Cream Cheese Rugelach

This recipe comes from Barefoot Contessa Parties; after trying many different recipes, I have to say that this is my favorite; they are tender and perfect. If you like raisins in your rugelach, you can add them in with the filling- I’m not a fan.

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar plus 9 T
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup apricot preserves, pureed smooth in the food processor
1 egg beaten with 1 T milk for the egg wash

Cream the butter and cheese until light; add 1/4 cup sugar, salt and vanilla. Add the flour on low speed and mix just until combined. Form the dough into a ball and cut into 4; flatten each piece into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

For the filling: combine 6 T sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 t cinnamon and the walnuts.
Roll each disc of dough into a 9″ circle; spread with 2 T apricot preserve and 1/2 cup nut filling. Press lightly into the dough. Cut the circle into 12 wedges (I do this with a pizza cutter) and roll up each wedge. Put the cookies on a lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 3 T sugar with 1 t cinnamon.

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ. Brush each cookie with the egg wash and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes (I sometimes have to go 23-25 minutes) or until golden. Remove them to a rack to cool fairly soon after taking them out of the oven (otherwise the jam that leaks out will harden and the cookies will stick to that).

Note: I have prepared these up to the step before baking and frozen them on a baking sheet individually and then bagged them up after they were frozen. You can then take them out and let them thaw either in the fridge overnight or right on the counter and bake however many you want. 

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