I love this traditional dessert and have had it many times in my friend’s homes, but have I made them myself? Nooooo. Because, as you know, I DO NOT BAKE! So, I’m sharing this recipe, because tis the season! This recipe was recommended to me from one of those friends who’s an expert baker. I take no credit!! I want to share because this is such a beautiful treat to have this time of year and in reading the recipe, looks like one that’s relatively easy
What I love most about this recipe is the use of apricot preserves and how this ingredient bakes to a golden color in the cookies. With the sprinkle of sugar, the cookies appear jeweled.
Photo credit and recipe credit goes to Save Room for Dessert.
Makes 36 cookies
For the cookie dough:
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (284g)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces cream cheese cold cut into 4 pieces
- 1 cup unsalted butter cold cut into ½-inch pieces (226g)
For the filling:
- ⅓ cup walnuts finely ground (35g or 1-¼ oz)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar lightly packed
- 1 teaspoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup apricot preserves
- 1 large egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water
- coarse sugar for sprinkling
To prepare the cookie dough in a food processor:
Combine the flour, granulated sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the vanilla and cream cheese and pulse briefly, in 5 or 6 quick bursts. Add the butter and process until the dough forms little clumps that hold together when pinched with your fingers, about 20 seconds. The dough may appear crumbly. (Skip to Instruction No. 4 below)
To prepare the cookie dough using a mixer:
If using a mixer the butter and cream cheese should be room temperature before you begin.
Whisk together the flour and salt. Cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Blend in the sugar and vanilla. Add half the flour and mix until almost incorporated. Add the remaining flour and blend until it starts to form a cohesive dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured, clean work surface. Gently form the dough into a ball and divide into three equal parts. Form each piece into a 4-inch disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
To prepare the filling:
In a small mixing bowl combine the walnuts, sugars, cocoa and cinnamon. Set aside.
To prepare the rugelach:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove one disk from the refrigerator and roll out onto a lightly floured counter to a 14-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick. Spread 2 tablespoons of the apricot preserves on the dough round keeping a clean edge around the outside and a 2-inch clean circle in the center. Sprinkle 2½ tablespoons of filling over the preserves.
Cut the dough into quarters using a pizza cutter. Cut each quarter into three equal pieces. Starting at the wide end fold over the corners and about ¼-inch of the dough. Roll the rugelach toward the small end taking care not to use too much pressure. If you push too hard, the preserves will squeeze out. Curve the ends inward to form a crescent shape and place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. Working with 3 or 4 rugelach at a time, brush the tops with the egg wash then immediately sprinkle with coarse sugar. Continue until all are brushed and sprinkled with sugar.
Bake for 22 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with a dusting of powdered sugar, if desired. Store in an airtight container.