Rugelach cookies (a jewish pastry) are one of my all-time favourites. I have been making this recipe for years (adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties!) trying different combinations of jam, dried fruit and nuts. This time I combined a Raspberry Cherry Key Lime jam (from E.D. Smith) with cherry flavoured dried cranberries and pecans. These cookies are like mini little pastries, tender and delicious. Absolutely perfect for the holiday season and scrumptious with a nice cup of coffee or tea. Recipe makes 2 dozen, double if needed.
- 1/2 block of light cream cheese (4 oz/125 g)
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp of granulated sugar for dough, plus 3 tablespoons more for the filling, and a final 1 tablespoon for the cinnamon sugar topping
- 1/8 tsp of coarse (kosher) salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (1/4 tsp for filling, 1/4 tsp for topping)
- 6 tablespoons cherry flavoured craisins
- 1/2 cup of pecans, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup of raspberry-cherry jam
- Light cream or milk to brush on before sprinkling with cinnamon sugar
- Cream the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Add the 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, salt and vanilla and combine.
- Add the flour and mix until just combined.
- Remove the dough from the mixer, divide into 2 equal portions, wrap in plastic wrap and pat into a disk. Chill in the fridge for one hour.
- While the dough is chilling, prepare your filling by combining the 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar,1/4 tsp cinnamon, the brown sugar, cherry craisins and pecans.
- On a floured surface (with a floured rolling pin) roll out each disk of dough into a 9″ circle.
- Top each round with 2 tablespoons of jam, spreading evenly over the dough (I like to use a small offset spatula), and then with 1/2 cup (half) of the filling. Press filling lightly into the dough.
- Cut each dough circle into 12 equal wedges.
- To roll, start with the wide edge and roll down towards the tip creating a little crescent.
- Place cookies on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes. You can also prepare them up to this point and refrigerate for longer if you need to bake them the next day for example, or you can place them in the freezer to freeze individually.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees when cookies are ready to bake.
- Combine 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar with 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Brush each cookie sparingly with cream/milk and then sprinkle cinnamon sugar over each cookie (this will make a yummy crust on top).
- Bake the rugelach for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then move to a cooling rack.