds. Dip each round in the topping and gently place on the parchment paper. Bake until lightly browned about 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and survey the damage. If you're anything like me, some of your rounds will have unspiralled. This is easy to fix if you act immediately. While the dough is still hot from the oven, try to reform the circles. As it cools it will hold it's shape. Also, as this is a very sugary recipe and there's all that fruity filling, you may notice a lot of carmelized goop on your tray. If you get the cookies out of that and onto a wire cooling rack ASAP you won't have a lot of random carmelly stuff sticking off your cookies.