The first things that you need to do is make the dough, it needs to be chilled for 8 hours or overnight. I have even made it up to a week ahead of time and left it in the refrigerator. I do not know if this is recommended but as I am not a professionally trained baker this suits my life fine. I also recommend letting your butter and cream cheese sit out overnight.
1 cup butter softened
1 8 oz package cream cheese softened
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
23/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
Beat the butter and the cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, slowly add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Then stir in the flour and salt. Now if you are a little lazy like me you add the flour to the mixer being careful not to get flour all over you kitchen. The reason to stir in the flour is so the dough does not get tough, I have been mixing it in for yours with the mixer and have not had a problem.
Divide the dough into eight equal portions. Flatten into discs and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Chill at least hours or longer.
3/4 cups of sugar
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
2/3 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup butter melted
2 tablespoons of cinnamon.
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of apricot jam
1 Egg lightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
These two items do not go into the filing, they are for later to put onto the cookie before you bake.
Disclaimer: This is my recipe for filling, I made it up. You can change it, you can add to it. Not everyone likes the same things but this is how I like it . And anyone I have made them for likes this variation too. Change it up! Make it your own.
While you are getting the ingredients ready for the filling take your dough out to let it become a little soft, otherwise it is too hard to roll out. Also preheat the oven to 350. You can use greased cookie sheets, or cookie sheets lined with Silphat baking mats. ( If you do not have one and you like to bake, run to the nearest store, they are great because nothing sticks to them!)
This is the easy part. Again, this is unconventional but it works. Take all of the above ingredients and put them into the bowl of the food processor. Make sure the nuts are hot out of the oven. Then pulse everything until it is a paste, with a little texture. Sort of the consistency of chunky peanut butter, not creamy.
On a lightly floured surface take one piece of dough and toll it out. Now this is where I like to take the easy way out, I roll my dough into a little bit of a rectangle so that I can add my filling an roll up like a cinnamon roll. Which I then chill and then cut into pieces. Or you can roll into a circle, spread 3 tablespoons of filling onto dough, leaving a 1/2 inch at the outer edge. Cut with a knife or pizza wheel into 8 triangles. Then beginning at the wide end roll into crescent shapes.
Repeat with remaining dough and filling. This recipe is suppose to make 64 pieces. I never get the amount of cookies that they say can be made. I do not know what I do wrong, so this is just an approximate amount depending on if you make your crescents or spirals smaller or larger.
I recommend putting the cookies onto the baking sheet and then placing them back into the refrigerator to chill. I think it helps them hold their shape better. Then wash with an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. At this point, I take one log, cut into about one inch pieces and bake for recommended time. I have made them like this, and in the spirals but I find this method works better for me. I have also seen in a Martha Stewart magazine where she divides the dough into two pieces and then makes one the bottom crust in a small pan and adds the filling , then covers with the other crust, to make a bar cookie.
Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Watch the cookies because your oven could be hotter or cooler. Bake until golden brown and then remove from pan to cool.
Whatever you put into them, or however you assemble them, they are delicious and a great treat to give away. Enjoy!