Monday, April 6, 2009

Rugelach Anyone?.....

The thought of the Jewish holiday reminded me of Rugelach, ven though it will not be served this time around. It is more work, but worth it! It is one of several shaped cookies made throughout central Europe, particularly in Russia and Austria. It can be made with Raspberry or Apricot Jam or Currants. And walnuts can replace the pecans. Some people even add little slivers of chocolate, which I didn't , and they are just fine.

I made them smaller this time, and my family calls them "Scooby Snacks". I have been baking up a storm lately, because it has been so cold and rainy here in New England. I think I baked about 20 dozen cookies and 3 dozen muffins. They'll be gone by the end of the week....

Rugelach are so delicious and a favorite of mine. This week when I'm out serving Passover. I won't come across any of these, because of the use of flour is prohibited. Although, any other time of the year you will most likely find them ina Jewish household.

You'll have to give them a try


1 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup seedless raspberry or apricot preserves
1 tablespoon milk

1.)In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat margarine or butter with cream cheese until blended and smooth. Beat in vanilla extract, salt, 1 cup flour, and 1/4 cup sugar until blended.

2.)With spoon, stir in remaining flour. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Wrap each with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight. Or put in the freezer for an hour to firm up.

3.)To Prepare Filling: In medium bowl, with spoon, stir pecans, brown sugar, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon until well mixed.

4.)Line 2 large baking sheets with foil and grease foil.

5.)On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll 1 piece of chilled dough into a 9-inch round, keeping remaining dough refrigerated. Spread dough with 2 tablespoons raspberry or apricot preserves. Sprinkle with about 1/2 cup nut filling; gently press filling onto dough. With pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut dough into 12 equal wedges. Starting at curved edge, roll up each wedge, jelly-roll fashion. Place cookies on foil-lined cookie sheet, point-side down, about 1/2 inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough, one-fourth at a time.

6.)Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

7.)In cup, mix remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. With pastry brush, brush rugelach with milk. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.

8.)Bake rugelach at 325 degrees F on 2 oven racks about 30 to 35 minutes until golden, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower racks halfway through baking time. Immediately remove rugelach to wire racks to cool. Sprinkle or roll in powdered sugar. Store in tightly covered container.

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