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Preparation info

  • Makes

    Twenty-four

    2½ inch cookies
    • Difficulty

      Medium

    • Ready in

      15 min

Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About

If there were just one sweet treat in the world, would that it were rugelach. The comfortingly soft yet crisp and flaky cinnamon-imbued dough—with the sticky tang of caramelized apricot, juicy plump chewiness of raisins, and earthy crunch of walnuts, all rolled into each and every bite—is utterly irresistible.

Ingredients

Cookie Dough

Makes 13 ounces/370 grams

VOLUME WEIGHT
bleached all-purpose flour 1 cup (lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off) plus 1 tablespoon 4.5 ounces 128 grams
fine sea salt teaspoon . 0.7 gram
cream cheese (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C) ½ cup minus 1 tablespoon 4 ounces 113 grams
unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C) 8 tablespoons (1 stick) 4 ounces 113 grams
granulated sugar 2 tablespoons 0.9 ounce 25 grams
pure vanilla extract ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) . .

    Method

    Make the Dough

    In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

    Handheld Mixer Method In a mixing bowl, on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and butter until blended. Beat in the sugar and vanilla. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture just until incorporated, no more than 30 seconds.

    Food Processor Method Have the cream cheese and butter chilled. Cut the butter into ½ inch cubes. In a food processor, place the cream cheese. With the motor running, add the butter and process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Add the sugar and vanilla and process for a few seconds to incorporate them. Add the flour mixture and pulse in just until the dough starts to clump together.

    Chill the Dough

    Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and press it together to form a ball. Divide the dough in half, about 6.5 ounces/185 grams each. Wrap each piece loosely in plastic wrap and press to form flat discs. Rewrap tightly and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 3 days (or freeze for up to 6 months).

    Make the Filling

    In a medium bowl, with your fingers, mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon until evenly combined. Divide the mixture equally between two small bowls. Combine the golden raisins and the chopped walnuts and divide them equally between two additional small bowls.

    Roll the Dough

    Remove a piece of the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is malleable enough to roll.

    Using a floured rolling pin, on a floured mat or lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into about a 9 inch circle, ⅛ inch thick, rotating it often and adding flour as necessary to be sure it is not sticking. If the dough becomes too soft or sticky at any time, briefly refrigerate it until it is firm enough to roll.

    Add the Filling

    Mark the center of the dough with the tip of a knife. Using the back of a tablespoon or small offset spatula, spread the dough evenly with 2 tablespoons/30 ml of the apricot lekvar, avoiding about 1 inch in the center because the preserves will push forward when the triangles of dough are rolled up. (If using the preserves, stir them with a fork to break up any large pieces, but do not heat the preserves or beat them because they will thin out.)

    Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture over the lekvar. Sprinkle evenly with half of the raisin and walnut mixture. Press the filling gently but firmly over the dough. Slip a large spatula under the dough disc to loosen it from the work surface. Using a pizza wheel or long sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 triangles. (Cut the dough first into quarters, and then cut each quarter into thirds.)

    Shape the Rugelach

    Use a thin knife or spatula, if necessary, to loosen the triangles from the work surface. Starting at the wide end, roll up the triangle and bend the ends around to form a slight crescent shape, turning them toward the point. Place the rugelach, point underneath, about inches apart on a prepared cookie sheet.

    Make the Topping

    In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Divide the mixture equally between two small bowls.

    Apply the Topping

    Lift each rugelach with your fingers and, with a pastry brush, brush it with the milk. Holding the rugelach over a medium bowl, use a sugar dredger or your fingers to sprinkle the rugelach evenly with the cinnamon sugar, letting the excess fall into the bowl. Set it back on the cookie sheet.

    Refrigerate the rugelach, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight, or until firm. Repeat with the second disc of dough.

    Preheat the Oven

    Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

    Bake the Rugelach

    Bake for 10 minutes. For even baking, rotate the cookie sheets halfway around and reverse their positions from top to bottom. Continue baking for 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

    Cool the Rugelach

    Set the cookie sheets on uncoated wire racks or on a heatproof surface and let the rugelach cool for a few minutes to firm slightly. During baking, a little of the apricot always melts out onto the foil. It is therefore necessary to remove the rugelach from the foil before the apricot hardens. Use a small pancake turner to transfer the rugelach to the prepared wire racks to cool completely. The apricot filling that leaks onto the foil liner can be peeled off and makes for a delicious baker’s treat!