We’re in the middle of Hanukkah and Rugelach are one of my favorite cookies. Something about that cream cheesey, buttery dough, the cinnamon and fruit are so comforting and yummy. I didn’t get this recipe from my Grandma, so is has been adapted from a Barefoot Contessa recipe. I like to use a lot of filling, so it gets pretty messy when you roll it up, but they are delicious! Maybe I should bring a batch of apricot and a batch of raspberry to the Cookie Exchange? What’s your favorite Rugelach flavor?
Rugelach (Apricot / Raspberry)
-4 dozen cookies
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- One teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup apricot or raspberry preserves
- 1 egg
Having the butter and cream cheese at room temperature makes life so much easier when attempting to blend them together. Give them at least 4 hours to soften, but overnight is best. Blend the cream cheese and butter in a medium-sized bowl with an electric mixer. (When it’s nice and soft, it can also be mixed with a fork – just be sure to cream it really well.) Add 1/3 cup of the sugar and all of the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour, salt and mix until just combined. (Over mixing the dough will allow too much gluten to develop; then you get tough cookies!) Place the dough out onto a well-floured, clean surface and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball in quarters, wrap each piece in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
For filling: combine 1/3 cup sugar, all the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and the walnuts in a small bowl.
On a well-floured work surface, roll one chilled ball of dough at a time into a 9-inch circle. (Leave the other dough in the refrigerator to stay cold until you’re ready to roll it.) Spread 2 tablespoons apricot/raspberry preserves (I like to use the back of a spoon to spread it) to the edge of the dough and leave a blank spot in the center, about 1 inch in diameter. (This space gives the filling a place to go when you roll it up later.) Then sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the filling. Press the filling lightly into the dough with your hands. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges; start by cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into thirds. Take the wide, outer edge and carefully roll up each wedge. (This is the messy part.) Slightly bend each cookie into a crescent shape. Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat the egg in small bowl with a TBS of water (this is the egg wash). Using a pastry brush, lightly brush each cookie with the egg wash. This will give the cookies a beautiful golden color when they bake. Combine remaining 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small cup and sprinkle on the cookies. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.