Homemade Rugelach. Little Jewish crescent cookies filled with jam, nuts, and/or chocolate! A crowd-pleaser like you wouldn’t believe.
The dough is a combination of butter and cream cheese mixed together with some sugar, vanilla, salt, and flour. You chill the dough in disks, then roll out each disk, spread with filling, cut and roll into cute crescent shapes.
The filling could involve jam (many like to use apricot preserves, but I went with a mixed berry jam), cinnamon sugar, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, or all of the above.
I remember back in the day when I was a novice baker, I made some whole wheat fig rugelach from a Whole Foods recipe. Those particular rugelach were not crescent shaped; I rolled them into logs and then cut the logs into 1-inch cookies. Yes, there are 2 different ways to shape rugelach. I remember making those fig rugelach over and over again for a long time.
Sorry fig rugelach, but there’s a new cookie in town.
I found my new go-to rugelach recipe: Ina Garten, you did it again. You wooed me with another of your baked goods recipes (also see: Brownie Pudding Amazingness).
I have a feeling that I will be making these cookies again, very soon.
**the recipe looks long and daunting. It is actually quite easy and a fun process albeit a bit messy. Ina and I just want to be thorough with the directions so you feel confident in your rugelach-making. And don’t forget that you can get creative with the fillings!
recipe from Ina Garten
makes 4 dozen cookies
8 oz of cream cheese, at room temperature
8 oz unsalted butter (1/2 lb, 2 sticks), at room temperature
1/4 cup plus granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (310 g) all purpose flour
jam or preserves of your choice OR melted butter
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts + 3/4 cup raisins
OR 1 cup chopped chocolate
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream the cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light (I did everything by hand). Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the salt, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix until just combined. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball in quarters, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To make the filling, combine 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the raisins, and walnuts OR chocolate.
On a well-floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread the dough with 2 tablespoons jam or preserves or melted butter and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the filling. Press the filling lightly into the dough. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges—cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into thirds. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge thinly. Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.
OPTIONAL: Instead of sprinkling the cookies with cinnamon sugar, just do the egg wash, wait until the cookies have baked and cooled, then dust with powdered sugar.