Yes, you can buy a good version of rugelach at Costco, but sometimes it’s fun to attempt to create a classic cookie at home even if it takes a fair amount of time and creates a real mess in your kitchen. This recipe is truly worth your time and effort.
Ina Garten’s recipe in Barefoot Contessa Parties contains a number of tips that make the process easier. The recipe I’m going to share is an adaptation, so go to the original if you want to see her full version.
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
1/2 lb. butter (softened)
1/4 C granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C flour
1. Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth and light.
2. Add the sugar, salt, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
3. With the mixer on low, add the flour until it is incorporated.
4. On a floured board, form the dough into a ball.
5. Cut the ball into quarters. Pop each quarter into a zip-lock sandwich bag and refrigerate for an hour.
6 TBS. sugar
1/4 C light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 C raisins (or dried cranberries)
1 C walnuts ( or nuts of your choice, finely chopped)
1/2 C apricot (or raspberry) preserves, pureed in a food processor
1. Combine the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and nuts in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Puree the preserves. Set aside.
1. On a well-floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9 or 10 inch circle.
2. Spread the circle of dough with about 2 TBS. of preserves and sprinkle with a 1/2 C of the sugar/nut mixture. Lightly, press the mixture into the dough.
3. You’ll want to end up with 12 cookies from each circle of dough. Best approach is to cut the circle into 4 quarters. Then cut each quarter into thirds. Starting with the wide end, roll up each wedge.
4. Line a 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper. These cookies don’t spread, so you can put them fairly close together. I fit 24 on a half sheet pan.
5. Chill for a half hour before the last step before baking.
1. Brush each cookie with an egg wash and sprinkle with a mixture of 3 TBS sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon.
2. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for approximately 20 minutes until they are lightly browned.
3. Cool on a wire rack. This recipe makes 4 dozen cookies.