While we’re happy to dig into heart-warming rugelach pretty
much 24/7, they’re particularly fantastic Hanukkah treats, given their Jewish
roots. These little twists are packed with an unexpected filling that’ll
surprise the taste buds of everyone on your holiday baking list—in an amazingly
awesome, “can I please have that recipe?” sort of way.
Makes forty-eight 21⁄2-inch-wide rugelach
3⁄4 cup (11⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened and
cut into chunks
6 ounces (two 3-ounce packages) cream cheese, slightly
softened and cut into chunks
1⁄2 cup powdered sugar
Generous 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour, plus more if
Very generous 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Very generous 1 cup apricot preserves
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg beaten with
1 tablespoon whole or low-fat milk for garnish
A generous 2 tablespoons granulated sugar for garnish
Set out six large sheets of baking parchment and a baking
In a large bowl, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar,
baking soda and salt. Beat on medium speed until very well blended and smooth.
On low speed, beat in half the flour until evenly incorporated. Beat or stir in
the remaining flour until evenly incorporated.
Divide the dough into three equal portions. Roll each
portion out into a thin, 12-inch-diameter round between sheets of baking
parchment. Stack the rounds (paper attached) on the baking sheet and refrigerate
for 45 minutes or until cold and firm, and for up to 2 days, if desired.
For the filling: In a food processor, process the walnuts,
preserves and cinnamon just until any large pieces of nuts and apricot are
chopped fairly fine and the mixture has spreading consistency. (Alternatively,
chop the walnuts with a large knife. Finely chop any large pieces of apricot.
Stir together the walnuts, apricots and cinnamon.) The filling may be made up
to 2 days ahead, covered and set aside in a nonreactive container at room
Baking Preliminaries: Position a rack in the middle of the
oven; preheat to 350°F. Line several baking sheets with baking parchment.
Working with one dough round at a time and keeping the
others chilled until needed, remove the top sheet of parchment. Using a third
of the filling (no need to measure), spread it evenly to within 1⁄4 inch of the
edge; the filling layer will be thin. Using a pizza cutter or large sharp
knife, cut the round into quarters, then eighths then sixteenths.
While the dough is still cool and slightly firm, working
from the outside edge inward, roll up each wedge into a pinwheel. Space the
rugelach about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Lightly but evenly brush
the tops with the egg wash, then generously sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
Repeat the process with the two remaining rounds.
Bake one sheet at a time for 17 to 23 minutes or until the
rugelach are nicely browned all over. Let the pans cool on wire racks until the
rugelach firm up, about 3 minutes. Then transfer them to racks using a wide
Thoroughly cool on wire racks before packing for storage. Store
these, airtight, for up to 1 week. They can be frozen, airtight, for up to 1
Excerpted with permission from the
publisher, Wiley, from Simply Sensational
Cookies by Nancy Baggett. Photography by Diane Cu and Todd Porter
Copyright © 2012. Grab a copy of the
sensational cookbook here.