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Countdown to Christmas 2020: Rugelach

Two Rugelach cookies on a china plate with a mug of tea

Note: We’re celebrating the season with a special #Christmas2020 holiday cookie countdown! We’re offering a wide variety of take-and-bake cookies plus special ready-to-eat breads via the San Juan Islands Food Hub this holiday season. Create the perfect cookie tray at home or send them to friends and family! If you miss the Food Hub deadline to order, call us directly at (360) 378-3587 to place orders until December 18 for pickup December 21-26 or order by December 25 for pickup December 28-January 2.

Rugelach is a filled pastry-like cookie that originated in Jewish communities in Poland. It is now a favorite dessert loved by people from all over the world. This cookie is so adaptable, you can put nearly any type of filling in these sweet little treats. A cream cheese-based dough leaves them flaky and delicious. When they are fresh out of the oven, beware. They are buttery and flaky with a sweet cinnamon scent that will tempt you to eat the entire batch. Since rugelach are hands-on, they are wonderful to make with kids.

Dough Ingredients

4 oz chilled cream cheese
8 Tbsp cold butter
1 c all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt

Filling Ingredients

1 c apricot jam
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ c walnuts, chopped
¼ c raisins
4 oz chocolate chips

Glaze Ingredients

1 egg
1 tsp water
2 Tbsp turbinado sugar (this is a coarser sugar; white sugar would work as well)

To Make the Dough

1. In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Scatter cubed pieces of cream cheese and butter over the top.

2. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work the butter and cream cheese into the flour. You are looking for pea-sized pieces of butter and cream cheese.

3. Pour flour, butter, and cream cheese mixture out onto your work area. Knead for ten minutes or until the dough comes together.

4. Divide the dough in half and shape into discs. Wrap each in plastic and chill for at least two hours or overnight.

To Make the Filling

1. Heat jam in a small sauce pot over low heat until it liquefies. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon.

To Assemble and Bake the Cookies

1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Roll out one disc of dough into a 12-inch diameter circle.

3. Using a pastry brush, brush half of the jam over the circle. Sprinkle half of the filling ingredients – cinnamon-sugar mixture, nuts, raisins, and chocolate – over dough.

4. Cut your dough into 8 triangles, just like you would a pizza. Starting from the fatter part of each triangle, roll the dough to the tip making a crescent shape. Place all the crescents on one baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to chill. Repeat the process with the second disc of dough.

5. Preheat your oven to 350° F.

5. Remove formed cookies from the refrigerator. Whisk water and egg together. Brush rugelach with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

10. Bake for 25 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned. Keep a watchful eye so that the sugar does not burn.

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