Thursday, January 5, 2012



The holidays may be over, but this Hanukkah cookie never gets old.  Allow me to introduce you to the oh-so-delicious, cinnamon dream - rugelach. 

Rugelach are crescent shaped cookies made from a cream cheese-based dough. The name, rugelach, is Yiddish. The root of the word rugelach means something like "twist" or "little corners" - which is fitting for these little treats.

I made these cookies for this year's family Hanukkah dinner. This is my first attempt at making rugelach, but I've enjoyed them growing up. Mom has made these through the years for Hanukkah and other Jewish holidays and celebrations.

Rugelach are great as an evening dessert, but are just as fitting for a weekend morning with a cup of coffee, the newspaper, and PJs.

It's fairly simple to make a batch, just make sure you keep the dough chilled. If the dough gets too soft, just stick it in the fridge for 30 minutes and try again.




2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup seedless raisins, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

In a mixing bowl or food processor, cream butter and cream cheese together. Knead in flour a little at a time until dough holds together in a soft ball. Do not overwork the dough. 

Divide dough into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Mix together 1/2 cup of the sugar, raisins, cinnamon, and walnuts in a bowl. Set aside.

Working on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll one ball of dough into a large round as thin as possible. If dough is sticky, dust with a little flour. 

Using a pizza cutter, cut each round into 16 pie-shaped wedges. 

Sprinkle each wedge with a bit of the raising mixture. 

Beginning at the wide edge of each piece of dough, roll up dough toward the point. Curve rolls into little crescents and place them, point-side down, on parchment lined baking sheets. 

Carefully sprinkle each cookie with a small amount of the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, then repeat process with second ball of dough. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden.

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