This tender fruit-filled pastry recipe, from Eastern Europe Jewish communities, is as popular in America as it is across the ocean. For the cookie filling, use all cherries, all apricots, or a combination of the fruits.
For filling, combine dried cherries and/or apricots, the 1/4 cup sugar, and the water in a small saucepan. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in kirsch, if desired; cool. Stir in walnuts.
For pastry, beat butter and cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add flour and the 2 tablespoons sugar; beat on low speed until crumbly, then knead until a dough forms. Divide dough into thirds.
Roll one-third of the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 9-inch circle. Spread the dough with one-third of the cooled filling. Cut circle into 12 wedge-shape pieces. Beginning at wide end of each wedge, roll up dough. Place cookies, tip side down, about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Brush each cookie with some milk and, if desired, sprinkle with sugar.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes or till golden brown. Transfer to wire racks and cool. Makes 36 cookies.