Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cookies....Day 20 - Rugelach

Today in NOTL:  Cold with noon temps at 26F/-3C under cloudy skies with light breezes.  Brrr!

I've been busy making Christmas gifts for friends, simple things I think they'll like.  We've got the tree up, and it is really looking Christmas-y here.  Soon it will be smelling like the holidays, once we start baking up goodies to share and enjoy.

When I make holiday cookie platters, I like to steer away from the usual chocolate chip cookies and gingerbread men.  I've accumulated a file of cookies from around the world and old family recipes from friends and acquaintances whose treats I've enjoyed at parties and whom I begged for the recipes!

Rugelach is a wonderful cookie, a traditional Jewish treat.  It lends itself well to variety, since the fillings are what give it flavour.  While the topping given is a sprinkle of sugar, consider skipping that step and, instead, drizzling chocolate over the tops.  You can also just sprinkle a little cocoa or confectioner's/icing sugar over the tops of the cookies before you serve the cookies. 

When people eat these delicious cookies, they assume you have spent hours slaving in the kitchen creating them.  As much as I like cookies, I especially like any cookie that looks and tastes as thought they were major culinary efforts when they were really easy and quick.  These cookies fit that bill completely! 

16 oz Cream cheese
1 lb Butter, unsalted softened
8 cup Flour

Traditional filling:
Stir together
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. seedless raisins
1 t. cinnamon
1 c. finely chopped walnuts


1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons milk
granulated sugar (or cinnamon sugar mix)

Filling variations:
- fruit flavoured jam
-sugar/cinnamon mix (4 tablespoons melted butter to 1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon, mixed)
-grated chocolate and minced nuts

Oven: 400F.  Cookies sheets prepared with parchment, waxed, or kraft paper liners.

1. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy and smooth.
2.  Add 5 cups of flour, mixing to combine. Add remaining flour in small batches stopping when
dough no longer sticks to sides of bowl (not all flour may be needed). If dough remains sticky
after all the flour is used, add a little extra flour.
3. Remove dough from mixing bowl; divide into four equal pieces and wrap tightly in plastic
wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

To finish cookies:
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough, one piece at a time, to
rectangles of 1/8" thickness. With a sharp paring knife, score dough into small about 3 inches.
5.  Place a dab (about a teaspoon) of chosen filling in center of square.
5. Roll up each square from corner to corner, bending it into a crescent shape. Brush with egg wash.
6. Combine sugar and cinnamon, or use sugar only, sprinkling about a teaspoon over each crescent.
7. Bake on paper-lined baking sheets for 15 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Cool on
baking racks.

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