God bless you rugelach. Literally. Rugelach is a Jewish pastry. And it’s delicious as hell. Forgive me. It’s like a bite of heaven.
If you don’t know what rugelach is, it’s a pastry dough that can be filled with a variety of different things. Usually they’re in the form of a crescent. I like to fill mine with raspberry jam, chocolate, cinnamon sugar, and some type of nut. Cause I’m a nut.
You can add whatever you want to yours! Currants, dried cranberries, walnuts, pecans, apricot jam… did you say Nutella? Shhhhhhh.
At first, I was a little skeptical of these tiny pastries. What’s all the fuss about? Rugelach this, rugelach that. Especially cause I gotta make a dough and chill it for 2 hours? What. No. Cool thing is, you can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate that bitch. Or even freeze it.
But fine, I was wrong you were right leave me alone. These bad boys are good. Really good. I forget just how good until I take a bite. And then I end up popping them in my mouth like they’re popcorn.
It’s easy to eat a lot of these. I mean, it’s not even close to a challenge and we all know I’m a little challenged.
Listen, I’m a weirdo. And I know I don’t make a lot of sense. But these pastries, they make sense.
Making them, makes sense. They make the world make sense again. Especially after watching this season of ‘The Bachelor’. Why God, why did I watch it? Why did I put myself through that shit? It was pure shit. Never again. NEVER. AGAIN.
To making sense! Cheers!
“I’m not superstitious. But I am a little stitious”. -Michael Scott
- For the Dough
- 4 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For the Filling
- 2/3 cup raspberry jam, apricot jam or marmalade
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I like to use pecans or walnuts, but you can use whatever you want!)
- 1/4 cup dried fruit, optional (currants, cranberries, raisins, etc.)
- 4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, or 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- For the Galze
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon cold water
- 2 tablespoons sugar, preferably decorating (course) sugar
To make the Dough: Let the cream cheese and butter rest on the counter for 10 minutes - you want them to be slightly softened but still cool. 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.)
To Make the Filling: Heat the jam in a saucepan over low heat, or do this in a microwave, until it liquifies. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
To Shape the Cookies: Pull one packet of dough from the refrigerator. If it is too firm to roll easily, either leave it on the counter for about 10 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pin. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 11 to 12 -inch circle. Spoon (or brush) a thin gloss of jam over the dough, and sprinkle over half of the cinnamon sugar. Scatter over half of the nuts, half of the dried fruit (if using), and half of the chopped chocolate. Cover the filling with a piece of wax papered gently press the filling into the dough, then remove the paper and save it for the next batch. I usually skip the wax paper and just use my hands. It's a little messier but works just as well. 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 the 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 minutes to the baking time).
Getting Ready to Bake: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To Glaze: Stir the egg and water together, and brush a bit of this glaze over each rugelach. Sprinkle the cookies with the sugar.
Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until they are puffed and golden. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool to just warm or to room temperature.
The cookies can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months. Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours.