I’ve made lots and lots of rugelach in my day, but this one takes the cake. I have made my grandma’s, I have made Ina’s, Martha’s and Rose’s. This one, from Cooks Illustrated is by far the best I have ever had. Better than Weby’s bakery (most Sunday mornings, when I was little, you could find me and my dad, waiting in line to buy the fresh baked egg-onion bread). My kids don’t really like raisins or dried fruit in their sweets. I altered the filling. I substituted mini chocolate chips for the raisins.
The dough was super easy to work with. Even though the recipe didn’t ask me to refrigerate the dough after rolling, I did anyways. Only for about 15 minutes. I feel it made all the difference in the world. I baked off a few to taste and then cut and flash froze the rest. Eventhough they look more like a pinwheel cookies, they taste like rugelach.
Make a double batch, flash freeze what you don’t bake. Once frozen, throw in a a large freezer, Ziploc bag and save for a rainy day!
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbls. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
8 oz. cream cheese, chilled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 Tbls. sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 Tbls. ground cinnamon
2/3 cup dried cherries
1 cup mini chocolate chips
2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup apricot preserves
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbls. milk
• pulse flour, sugar, + salt in the bowl of a food processor. do a quick pulse.
• add the butter, cream cheese, + sour cream. pulse until it comes together.
• turn mixture onto work surface, and press into a 9″ x 6″ log. divide into 4 equal portions. roll each piece into an 11×7″ rectangle. put on baking sheet w/parchment between each dough and freeze for 30 minutes.
• mix sugar and cinnamon together.
• put the other ingredients in separate bowls near by.
• remove one rectangle from the freezer. spread 2-3 tablespoons of preserves over dough. sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar and then add about 1/2 cup of nuts, dried cherries and chocolate over the sugar. press down with a piece of parchment so the goodies sink into the dough.
• roll up the dough into a cylinder. cut off 1/4″ of each end and then cut into 1″ pieces.
* place them seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. freeze 15 minutes
• preheat oven to 375*. whisk egg yolks and milk in a small bowl. brush top and sides of frozen cookies and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
• bake 21-23 minutes or until they are pale golden and slightly puffy. rotate pans back to front, half way through baking.
• cool on racks and once cooled remove from the parchment.