1. Prepare Pastry in 2 batches:
In large bowl, combine half the flour and baking powder; mix well. With electric mixer at low speed, beat in half the butter and cream cheese until smooth dough forms. Divide dough into 4 balls. Repeat with remaining flour, baking powder,
butter, and cream cheese to make 4 more balls of dough.
Wrap balls of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. On lightly floured surface, roll one ball of dough into a 12 by
1 inch rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. With fluted pastry wheel
or knife, cut rectangle into two 12 by 5-inch strips. (Using pastry
wheel, trim 1/16 inch from outside lengthwise edges to flute.)
Transfer strips to baking sheet or large plate, cover with plastic
wrap, and refrigerate. Repeat rolling and cutting with remaining
balls of dough, stacking strips between plastic wrap and
refrigerating as they are made.
3. Prepare Filling: Set aside 1/4 C each nuts and raisins. In
food processor fitted with chopping blade, process remaining 3 C walnuts until finely chopped. In medium-size bowl, combine finely chopped nuts, the sugar, and cinnamon. Set mixture aside.
4. Heat oven to 325'F. Line 1 large baking sheet with aluminum
place 2 sheets of foil crosswise an a second large baking
Place one 9-inch pastry ring (see Note) on the first baking
place a 6-inch pastry ring and a 3-inch pastry ring on separate
sheets of foil on the other baking sheet. With the tip of a skewer
toothpick, score outline of all rings into foil; remove rings and
set aside until ready to bake rugelach.
5. To make 9-inch rugelach, brush one strip of dough lightly
raspberry preserves. Sprinkle 3 T walnut mixture and 1 T
cover half of strip lengthwise. Fold uncovered half of dough
strip lengthwise over covered half to enclose filling and make a 12 by 2 1/2-inch strip. Brush top of folded strip lightly with raspberry preserves. From either end, loosely roll up filled strip; stand, cut edges up, in center of 9-inch ring scored on baking sheet.
6. Fill and fold 8 more strips of dough as in step 5; brush top of
each with preserves. With preserve-brushed surface facing
center, wrap one filled dough strip, cut edges up, around rolled strip on baking sheet. Continue wrapping remaining 7 filled strips around center, pinching ends of strips together, until ring is filled. Sprinkle outside of rugelach with about 2 T walnut mixture and place 9 inch pastry ring around rugelach spiral.
7. With remaining pastry strips, prepare 6-inch and 3-inch
rugelachs repeating steps 5 and 6, using 5 filled strips of dough for 6-inch rugelach and 2 filled strips for 3-inch rugelach. Pat some of remaining walnut mixture around outside of rugelachs, using about 11/2 T on each. Carefully place pastry rings around rugelachs.
8. Stir reserved nuts and raisins into remaining walnut mixture.
Sprinkle over top of rugelachs, tucking nuts and raisins into the
spaces between pastry rings.
9. Bake 9-inch rugelach 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, 6-inch rugelach 1
1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, and 3 inch rugelach 1 hour or until center is
browned and firm to touch. With large spatula, remove 3-inch rugelach, still on foil, to wire rack allowing 6-inch rugelach to remain in the oven until it is completely baked. When baked, carefully transfer all rugelachs to wire rack; remove pastry ring and foil. Let rugelachs cool to room temperature.
1. Just before serving, in small saucepan, melt apricot
preserves and brush over top of each rugelach. Place 9-inch rugelach on serving plate; top with the 6 inch and 3-inch rugelachs. (If necessary, trim tops of 9 and 6-inch rugelachs to make level so tiers will stand securely.) Garnish plate with fresh ivy or other green leaves, if desired.
11. To serve, cut 3-inch rugelach into 6 wedges and remove to
individual plates. Then cut 6-inch rugelach into 1 wedges and
remove to plates; cut 9-inch rugelach into 14 wedges and remove.
Note: Pastry rings, which look like bottomless tart pans, can be
found at gourmet cookware stores.