Monday, October 22, 2007

Rugelach Cookies

You got to try this recipe. My husband and I fell in love with this cookies the first time I made them. The great thing is: you can freeze them unbaked, so you can have fresh cookies anytime you want. Defrost them completely before baking.

8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 pound or 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 9 tbsp
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup apricot preserves, pureed in a food processor
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk, for eggs wash

Cream the cheese and butter in the bowl with a electric mixer until light. Add 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and vanilla. If you have a good electric mixer, on low speed, you can add the flour until just combined. Because I didn't have one, I mixed them with a wooden spatula. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball in quarters, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make filling, combine 6 tbsp of sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Prepare the raisins and put them in different bowl.

On a well-floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread the dough with 2 tbsp apricot preserves and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the filling but not the raisins. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges. If you want to make a smaller shape, you can cut the circle into 24 equal edge wedges. Sprinkle the raisin on top of them. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine 3 tbsp granulated sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.