It’s Christmas Cookie time!
These rugelach have made an appearance in my house every Christmas for the past 5 or so years. I love them. Everyone loves them. They are made with…cream cheese dough. What’s not to love?!
I will admit, these cookies are a labor of love. Slightly time consuming and you need to exhibit a fair amount of patience, first allowing the dough to chill, gently rolling each little cookie up, then waiting for the rolled up cookies to chill for 30 minutes prior to baking. In general I don’t have all that much patience, particularly if it involves waiting to eat cookies, but oh, is it worth it. Trust me. Just the smell of these baking will rock your world.
Here’s what you will need to make 4 dozen cookies…
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 9 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup apricot preserves, pureed in a food processor (I also love blackberry)
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cream the cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, salt and vanilla. With mixer on low 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, flatten each quarter slightly then wrap each piece in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour, up to a few days.
To make the filling: combine 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, raisins and walnuts. (I always have some leftover filling at the end).
On a well floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9 inch circle. Spread the dough with about 2 tablespoons of preserves (all the way to the edge) and sprinkle with approximately 1/2 cup of the filling. There should only be a thin layer of preserves to act as the ‘glue’. Resist the temptation to put too much preserves or filling on the dough. Press the filling lightly into the dough. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges, first cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into thirds. At this point I look at each triangle and determine if any of them are a bit short on nuts or raisins. If so, I just add what is needed. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Place rolled up cookies, points tucked under, on baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes.
Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Place cookies on a wire rack to cool before devouring them.
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten.