Apricot Pillows (Kolacky)

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These little pillows are easy to make with home-made apricot filling and a cream-cheese pastry crust. They are incredibly good hot from the oven, but also nice dusted with a little powdered sugar, cooled. These take me back to my childhood, growing up in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village. For a pineapple version, try our Pineapple Flakies.

Makes three dozen cookies

Cream Cheese Pastry Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) slightly softened unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 recipe (below) apricot-raisin filling
  • egg wash (1 egg whisked with 2 tbsp milk)
  • Sanding sugar (to garnish)
  • Confectioners sugar (to garnish)

Apricot-Raisin Filling Ingredients

  • 6 ounces dried apricots
  • 6 Tbsp strawberry preserves
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Make pastry: In stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed, beat cream cheese, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes.)  Reduce speed to low and add flour until no streaks show.
  2. Turn dough onto plastic wrap. Divide into two portions. Flatten into disks; wrap and chill overnight.
  3. Make filling: Heat apricots and raisins in water over low heat until fruit has “plumped” and absorbed most of the water. Blend in a food processor to a paste; add preserves and pulse again until smooth.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F.  Cover baking sheets with parchment.

  5. Lightly sprinkle work surface with flour. Roll out dough thinly (1/8 inch) adding small amount of flour to keep from sticking as needed. Cut into 2 1/2-inch squares.

  6. Place  dollop of filling in the center of each square; fold corners of the square into the middle; press to seal. Brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Place the cookies on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

  7. Bake 15 minutes until puffed and golden brown on edges. Cool on parchment. If desired, dust with confectioners sugar.

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