It’s holiday cookie time. A friend of mine just emailed me asking if I knew of a cookie recipe for a holiday cookie exchange. I've been part of a holiday cookie exchange for years, so every year I try to come up with a new impressive cookie that everyone will like. I've had some winners over the years. But then there was last year's disaster. The gingerbread puff pastry cookies that didn't hold their shape. They may have tasted fine, but they looked like bloated, deformed sea creatures. No pictures survived.
Luckily I can dig back and resurrect this really delicious and quite attractive cookie—Apricot Crescent Cookies. Even though I like to try out new recipes each year, these have made it to the list of classics that I turn to time and again.
Apricot Crescent Cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter
6 ounces cream cheese
2 cups flour
1/2 cup apricot jam (you could also try other types of jam)
2 egg yolks, beaten with a few tablespoons of milk
some finely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
powdered sugar for dusting
1. Combine the butter and the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Sift
in the flour and then knead until smooth. Divide into two and wrap each
in plastic and refrigerate overnight or for at least 3 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line some baking sheets with
3. Roll out the each half of the dough into a rectangle about 1/8 inch
thick. Cut into squares, roughly 2 inches. Place a small amount of jam
in each corner and add a little of the egg and milk mixture to two sides of the square. Then fold in half to form a triangle. Seal the edges and roll diagonally and bend into a slight crescent shape. I actually prefer to make them 3 inches square, because they are a bit easier to make and to seal. Here's a picture of them at 3 inches:
4. Place on cookie sheets and brush with more of the beaten egg yolks and milk
mixture. Sprinkle with the optional chopped nuts, if you like. Bake
12-15 minutes or until just barely golden brown. Cool on rack and
sprinkle with plenty of powdered sugar.
This recipe will make about 15 cookies at the 3 inch size. If you need a lot for a cookie exchange, you can double the recipe.