makes 3 dozen
For the dough:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups sifted AP flour
Blend the butter and cream cheese together with a hand blender or stand mixer until fluffy and well combined. Add the salt. Add the flour a cup at a time. Blend in by hand with a wooden spoon or a silicon spatula. It should come together easily. Knead the dough very briefly, then divide it into three sections, roll into a flattened ball and wrap well in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
For the filling:
½ cup granulated or turbinado sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ cup preserves, either raspberry or apricot
¾ cup currants or sultanas
1-1/4 cups walnuts, finely chopped
optional additions: use other nuts, like pecans or almonds, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, etc.
Glaze: 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon of water.
Confectioners sugar, optional
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon together. Melt the butter in a small pan and stir in the preserves to melt, then cool.
When ready to make the rugelach take the dough out of the refrigerator about half an hour prior. Sprinkle flour all over the dough and on the table and on the rolling pin. Roll out to a 12 or 13-inch diameter. It’s okay if the edges are a bit uneven.
On the rolled out dough brush the butter/preserves mixture all over. Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture over that. Then sprinkle the walnuts and currants or raisins, if using. Roll the rolling pin lightly over the top to set the filling in the dough. If some of the mixture gets on the rolling pin, brush it off with a little bit of flour.
With a pastry cutter or large knife cut the dough into quarters. Section each quarter into thirds (or more if you want small rugelach). Roll up each wedge from the wide end to the point. Turn the ends in to form a crescent. Don’t let too much ooze out as it could burn.
Place each rugelach on a parchment covered baking sheet about
1-inch apart. Continue with the two remaining balls of dough. Brush the glaze on top of each rugelach. Sprinkle with some of the left over sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Bake 30 minutes. Turn and reverse the sheets half way through, or after 15 minutes. Take out and cool on a wire rack. Optionally, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.