When I was young, I remember my dad would frequently buy rugelach cookies. I first thought they looked curious and assumed they probably weren’t that delicious. I was proven wrong when I tried one and ended up eating the entire package, leaving only one for my dad. He was not pleased. I haven’t had a rugelach in quite a while so I decided to make my own. The ones sold at the market usually only have two types of fillings, but you can be creative and make your own.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
I didn’t realize that rugelach had cream cheese in the dough until I saw recipes. It all makes sense because the crust is so flaky and buttery yet slightly dense. The dough comes together very quickly. Because of the cream cheese, it needs to be chilled to firm up, making it easier to roll out later.
For the filling, you can be creative and use raisins, dried figs, or plums instead of cranberries. Cook your desired dried fruit in the water, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla to re-hydrate them. When it was time to blend the mixture, I added some of the water to help it blend; the mixture was so thick, it needed a little liquid.
You can also substitute the strawberry preserves with fig jam, apricot preserves, peach, or grape. You can even add chocolate chips and make a chocolate rugelach.
I rolled out the first portion of the dough on the counter; however, I found that the dough is sticky and tends to stick. To make it easier, roll it out on plastic wrap. You have to wrap it in plastic wrap anyways so why not combine two steps and simply roll the dough on the plastic wrap?
You can choose to cut the cookies larger than 1 1/2 inches since the ones at the market are at least 2 inches.
Bake until golden and let it cool. In my opinion, these cookies tasted much better cooled than hot.
My o my these rugelach are delicious! They are better than the ones sold in the market! When I had someone try these, he never had a rugelach before, but his eyes opened wide and a loud “mmmmm!” was exclaimed; pretty much the response I was anticipating. Now that I have a great base, time to experiment with Nutella or fig jam!
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