For the Jewish holidays and the sabbath, Bubbie Rose promises her Ainikle (grandchildren) batches of Classic Rugelach. For generations, little mouths have pled for second helpings and little hands have thieved from the plate. Bubbie’s family clamours for her cream cheese pastry rolled in brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon. You too can make sweet memories. Bake this traditional Rugelach for your family and tell me your stories in the comment section below.
Kudos to Alice Medrich for this recipe. Her book Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt In Your Mouth Cookies is an excellent addition to your library. Click on the link and get your copy.
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- Makes 48 Rugelach
- Prep Time: 30 Minutes
- Cook Time: 40 Minutes
- 2 ½ cups (11.20 ounces) bleached all flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- ½ pound (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cold
- 8 ounces Cream cheese—cold
- 1 cup (3.7 ounces) finely chopped walnuts
- ½ cup (2.5 ounces) dried currants
- ½ cup (3.5 ounces) Packed Light Brown Sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar; more for sprinkling
- 1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
CREAM CHEESE PASTRY
MISE EN PLACE THE PASTRY
- Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Using the paddle attachment, mix briefly to distribute the ingredients.
- Cut the butter into eight pieces and add it to the bowl.
- Set the bowl in the refrigerator to keep cold.
- Cut the cream cheese into 1-inch cubes. Set in the fridge too.
TO MAKE THE DOUGH
- Mix the butter and dry ingredients on low speed until most of the mixture resembles very coarse bread crumbs with a few larger pieces of butter the size of hazelnuts, about 3 minutes.
- Add the cream cheese and mix on medium-low speed until a shaggy-looking dough begins to clump around the paddle, 30 to 60 seconds.
- Dump the dough onto the work surface, scraping the bowl.
- Knead a few times to incorporate any loose pieces. There should be large streaks of cream cheese.
- Divide the dough into four equal pieces and wrap each portion in plastic.
- Set the dough in the fridge.
MAKE THE RUGELACH FILLING
- In a small bowl, mix the walnuts, currants, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
ROLL AND BAKE THE RUGELACH
- Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.
- Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator
- If the dough is too stiff to roll, let it sit and room temperature until it’s pliable enough to roll.
- Set the dough on a sheet of parchment, or plastic wrap, or a silicon mat.
- Set the same sheet of plastic (the same you used to refrigerate the dough) over the dough and roll into a 12-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick.
- Release the dough often so that it rolls nicely and doesn’t stick.
- Try to avoid using too much flour, if any at all. You’ll want the dough a tad sticky so that it rolls up nicely.
- Sprinkle ¼ of the filling over the dough, ensuring that it’s the heaviest around the perimeter of the circle and the lightest in the center.
- Cut the dough into quarters.
- Cut each quarter into thirds. This should give you 12 wedges.
- Starting at the outside edge, roll as tightly as possible, around the filling toward the narrow point.
- Secure the point by pressing it firmly.
- Set the roll on a parchment lined cookie sheet with the point side down. This will keep it from unrolling while in the oven.
- Repeat with the remaining wedges, arranging the cookies 1-1/2 inches apart.
- Roll, fill, cut, and shape the remaining three pieces of dough.
- Sprinkle the rugelach with sugar (optional).
- Bake until the cookies are light golden brown at the edges, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Over baking the rugelach will cause it to be dry.
- Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the sheets and then transfer them to a rack and let cool completely.
- Rugelach are best the day you bake them; however, they’ll keep nicely in an airtight container for about a week. I doubt they’ll last that long.