Easy to make rugelach
I posted a recipe for rugelekh before, but I made them this week and found the easiest way to make them. When you buy commercial rugelach, they are rarely in the traditional crescent-shape - they have been made in logs which is MUCH faster.
This is a very soft dough which is why you keep putting it back in the refrigerator between steps! Otherwise it will dissolve and stick to everything.
Dough - in the food processor mix until it looks like dough:
1 cup (that's half a pound) salted butter
8-oz package of cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
2-1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt
Divide the soft blob into four balls, put each into a clean plastic grocery bag, and smash them all flat. Chill for an hour.
Meanwhile, for the filling, grind in the food processor:
9 ounces (about 1-1/2 cup) of pitted dates and raisins
1 cup walnuts
3/8 cup sugar
1 ts cinnamon
1/3 ts vanilla
You'll also need:
warmed jam (apricot, peach, rasperry)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
When the dough is chilled, dump the first flattened blob onto floured parchment paper or floured plastic-coated freezer paper. Leave the others in the fridge.
Dust the top with flour and roll it into a 12x8" rectangle. Halfway through, when it starts to stick, dust it again and then flip it over onto another piece of freezer paper. Dust the new top (used to be the bottom) with flour and roll until you make your target size.
Brush the warmed jam onto the whole 12x8" area, then sprinkle 1/4 of your filling mixture evenly over the surface (leave the last inch free of filling so it will seal up better).
With the long side oriented left-right, pull up on the freezer paper and fold an inch of the dough over the filling. Use the freezer paper to help you nudge and roll the dough like a jelly roll, when you get to the end the jam-only part should seal nicely. Tuck the ends in and transfer to a baking dish. Rugelach will stick to your cookie pan so
- Use a NEW non-stick pan, buttered, or
- Put a piece of parchment paper in the pan, or
- Use a silicone baking mat (that's what I do).
When you've rolled all four logs and put them on the cookie tin, you can brush milk on them and sprinkle coarse sugar on top.
Put the logs in the refrigerator and chill them for another hour.
Now comes the clever part: Use a sharp knife to cut 2/3 of the way through each log at 3/4" intervals. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes (until golden brown).
Cool them for about half anhour, then transfer the logs to a cutting board and cut the rest of the way through (I use a pizza cutting wheel).