rugelach cookies
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Rugelach Cookies

Servings: 32 cookies

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 4 ounces cold cream cheese cut into around 8 pieces
  • 4 ounces 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into around 8 pieces
  • 2 cups 9 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Filling

  • 2/3 cup apricot jam heated and strained
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 1/2 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

For the Glaze

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado raw, coarse sugar

Instructions

Making the Dough

  • Combine all the ingredients for the dough in the bowl of a food processor, fitted with a blade. Pulse 15-20 times or until the dough forms large curds. Be careful not to process it so long that it forms one big ball on the blade!
  • Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide in half, and form gently into 2 disks. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or up to 1 day.

Making the Filling

  • Soak the currants in the rum until soft and plump, about 20 minutes.
  • Heat up the apricot jam in a small pot or in the microwave oven just enough that the jam liquifies. Strain.
  • Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and chocolate chips together in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, and pulse until the chocolate chips are reduced to small, ¼” nuggets.

Shaping the Cookies

  • Remove the first disk of dough from the refrigerator. Lightly flour a work surface and begin to roll out the dough. If the edges crack, let the dough sit on the work surface for 5 minutes to allow it to warm up a bit. Pinch the cracked edges back to together, and continue to roll the disk out to a circle that’s 11 – 12 inches across. It’s important to have as evenly round a circle as possible.
  • Brush half of the strained apricot jam onto the dough circle; and sprinkle half of the filling over the jam. Finish by sprinkling half of the currants over the surface.
  • Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 equal, triangular slices. The best way to do this is to slice the dough circle in half, and then into quarters. Moving the pizza wheel or knife from one side of the circle to the opposite side, slice those quarters in half again to form 8 triangles, and one last time to form 16 triangles.
  • Carefully slide one of the triangles away from the dough circle, and roll it up into a crescent shape, starting with the base of the triangle. It should look like a small croissant. Place on a tray, with the point of the triangle facing down, tucked under the cookie.
  • Wipe any loose filling from the work space, and repeat with the remaining dough. Place the tray in the freezer.
  • Repeat with the second disk of dough. Freeze the crescents for at least 1 ½ - 2 hours, until solid.

Baking Them Off

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F, and make the glaze by beating the egg and cream together until smooth. Remove the cookies from the freezer, and brush on the glaze as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the coarse sugar over the tops of the cookies and immediately place them in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until puffed and a golden brown.
  • Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack, and cool to room temperature.

Notes

  • Traditional rugelach are made in the form of a crescent by rolling a triangle of dough around a filling. Mine are nut-free, but fillings can include raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, chocolate, marzipan, poppy seed, or fruit preserves, or anything your imagination serves up.
  • Rugelach cookies are a traditional Jewish cookie eaten any time of year, and despite the fact they're not fried in oil, some sources indicate rugelach cookies are traditional on Hanukkah. For more information, wikipedia is a pretty good resource.