Holiday Fruit and Nut Rugelach

 

Rugelach Dough:

3 cups unbleached flour
3/4 t. cinnamon
3/4 t. salt
12 oz. vegan cream cheese
3/4 cup Spectrum Spread non-hydrogenated margarine
3 T. soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk
1/2 t. almond extract

Fillings:

1 1/3 cups walnuts, pecans, or other nuts of choice, finely chopped
1/3 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries, finely chopped
1/3 cup raisins, finely chopped
1 cup Sucanat, divided
3 t. cinnamon, divided
Veganized Powdered Sugar for dusting the cookies
 

Begin by preparing the rugelach dough. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, and salt, and set aside. In a food processor or upright mixer, combine the vegan cream cheese, Spectrum Spread, soy milk, and almond extract, and process for 1-2 minutes or until light and creamy. Add the flour mixture, pulse a few times or until the dough comes together to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the container. Divide the dough into thirds and wrap each in a piece of plastic cling film. Place the dough into the refrigerator to chill for 4 hours.

While the dough is chilling, prepare the fillings. Divide the chopped nuts evenly among 3 small bowls. Place the chopped dried apricots in one bowl, the chopped dried cranberries in another, and the chopped raisins in the third. Add 1/3 cups of Sucanat and 1 t. cinnamon to each of the bowls. Stir together the contents of each of the bowls and set them aside separately.

Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) 3 non-stick cookie sheets and set aside. After the dough has chilled for 4 hours, begin by working with one portion of the dough at a time. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to form a 12-inch circle. Sprinkle the dough with all of the reserved dried apricot mixture and press down lightly on the filling to help it stick to the dough. Using a pastry wheel, pizza cutter, or sharp knife, cut the dough circle into 16 wedges. Beginning at the outer edge, roll up each wedge tightly toward the point, and transfer them to one of the prepared cookie sheets. Make sure that the points of the wedges are tucked under and cover them with a clean towel or piece of plastic cling film. Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator to chill while you assemble the remaining rugelach.

Repeat the rolling out and filling procedure for the remaining portions of dough and filling. Place each of the assembled rugelach on separate cookie sheets, cover, and chill them in the same manner as those with the apricot filling. Bake two cookie sheets at a time at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat the baking procedure for the remaining cookie sheet of cookies. When all of the cookies are cooled completely, dust them lightly with a little of the Veganized Powdered Sugar. Store the cookies in an airtight container with waxed paper between the layers.

Yield: 48 assorted cookies

 

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1999-2002  Beverly Lynn Bennett