1 cup butter
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/2 cup dried apricots
2 tbsp white sugar crystals (optional)
6 candied red cherries, each cut into 8 strips (optional)
Prepare cream cheese dough: In large bowl, with mixer at
medium speed, beat butter and cream cheese until creamy, occasionally
scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in granulated sugar and salt until
mixed. Reduce speed to low; gradually beat in flour until blended. Divide dough
into 3 equal pieces; flatten each into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and
refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight until dough is firm enough to roll.
(Or place dough in freezer 1 hour.) Meanwhile, prepare apricot filling:
If preserves have any large pieces of fruit, finely chop. Finely chop dried apricots.
In small bowl, combine preserves and apricots. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove 1 disk of dough from refrigerator; let stand 5 minutes to soften slightly.
On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll dough into 10 1/2 inch square.
Trim edges to make a 10 inch square. With sharp knife, cut dough into 4 strips,
then cut each strip crosswise into 4 squares. Place squares 2 inches apart,
on ungreased large cookie sheet. With knife, make 1 inch cut from each corner
of each square toward center. Do not cut all the way to center. Spoon 1 scant
measuring teaspoon filling in center of each square. Fold every other corner tip
of dough in to center to form a pinwheel. Pressing tips to hold in place.
If you like, sprinkle with sugar crystals and place cherry strip on center of
each cookie. Bake cookies 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer cookies
to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough, filling, and if you like, sugar
crystals and candied cherries. Store cookies in tightly covered container,
with waxed paper between layers, at room temperature up to 4 days or in
freezer up to 3 months.