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This delicious and beautiful recipe for rugelach (a flakey, tender Jewish pastry / cookie) was handed down through 4 generations of Gourmet Magazine's food editor Melissa Roberts’s family and was recently featured as part of "Gourmet’s Favorite Cookies: 1941-2008". These are easier than the typical crescent rugelach as they are scored first, baked, and then broken into individual cookies afterwards, for a wonderful variety of textures from top to bottom. The dough can be used for many different fillings including: Nutella (warm slightly before spreading), mini chocolate chips, cinnamon sugar, etc... Just use what you like! These freeze well. Dough must be chilled (preferably overnight) before using.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1⁄2 cup sugar, plus
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup apricot preserves or 1 cup raspberry jam
- 1 cup loosely packed raisins (optional) or 1 cup currants (optional) or 1 cup dried cherries (optional) or 1 cup cranberries, chopped (optional)
- 1 1⁄4 cups walnuts (1/4 lb) or 1 1⁄4 cups pecans, finely chopped (1/4 lb)
- milk, for brushing cookie
- Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined well. Add flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Gather dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap, then flatten (in wrap) into a roughly 7- by 5- inch rectangle. Chill until firm, 8 to 24 hours.
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F Line bottom of a 1- to 1 1/2-inch-deep large shallow baking pan with parchment paper.
- Cut dough into 4 pieces. Chill 3 pieces, wrapped in plastic wrap, and roll out remaining piece into a 12- by 8-inch rectangle on a well-floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Transfer dough to a sheet of parchment, then transfer to a tray and chill while rolling out remaining dough in same manner, transferring each to another sheet of parchment and stacking on tray.
- Whisk 1/2 cup sugar with cinnamon.
- Arrange 1 dough rectangle on work surface with long side nearest you. Spread 1/4 cup preserves evenly over dough with offset spatula. Sprinkle 1/4 cup raising and a rounded 1/4 cup walnuts over jam, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar.
- Using parchment as an aid, roll up dough tightly into a log. Place, seam side down, in lined baking pan, then pinch ends closed and tuck underneath. Make 3 more logs in same manner and arrange 1 inch apart in pan. Brush logs with milk and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of remaining granulated sugar. With a sharp large knife, make 3/4-inch-deep cuts crosswise in dough (not all the way through) at 1-inch-intervals. (If dough is too soft to cut, chill until firmer, 20 to 30 minutes.).
- Bake until golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool to warm in pan on a rack, about 30 minutes, then transfer logs to a cutting board and slice cookies all the way through.