Friday, October 16, 2009

Sweet Rugelach, for a Sweet Year

It's true. I prepared a giant meal for Roshashana and then I lost interest in cooking for a while :( How is that possible??? Well it is! I think I needed a cooking break. Also, the fact that my kitchen has been turned inside out didn't help matters. My mother has helped in this, and sent me loads of food. So, who will cook when you have your mother's food right there staring at you? So simply put: I took a break.

I am going back into my Roshashana recipe, to indulge you with these delicious cookies. After you make these yourself, you will NEVER want to go to the bakery and by them yourself. They are not that fun to make, and sticky. Or is it that I am just a messy cook? But they are well worth the mess...

Oh yeah, because I found these a bit tedious and I wished that there were pictures out there that explained to me step-by-step on how these were made, I have taken the liberty of taking step-by-step pictures for my readers, so you know what really goes into making a delicious Rugelach. Enjoy my friends!!!!

P.S: These are lactose free. I used Tofutti cream cheese. yum yum..

adapted from

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup plus 4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup apricot preserves or raspberry jam
1 cup loosely packed golden raisins, chopped
1 1/4 cups walnuts (1/4 lb), finely chopped
Milk for brushing cookies
Special equipment: parchment paper; a small offset spatula

Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined well. Add flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Gather dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap, then flatten (in wrap) into a roughly 7- by 5-inch rectangle. Chill until firm, 8 to 24 hours.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of a 1- to 1 1/2-inch-deep large shallow baking pan with parchment paper.
Cut dough into 4 pieces. Chill 3 pieces, wrapped in plastic wrap, and roll out remaining piece into a 12- by 8-inch rectangle on a well-floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Transfer dough to a sheet of parchment, then transfer to a tray and chill while rolling out remaining dough in same manner, transferring each to another sheet of parchment and stacking on tray.
Whisk 1/2 cup sugar with cinnamon.

Arrange 1 dough rectangle on work surface with a long side nearest you. Spread 1/4 cup preserves evenly over dough with offset spatula. Sprinkle 1/4 cup raisins and a rounded 1/4 cup walnuts over jam, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar.
Using parchment as an aid, roll up dough tightly into a log. Place, seam side down, in lined baking pan, then pinch ends closed and tuck underneath. Make 3 more logs in same manner and arrange 1 inch apart in pan. Brush logs with milk and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of remaining granulated sugar. With a sharp large knife, make 3/4-inch-deep cuts crosswise in dough (not all the way through) at 1-inch intervals. (If dough is too soft to cut, chill until firmer, 20 to 30 minutes.)

Bake until golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool to warm in pan on a rack, about 30 minutes, then transfer logs to a cutting board and slice cookies all the way through.