A few years ago, my dad and I decided to attempt making the rugelach recipe featured on Barefoot Contessa. Little did I know that we would be making the first few dozen of the 50 dozen (at least) I have made in the past couple years. These delicious treats take a little while to make, but they are so worth it. The recipe will make 4 dozen, but you don't have to make all of them at once. You can freeze the individual pieces of dough until you are ready to make them. And this dough is amazing - very simple to make, and somehow it is so flaky and tender. You can also play around with the filling. I usually make the filling that is from the original recipe, but sometimes I replace the raisins with chocolate chips. I have also replaced the jam with pumpkin butter (as shown in the picture below), with good results. Whenever using jam, I always use raspberry, but you can use your favorite flavor.
Recipe: Rugelach (from Barefoot Contessa)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz butter (two sticks), softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
6 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins (or chocolate chips)
1 cup walnuts (or pecans), finely chopped
1/2 cup preserves, pureed in food processor
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp milk, for egg wash
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Cream the cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, until light. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix until just combined. Dump the dough onto a well floured board and roll into a ball. Cut the ball into quarters, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Dough can be made the day before, just let it sit out for a little while before using.)
Combine the filling ingredients in a small bowl.
On a well floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Using a pizza cutter, cut into 12 wedges of equal size, cutting the whole circle into quarters, and then each quarter into thirds. Spread the dough with 2 tbsp of preserves and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the filling. Press the filling lightly into the dough.
Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle on the cookies.