Black Raspberry Rugelach

For the dough:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract or 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the filling:
1/2 cup black raspberry jam
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup currants or chopped raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped

In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer on low speed, cream the butter, cream cheese, lemon extract or zest, cinnamon, and salt together. Add the flour gradually. Knead by hand for a moment to gather in loose crumbs. Shape into a flattened ball. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a baking sheet or line it with baking parchment. On a lightly floured board, use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to form a 13-inch round. The edges needn't be perfectly even.

To make the filling:
In a medium bowl, mix together all the filling ingredients. Spread the filling evenly over the dough almost to the edge. Cut the dough into 16 equal wedges using a pastry wheel or table knife. Starting at the wide end, roll up each triangle and place it point side down on the baking sheet, spacing the triangles at least 2 inches apart.

Bake in the center of the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Let the pastries cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Servings: 16

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