I have always been a huge rugelach fan. As a kid I I would devour the chocolate variety any time they were around. I used to consider them a special treat when my mom brought them back from the bakery. This recipe is somewhat time consuming, but the cookies are delicious. I have made these many times in the past and have shared them with coworkers for holiday. They have always been a huge hit with all age groups. I only recently made Nutella rugelach, but they are so easy to make that it may have to become a regular thing. They are also very addictive and it is impossible to only eat one- consider yourself warned.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten and Jenn Segal
For the Dough:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg, separated
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
For the Traditional Filling:
1/2 cup jam or preserve of your choice (apricot is most traditional but I used raspberry)
3/4 cup of nuts, finely chopped (Walnuts are traditional. I used almonds but you can use pecans, hazelnuts, or whichever nut you prefer)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (raisins are traditional. I used dried apricots but you can use dried cranberries)
For the Nutella Filling:
I cup of Nutella, warmed
In a bowl cream the cream cheese and butter. Add the sugar and egg yolk and beat until combined. In a separate bowl mix together the salt and flour. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Dump the dough onto a well floured surface and knead until the dough comes together. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
Preheat your oven to 350F/175C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a small bowl lightly whisk the egg white. Remove dough from fridge. If it has been chilled longer than 1 hour you may need to let it sit for 15 minutes so it is not too hard. Roll the first ball of dough into a 9 inch circle.
If using traditional filling, mix the nuts, cinnamon, sugar and dried fruit in a bowl. Spread 1/4 of the jam on the circle of dough. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the nut mixture. Cut the dough into 12 equal sized wedges. Gently pull one wedge away from the circle and roll, starting with the wide end. Place on a baking sheet. Continue with the remaining wedges. Continue same process with the remaining dough. When you are done rolling the cookies, brush each with the egg white.
If using Nutella filling, spead 1/4 of the warmed Nutella onto the first circle of dough. This does not need to look perfect. Cut into 12 equal wedges. Pull the first wedge away from the circle and roll, starting with the wide end. Continue with remaining wedges and the remaining dough. Place cookies on baking sheet and brush with egg white.
Bake cookies for 25 to 25 minutes, until the tops are golden. Allow to cool and enjoy. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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