Editor’s Note: Welcome to the 2013 edition of The 12 Days of Christmas Sweets! Every day from now until Christmas, we’ll bring you a new, scrumptious recipe for a holiday cookie, cake, or other dessert treat. Whether you leave them out for Santa or simply sample them all yourself is up to you, we just encourage you to try them all! Leave your comments below each recipe and upload a photo if you make your own batch at home. Season’s Eatings!
PHILADELPHIA, PA — Today’s cookie is a tasty treat called rugelach (roo-guh-losh), a popular baking tradition in Jewish households. It consists of a chewy dough rolled up around a variety of fillings: chocolate, raisins, nuts, poppy seed paste, or fruit preserves. It’s almost like eating a little mini tart! My personal favorites are rugelach filled with either raspberry or apricot preserves, but experiment to find your own favorite. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to make these cookies, as they do require chilling time for the dough.
Recipe Courtesy: Real Simple
Prep/Cook Time: 4 Hours
Yield: 48 cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 8-ounce bar cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the work surface
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups walnuts
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam (I used apricot preserves for this batch)
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1. With an electric mixer, beat the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and ⅓ cup of the sugar at medium speed until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Gradually add in the flour and salt, mixing until just combined. Do not overbeat. Form the dough into 4 disks and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
3. Heat oven to 325° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. In a food processor, combine the walnuts, cinnamon, and the remaining ⅔ cup sugar and process until the nuts are finely ground. Set aside 1/2 cup of the nut mixture for later.
4. Working with 1 disk at a time (keep the remaining disks chilled), on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to form a 9-inch round. Spread two tablespoons of the jam/preserves onto the dough, leaving about an inch of space around the edge.
5. Sprinkle with a layer of the nut mixture.
6. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into twelve wedges and then roll up each wedge from outside edge to the inner point.
7. Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheets and brush the top of each one with the beaten egg/water mixture.
8. Sprinkle some of the reserved nut mixture on top.
9. Bake until golden, about 30-35 minutes, turning once halfway through. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before storing.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for our next holiday recipe – Hot Cocoa Cake! And if you missed any of our previous recipes in this series, take a moment to check them out below:
Photo credits: Amy Johnson