Easiest Rugelach!

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Finding comfort in the kitchen. These rugelach were so simple and quick to make and are the perfect accompaniment to a nice cup of tea after a long day!

Wishing you all a good shabbos!

EASY RUGELACH

Makes 40 to 48 rugelach

Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table salt

1/2 pound unsalted butter

1/2 pound (1 8-ounce package) cream cheese (I used Tofutti Cream Cheese)

Filling

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips or finely chopped bitter- or semi-sweet chocolate

1/3 cup toasted nuts, chopped small (I used walnuts)

1/3 cup dried fruit, chopped small; (I used tiny dried currants, no chopping needed)

1/2 to 3/4 cup jam (I used an apple ‘butter’)

Finish

1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water or milk (I used water)

Remaining cinnamon-sugar from above

Make the dough:

In a food processor: Place flour and salt in work bowl fitted with standard blade. Pulse to combine. Add cream cheese, chopped into large chunks, and run machine until it’s fully dispersed into the flour. Add butter in large chunks and run machine until dough starts to clump. Dump out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a flattish disc.

With a mixer: (this was my choice and the dough came out perfect!) Let butter and cream cheese soften at room temperature. Beat both together until light and fluffy. Beat in salt. Add flour, beating until it disappears. Scrape dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a flattish disc.

Both methods: Chill dough until totally firm — about 2 hours in the fridge you can hasten this along in the freezer for about 30 minutes. (Dough keeps in fridge for up to a week, and in freezer much longer.)

Form the pastries:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

Stir cinnamon and sugar together in a small dish. Combine coarse mixture of chocolate, nuts and dried fruit in a second dish.

Divide dough into quarters and roll first quarter out on a floured counter into a rectangle about 12 inches wide and 7 to 8 inches long, with the wider side to you. Thinly spread dough to all but the furthest 1/4 inch from you — which seals better once rolled if bare — with about 2 to 3 tablespoons jam.  Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar mixture, then 4 tablespoons coarse fruit and nut mixture.

Roll dough from the 12-inch side in front of you into as tight as a log as you can, using your fingers to lightly seal the ends onto the log. Repeat with remaining logs.

*I only used the apple butter and cinnamon and sugar as this was my preference but feel free to get creative with the fillings!

Now, choose your final shape:

To make classic, easy sliced cookies: Place log of filled dough in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes; it will cut more cleanly once semi-firm. Trim ends from log so they have a clean shape. Cut log into 10 to 12 even slices. Arrange on prepared baking sheets a couple inches apart from each other.

 

Brush top(s) lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with a total of 1 teaspoon of the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown on top. Individual cookies need to cool only a few minutes on baking sheet before they can be transferred to a cooling rack.

Cooled cookies keep in a container at room temperature for a week, and in the freezer for a month. Just not around here.

To see original recipe with other options for styles of rugelach, go to http://www.smittenkitchen.com (search ‘pull apart Rugelach’).

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