Beat the butter, cream cheese, 2 tablespoons sugar and the salt in a large bowl with a mixer on low speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and mix until crumbly, about 1 minute. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and lightly knead with your hands to make a soft dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Make the filling: Put the dried cranberries and 1 tablespoon water in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave until plump, about 1 minute. Let cool. Stir in the pecans, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon, then stir in the milk.
Roll out the dough until 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut out circles using a 3 1/2-inch-round cookie cutter. Gather the scraps; reroll once to cut more circles. Place a heaping teaspoonful of filling on the bottom third of each circle, leaving a small border. Brush the edges with a little milk, fold the dough over the filling and roll to enclose; pinch the 2 ends closed and bend into a crescent shape. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
Arrange the cookies 1 inch apart on the baking sheets; brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheets.
Photograph by Levi Brown
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine