Well. I totally missed Hanukkah with this one. Oops? Whatever, rugelach can be tasty any time. Right?
Look at all that gooey filling!
I started this post and realized I’m not really too sure about the history of these cookies. All I really know is they’ve shown up around Hanukkah with a few of my Jewish friends and coworkers. My boyfriend’s mother makes delicious rugelach (but you could say that about any baked good she makes)(too much sucking up is never enough). My old (read: favorite – what’s up Philllll!) boss used to make them as gifts for his friends and family. And I think they’re pretty addicting.
They’re like little rolled up pies, WITH CREAM CHEESE. And more sugar. And walnuts. Sometimes raisins, but I cut those out. The filling gets bubbly and gooey and sticky. The crust is pastry-like – not too sweet. Did I mention that the crust was made with cream cheese?
Do I sound excited? Good. I am.
Adapted from Ina Garten
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 lb unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 c sugar plus 6 tablespoons
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c ap flour
1/4 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 c walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 c blackberry jam
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk, for egg wash
Cream the cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light. Add 1/4 c sugar, the salt, and the vanilla. Gradually add the flour and mix on low until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Cut the ball in quarters, form circular discs with each quarter, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and the walnuts in a small bowl. Set aside
On a well-floured surface, roll one ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread 2 tbsp blackberry jam across the circle and cover with 1/2 cup of the filling. Press the filling lightly into the dough. (I find the next step easier if the jam and filling are spread most sparingly in the middle of the circle and heaviest around the edges.) Cut the circle into quarters, then each quarter into thirds to make 12 equal pieces. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with each disc of dough. Chill the cookies for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350º.
Remove the cookies from the refrigerator and brush each cookie with the egg wash. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.