Time Required: 3.5 hours

Apricot Pastry Squares

Buttery, flaky, fruity bundles of pure joy. They're Grandma's favorite cookie, and Grandma is never wrong. Never.

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Notes:

The liquid you strained from the apricots can be saved to use as an apricot simple syrup in cocktails or other baked goods! Just strain it into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 1 month.

If you can't find California apricots, any dried apricots work in a pinch.

Apricot Pastry Squares

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 oz cold cream cheese
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 12 oz dried California apricots
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups + 3 tbsp water
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar

Steps

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Cut the cream cheese and butter (both of which should still be cold) into small pieces, then use a pastry cutter to cut them into the flour mixture until the dough resembles coarse crumbs (and no pieces of butter or cream cheese are larger than pea-sized).
  3. Wash your hands with cold water to cool your hands down and dry them thoroughly.
  4. Add the milk and vinegar to the dough and mix together with your hands, working until the dough is evenly moistened and just holds together.
  5. Divide the dough into 4 slightly-flattened balls, wrap each in wax paper, and chill them in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  6. While the dough chills, add the apricots, the granulated sugar, and 2 cups of the water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring often.
  7. Once the liquid is boiling and the sugar is fully dissolved, turn off the heat and let the apricots cool in the liquid. Once the apricots and liquid are fully cooled to room temperature, drain the mixture completely and set the apricots aside.
  8. Just before you take the dough out of the fridge, preheat the oven to 400F.
  9. Remove one ball of dough from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick, then cut the dough into 2 ½ inch squares.
  10. Place an apricot in the center of each square, then fold the corners of the dough into the center to encase the apricot, pinching hard to seal the dough in the middle.
  11. Place the folded cookies on a parchment-lined or ungreased baking sheet at least 1 inch apart from each other, then place the baking sheet in the fridge while you repeat the rolling, cutting, filling, and shaping process (steps 9-11) with your remaining balls of dough, adding each batch of cookies to the baking sheet(s) in the fridge as you go.
  12. Once all your cookies are folded properly, place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  13. Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer them to wire racks to cool.
  14. Once the cookies are cool, mix the powdered sugar and the remaining 3 tbsp water together in a small bowl until a smooth glaze with no remaining lumps forms. Drizzle a bit of the glaze onto your finger or the back of a spoon to test its consistency; it should be thin enough to drizzle easily, but still thick enough that each drizzle line stays in place without running off the sides of your finger/spoon. Add more powdered sugar if it's too runny or a tiny bit more water (a little goes a long way) if it's too thick.
  15. Drizzle the glaze generously over the cooled cookies, then let them rest at room temperature until the glaze fully sets before removing them from the wire racks.
  16. If you can resist eating them all in one sitting, store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature, with a piece of wax paper between each layer of cookies if they are stacked in the container.
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