I like to think of rugelach cookies as the edible version of my grandparents. I know that sounds absurdly bizarre, but just roll with it for a minute and let me explain. You know when your grandma calls you just because and she tells you how utterly amazing you are? Eating rugelach makes you feel like that too. Their rolled shape echoes coils of wisdom. Their sweet filling evokes sentiments of warm hearts and kind souls. Their flaky texture coincides with gentleness and goodness. Every bite makes you feel warm, fuzzy and loved, making them the perfect cookie for those days when you need a reminder of just how fantastic and fabulous you really are. Grandparent metaphor officially accomplished.
*recipe by Ina Garten with some twists by moi
Prep Time: 20 minutes (excludes chilling time which is 1 hr and 30 minutes total)
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: around 2 hours and 30 minutes
Serving: 4 dozen cookies
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
2 sticks butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar, plus 9 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup of your favorite jam
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of milk (for egg wash)
1. Cream the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixture until well combined.
2. Add 1/4 cup of sugar, the salt and the vanilla and beat until incorporated.
3. Turn the mixer on low and gradually add in the flour.
4. Continue mixing until JUST combined.
5. Transfer dough to a well-floured surface and shape into a ball. Cut the ball in quarters, and wrap each quarter in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
6. Assemble the filling. In a bowl combine 9 tablespoons white sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the raisins and the walnuts.
7. When dough has been chilled for at least an hour, remove from fridge and roll each ball out onto a well floured surface into a large circle.
8. Spread each dough with the jam, making sure to coat the outside edges of the circle (because this will end up being the inside of the cookie).
9. Sprinkle the filling onto the jam covered dough and press lightly so filling adheres.
10. Cut each circle into 12 equal wedges, by cutting the whole circle into quarters, then each quarter into thirds.
11. Starting from the outer edge of each wedge (the wider part) roll up the dough. Place each rolled cookie on a lightly greased baking sheet with the point tucked under. Once all cookies are assembled, chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
12. Preheat oven to 350°F.
13. Brush each cookie lightly with egg wash.
14. Combine 3 tablespoons white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl, and sprinkle this mixture over the cookies (after they’ve been egg washed so it adheres).
15. Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
16. Transfer to a GREASED wire rack (the bottoms will be sticky) until cool.