Happy Hanukkah! I know this is technically 12 Days of Christmas Cookies, but Hanukkah fall conveniently during our cookie celebration, so I thought I would share a classic Hanukkah cookie recipe.
But first, I wanted to share three things I learned while making these cookies.
- I am not a pretty baker, but no matter how these look, they sure taste good.
- Making Jewish cookies while listening to gospel Christmas music is a fun, multicultural experience.
- Butter and cream cheese make everything better.
Wait, I’m pretty sure I knew #3 already. 🙂
Rugelach – adapted from King Arthur Flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
¾ cup (6 ounces) cream cheese
⅓ cup sour cream
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup pecans, chopped (walnuts can be substituted)
½ cup raisins
3-4 teaspoons cinnamon
Put the flour and the salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Cut the butter and the cream cheese into chunks and add it to the flour. Add in the sour cream and plus until crumbly. There should be pieces of butter and cream cheese about the size of small peas visible in the dough.
Divide the dough into three equal portions and wrap in plastic. Gently flatten the plastic wrapped dough balls into discs. Refrigerate for two hours, or overnight.
To make the filling, put the sugar, pecans (or walnuts), raisins, and cinnamon in a food processor and process until finely chopped and well combined. The filling will feel slightly moist to the touch.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350°. Unwrap one discs and roll it out into a 10 inch circle on a floured surface. Place a some sort of screw top or small lid (I used the cap from a gallon of milk) in the center of the dough. Spread ⅓ of the filling over the dough, spreading almost to the edge. You are using the lid or cap to keep a space of dough free of filling so that you can seal the edges thoroughly after rolling. Using your fingers or the back of a spoon, lightly press the filling into the dough to adhere it.
Cut the dough circle into 8 even wedges with a pizza cutter or very sharp knife. Roll each wedge up, from the wide end to the narrow end. Place the rolls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (this is a must as the filling will leak!). Repeat the process with the other two dough discs and the remaining filling.*
Bake the rugelach for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Some filling will leak and the butter will cause the bottoms to caramelize. This is a very good thing. Serve either warm or at room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
*If you would like a tutorial on how to fill and roll the cookies, check out this Baking Banter blog post.