For cookie dough:

  • 125g caster (2/3 cup super fine) sugar
  • 225g (1 cup) unsalted butter or margarine at room temperature, diced
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 380g (3 cups) plain flour

For Apricot Lakver (Hungarian apricot butter)filling:

  • 350g (2 cups) dried apricots
  • 240ml (1 cup) water
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 60ml (¼ cup) fresh lemon juice
  • 75 (⅓ cup) granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g (1 cup) blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

For the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the salt and egg and beat until combined, add the lemon juice and beat once more, then add the flour and beat until just combined. Dump the contents of the mixing bowl directly onto a clean work surface and knead a couple of times until you have a smooth dough. Divide the dough into two equal portions, shape the dough into disks and wrap each in plastic wrap or baking paper. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to 3 days. Alternatively, freeze the raw dough for a month and be sure to let the dough thaw before attempting to roll it out.

While the dough chills, make the filling: In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients save the salt, bring the liquid to a boil, lower the heat so that the liquid stays at a rolling boil, cover the pan and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apricots are very soft and most of the liquid has evaporated. Take the apricots off the heat, add the salt, using a potato masher, or a handheld blender, mash the prunes to form a smoothish paste. Allow to cool before filling rolls.

To Assemble: Preheat oven to 170°C (340°F), line a baking tray with a piece of baking paper and set aside. Between two sheets of baking paper, or on a well-floured baking mat, roll out one portion of dough into a rough rectangle about ¼ inch thick (about 13 x 9 inches). Cover the dough with half the filling, sprinkle with half the toasted, chopped almonds, leaving a bit of a border on all sides. Starting with the long side, roll up the dough jelly-roll style. Place the cookie roll on the prepared baking tray. Using a sharp knife, make shallow indentations every ½ inch along the top of the cookie roll/loaf to indicate where once baked, you will cut the roll into cookies. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Place second cookie roll on the baking tray alongside the first roll, allowing about 3 inches apart.

Place cookies in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the rolls are golden brown. Take out of the oven and cool for five minutes before slicing the cookies along the indentations. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container for 3-4 days. These cookies also freeze brilliantly.