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December 07, 2021
It is that time of year when holiday baking fills your kitchen. I am always on the hunt for a unique cookie to take to my neighborhood cookie exchange or to add to my cookie plate. One heritage recipe I recently discovered was the rugelach.
Rugelach is a Jewish filled cookie originating in Poland. Traditional rugelach are made from a cream cheese or sour cream dough and rolled in the shape of a crescent. Traditional fillings include fruit preserves, nuts, and dried fruit.
Rugelach is not only delicious, it's a blank canvas awaiting your imagination (or your favorite Amadio Ranch Fruit preserve or fruit butter!)
Pictured here are cookies filled with 1) Pumpkin butter and pecans and 2)FROG Jam and raisins.
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4 ounces softened cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
1 stick (8 tablespoons) softened unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Filling: Jam, chopped nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc.
Course Decorating or Raw Sugar
Egg Wash (1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water)
To make the dough: Put the flour and salt in a food processor, scatter over the chunks of cream cheese and butter and pulse the machine 6 to 10 times. Then process, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, just until the dough forms large curds — don’t work it so long that it forms a ball on the blade.
Turn the dough out, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each half into a disk, wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 day. (Wrapped airtight, the dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.)
Working on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 11- to 12-inch circle. Spoon jam over the dough, and scatter over half of the nuts or other filling. half of the currants and half of the chopped chocolate.
Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 wedges, or triangles. (The easiest way to do this is to cut the dough into quarters, then to cut each quarter into 4 triangles.) Starting at the base of each triangle, roll the dough up so that each cookie becomes a little crescent. Arrange the roll-ups on one baking sheet, making sure the points are tucked under the cookies, and refrigerate. Repeat with the second packet of dough, and refrigerate the cookies for at least 30 minutes before baking. (The cookies can be covered and refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to 2 months; don’t defrost before baking, just add a couple of extra minutes to the baking time.)
To finish: Brush the egg wash over each cookie and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake the cookies at 150 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until they are puffed and golden. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool.