Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fruit & Nut Cream Cheese Cookies

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These cookies came about when I looked at my favorite fruit and nut mix and thought… 

Fruit & Nut Mix
these would make great cookies.  
The next question was what kind of cookie dough?  After a bit of pondering I decided to mix the chopped fruit & nuts into a rugelach dough and see what happens.

What I ended up with was a semi- sweet cookie that tasted like a rugelach but it was neither, one or the other.  Let me explain.  The cookie was dry with a delicate flaky crumbly finish that was enhanced with a fruity nutty filling almost like a Mexican wedding cookie but not. 

My husband loves rugelach and I make them once a year and no more because they take a lot of time.  You have to roll out the dough, spread it with filling, cut into sections and roll each cookie up individually. Also the dough is very delicate and has to be kept cold and at just the right temperature while working with it or it will start to get sticky and difficult to work with. 

That’s why I decided to attempt a simpler version of this cookie hoping to get the flavor of the rugelach dough and the ease of a cookie.  No, these won’t replace the yearly rugelach but they do make for a delicious simple cookie all year round.


FRUIT & NUT CREAM CHEESE COOKIES

8          oz.                   cream cheese, at room temperature
½         pound              butter, at room temperature
¼         cup                  sugar + more for topping
¼         tsp.                  kosher salt
1          tsp.                  vanilla extract
2          cups                flour
3          cups                fruit & nut mix, chopped small

Cream the butter with the cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add the ¼ cup sugar, salt and vanilla and mix well.  Add the flour and mix until just mixed. 


Mix in the chopped fruit and nuts.


Roll into 1 Tbsp. balls and flatten.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.




Remove from the fridge and place each piece of cookie dough into the sugar top side down.


Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 – 20 minutes in the upper 1/3 of the oven (I bake these cookies in the upper 1/3 of my oven so the bottoms won’t get too brown).  Cool cookies on a cooling rack until they are completely cool.  This will allow the cookies to crisp up.  Dust them with powdered sugar if you desire.

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