Rugelach are a traditional Jewish cookie that may be eaten throughout the year, or to celebrate the holidays. Plan an afternoon for this activity since the dough needs to be mixed, then chilled, before being rolled and baked. Bake these cookies with your kids to celebrate the holiday and to help them practice some math skills. Your children will enjoy the making them almost as much as they will enjoy eating them!
What You Do:
- Mix cream cheese and butter in a large bowl either with a stand mixer or by hand with a spatula or a hand mixer.
- Add the sugar, salt, and vanilla (reserved for the dough), and mix them together until combined.
- Slowly add the flour and mix until combined—on low speed if you’re using an electric mixer. Be careful not to over-mix.
- Roll the dough into four equal-sized balls. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator on a sheet pan.
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- While the dough chills, make the filling by combining the granulated sugar, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts together in a medium-sized bowl.
- Once the dough has chilled, remove it from the refrigerator. Place a large sheet of parchment paper over your table or counter, and sprinkle it with flour generously so the dough won't stick.
- Use a rolling pin to roll each ball of dough into a circle on the parchment paper—each about 9 inches around.
- Evenly spread a thin layer of apricot jam over the dough, and sprinkle ½ cup of the filling mixture across the top of the jam layer. Press it lightly into the dough to make sure it sticks.
- Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges by cutting the circle into quarters, and then each quarter into thirds. You should end up with 12 triangles. Start with the wide edge of the triangle and roll each wedge into a roll.
- Place each cookie onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, so that the pointed end of the cookie is tucked under.
- Repeat steps 7 through 10 for each of the four balls of dough.
- Chill the cookies for 20 minutes before baking them.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While chilling the cookies, whisk one egg with one tablespoon of milk to create an egg wash that will be brushed over the cookies. Brush each cookie with a small amount of the egg wash before placing them in the oven.
- In a separate bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to sprinkle on the cookies.
- Once the cookies are chilled, remove them from the refrigerator. Brush the egg mixture lightly across each cookie. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture across the top of the cookies once they have been brushed with the egg wash.
- Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes until they are lightly brown. Oven times and temperatures may vary, so keep an eye on them. You may have to bake for less time or more time depending on your oven.
- Let the cookies cool before eating.
- Your apricot cookies can be stored in airtight containers for up to 4 days or in the freezer.
This recipe makes 4 dozen cookies. Enjoy!