Rugelach Cookies are one of my favorite cookies. These cookies are special because my mother and I make them only around Christmas.
Rugelach do require a little more work. Believe me when I say they are well worth it.
If you have never heard of Rugelach, it is a Jewish Pastry. These cookies have a flaky cream cheese dough with a sweet fillings in layers with sugar, cinnamon, dates and walnuts.
The Yiddish word rugelach means “little twists.” My family is not Jewish. Reading up on the history of this cookie, Rugelach was invented around the same time as the croissant, in 1683. Originally made with yeast dough and filled with fruit jams or poppy seed paste.
What are rugelach cookies made of?
The dough has flour, unsalted butter and cream cheese. The American version is adding cream cheese to the dough instead of yeast. While chocolate and cinnamon are standard flavors, rugelach fillings often are variety of flavors including raspberry, apricot, raisin, dates and nuts. My family has traditionally made our filling with dates, nuts, cinnamon and sugar.
TIPS FOR MAKING RUGELACH Cookies
After following steps 1-5 in the recipe.
You are going to take the chilled dough and divide it into 5 or 6 sections. Flour your surface with All Purpose Flour. Shape one of your sections in to a ball and flatten. Begin rolling out the dough with a rolling pin, turning it over. Work the dough into a circle approximately 6-8 inches in diameter.
Trim the edges of the dough into a nice circle. The trimmed dough can be worked into the next section.
Using a pizza cutter or knife, slice in half length ways, again sideways and into triangles (like you are slicing a pizza into quarters).
Starting at the wide end fold over the corners and about ¼-inch of the dough. Gently, roll the Rugelach dough toward the small end like you would a Crescent Roll. Be gentle so that you are not pushing out your filling.
Place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Any of the filling mix on the counter should be removed with a paper towel. You will need to sprinkle some more flour on your surface so the dough is not stick when working with the next section.
Brush each of the cookies with the egg wash (one large egg yolk beaten with one teaspoon of water). Sprinkle granulated white sugar over the top of cookie.
Bake in preheated over at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. The Rugelach Cookies should be slightly golden. Do not over cook them.
can rugelach cookies be made ahead?
Absolutely! The dough keeps well for 3 or 4 days when stored at room temperature. I keep mine refrigerate and the dough will keep for 5 to 6 days.
can you freeze rugelach Cookies?
Yes, you can freeze Rugelach Cookies. I sneak and eat them frozen. They are the best tasting cookies.
- Standing Electric Mixer
- Rolling Pin for rolling out the dough
- Sharp Knife or Pizza Cutter
- Plastic Wrap
- Parchment Paper
- Baking Sheets (Cookie Sheets)
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter Soften to room temperature
- 6 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese
- 2 3/4 Cups All Purposed Flour
- 1/4 TSP Salt
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/3 Cup Dates finely chopped Note: Raisins can be substituted
- 1/4 Cup Walnuts finely chopped
- 2 TSP Cinnamon
- 1 Egg Yolk Beaten with 1 teaspoon of water (egg wash)
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
- Add flour and salt. Continue mixing until well combined.
- Wrap and chill dough for 2 hours (a must).
- Meanwhile combine 1/2 cup of sugar, dates, nuts and cinnamon. Mix well.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Divide the dough into 5 to 6 sections. You will form these in to ball.
- Work with 1 ball of dough at a time. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured, clean work surface. Careful not to over work the dough.
- Roll the dough in to a flat circle about 6-8 inches.
- Trim to make sure you have a round circle. You can add the trimmed dough to one of the balls to use next.
- Using a pizza cutter or knife, slice in half length ways, again sideways and into triangles (like you are slicing a pizza into quarters).
- Sprinkle the filling mixture on top of the circle.
- Starting at the wide end fold over the corners and about ¼-inch of the dough. Gently, roll the Rugelach dough toward the small end like you would a Crescent Roll. Be gentle so that you are not pushing out your filling.Place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Brush the tops with the egg wash then immediately sprinkle with sugar. Continue until all are brushed and sprinkled with sugar.
- Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes until the cookie begins to slightly turn golden. Do not over cook.
- Cookies can be stored in airtight containers after they have cooled. They can also be placed in the freezer.
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