When I was growing up, some special family friends would always bring out a plate of Christmas goodies. (My friend reminded me that all the kids also always had to sing several Christmas carols as their mom handed us our cookies! Fun times!)
My favorite things on the plate were the apricot cookies. I had never been able to find a recipe for these cookies but thought of them every Christmas! When I flipped through my December issue of Rachael Ray's magazine and saw the recipe for Apricot Cheesecake Pockets, I was so excited to have finally found something close to my childhood memory! They are delicious! We may or may not be on our second double batch...for family friends, of course!
2 cups flour
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
Gold sparkling sugar, for decorating
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, granulated sugar and salt.
Using an electric mixer, beat 8 oz. cream cheese and the butter on medium-high speed until fluffy, 1 minute. Beat in the flour mixture on low speed. Divide the dough in half; place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Using the wrap to help, form the dough into disks and seal. Chill the dough until firm, at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix half the beaten egg into the remaining 4 oz. cream cheese. Stir 1 tsp. water into the remaining egg. Chill both the cream cheese mixture and the egg wash.
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350°. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment. Working on a floured surface, roll out 1 disk of dough 1/4 inch thick. Using a 4-inch round cutter, cut out the cookies and place on the pans. Repeat with the remaining dough disk. Reroll any scraps and cut out enough cookies to total 24.
Transfer 1 of the pans to the refrigerator. Working with the other pan, place 1 tsp. of the cream cheese mixture and 1 tsp. jam in the center of each cookie. Using a pastry brush, coat the cookie edges with the egg wash; fold over the filling. Using the back of a fork, seal the edges. Brush the tops with egg wash. Place the pan in the refrigerator; repeat with the remaining cookies.
Bake the cookies until golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a rack; let cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar with 2 tbsp. water. Working over the parchment, drizzle the cookies with the glaze. Sprinkle with the sparkling sugar. Let the glaze set.
*I do some without the cream cheese filling and use raspberry preserves--Cody's favorites!
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