Recipe by Mura Wehi
This is a recipe I have in a book called the "King Arthur Cookie Companion". Originally it was a "Cherry Nut Rugelach", but I wanted to stick with what felt more like home with me, so I went ahead and tweaked it. You can use walnuts or almonds, just make sure that you TOAST THEM before chopping them up! I'm not Jewish, nor is my family, but we love this all the same. We like to call this our "Adopted Jewish Recipe". People are nearly brought to tears when eating this beautiful, amazing cookie. Be sure to have some helpers, because the yield to this is astronomical!! This will make 64 cookies. Yes, 64!!
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (Any brand, but Philadelphia is recommended)
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups of all purpose unbleached flour
- 1 cup raisins
- 3⁄4 cup toasted almond (Walnuts will work too, but toast them!)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4-1 cup apricot jam (Note ( Try to get it as fine as possible, avoid the chunky preserves this time.)
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons water
- granulated sugar or coarse sugar or pearl sugar
Directions See How It's Made
- We're starting with the dough here. Grab your two sticks of butter and cream cheese, and pile it into a large bowl. Beat these until they are light. You can use an electric mixer or get in a good workout and use a wooden spoon.
- Next you'll want to add your sugar and your salt, and beat it until it becomes fluffy. Again, an electric mixer is preferred, but you can always opt for the workout and use a wooden spoon!
- This part you will need a wooden spoon no matter what. Stir your flour into your mixture, then gather the dough into a ball and knead it until it's smooth and all the flour is fully mixed.
- Divide your dough ball in half, then divide each half into halves. Do you see where this is going? Now, take your four quarters and half each of them. You should now have 8 little dough balls.
- Flatten each of your 8 dough balls into thick disks, and wrap them with plastic wrap, or "Cling film" as my friend likes to say. Let these guys chill out in your fridge for at least an hour. The longer, the better! (Note: You could stop here if you wanted to, and continue another day or such.).
- When you're ready to continue, or after at least 1 hour, preheat your oven to 350°F Lightly grease (Or parchment) two baking sheets (Three is even better!). Use parchment! It's better. These cookies will ooze as they cook, and with parchment there's much less cleanup.
- Now let's move on to the filling. If you have a food processor, you can add all the filling ingredients except for the apricot jelly (Your raisins, sugar, butter, cinnamon, almonds, and salt) and pulse a few times. If you're like me you don't have a food processor, so finely dice your Raisins and Almonds (There's a lullaby called that, did you know that?). Then add your sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt and mix well.
- Shaping the cookies: Work with only one dough disk at a time, and keep the others refrigerated while you do this. Here's where your team of helpers, if you have any, will come in handy. On a piece of parchment or a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into an 8 inch circle. Take the top off of your apricot jam and place it (Or a the lid to a salad dressing bottle, or something similar) smack in the middle of your dough circle.
- Spread a thin layer of the apricot jam into the dough circle, making sure to leave about a 1/2 inch uncovered border on the outside. Then, sprinkle 1/4 cup of your filling over the dough, again staying within your 1/2 inch boundaries (And that lid in the center!).
- Carefully remove the lid, and use a sharp knife or a pizza wheel to cut your circle into 8 equal wedges.
- Starting at the wide (Outside) Edge of each wedge, roll it toward its narrow edge, just like you would on a crescent roll. Place these rolled wedges, tips down (Filling up!) onto one prepared baking sheet, then carefully bend the tips into a crescent shape. Remember the crescent roll.
- Now for the topping. Crack your egg into a small bowl and add about 1 tsp of water. Brush this egg wash onto your rugelach, and top them with that granulated or coarse sugar. Bake them for 20 minutes. Set your timer. Once they're done, carefully remove them from the oven and remove from the baking sheet(s), setting them on a wire rack to cool.
- While one batch is cooking, repeat the same steps with the remaining dough disks. If you have a team of helpers, you can get an assembly line going so you never have to stop! It makes it all the easier, also.