Monday, November 23, 2009

Walnut Brown Sugar Rugelach

Rugelach are really the quintessential Jewish holiday cookie. They show up at just about every Jewish holiday. I made these for Hanuka one year. They are a good basic version of the recipe. These are not too sweet, but they are certainly addictive. My hypothesis is that the addictiveness of baked goods directly corresponds to the amount of butter and cream cheese in the recipe. Both of those ingredients make these cute little rugelach tender and flaky. They are delicate enough for a fancy brunch, or just for a teatime treat, they are exactly like the kind found at Kosher bakeries.

Brown Sugar and Walnut Rugelach

Makes 32

Prep time: 25 minutes

Total time 55 minutes plus chilling


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

    1. In food processor, blend butter, cream cheese, granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla until well combined. Add flour, and pulse just until a dough forms. Divide dough in half; flatten into disks, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least two hours and up to 2 days, or freeze up to 3 months (thaw before baking).
    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with racks set in upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In small bowl combine egg with 1 teaspoon water to make an egg wash.
    3. Working with one disk at a time, roll dough on lightly floured surface into an 11 inch circle about ¼ inch thick. Brush circles with egg wash; sprinkle with ½ cup of the walnuts, ¼ cup of the brown sugar and ¼ teaspoon of the cinnamon.
    4. Using sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut each circle into 16 equal triangles. Starting from the wide end, roll up each triangle of dough; place on baking sheets seam side down. Brush rolls with egg wash. Repeat with remaining dough and topping.
    5. Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Transfer rugelach to a wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted From: Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine, December 2007

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