From a baker whose first words were “cookie good,” here is a recipe for one of my first favorite cookies. A beautiful one for the holidays, a must, actually. If you’ve never made Rugelach before this is the recipe to start with. My “jelly roll” technique is much quicker and easier than the way many Nana’s (mine included) used to roll them, croissant-style. I actually prefer (sorry, Nana) them this way because I thought that the ends of the little croissants tended to brown too much and get bitter. If you prefer them as croissants, then roll out your band of dough and cut it into long triangles after spreading with the filling. Or if you’re like me, and love to make these tender, sweet cookies faster and easier, roll the band into a jelly roll and cut with a sharp knife. This recipe is also a bit unusual for having a small amount of powdered sugar in the dough. Many Rugelach dough recipes are sugar-free, all of the sweetness coming from the filling. Of course, I don’t mind things a little sweeter and I do think that the dough is a little more tender this way, too.
1 c soft butter
8 oz soft cream cheese
1 t lemon zest
2 c all-[urpose flour
¼ c powdered sugar
½ t salt
-In mixing bowl, cream the soft butter & cream cheese until fluffy. Add lemon zest. Sift dry ingredients together and add all at once to the creamed mixture. Gently incorporate until a soft dough forms. Place dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Let chill for at least 2 hours or overnight (dough can be made ahead and frozen at this point).
When you’re ready to make the cookies, prepare your choice of fillings. Can use jam, cinnamon sugar & nuts, chocolate chips, any combination thereof. Melt 1/2 stick of butter and have some cinnamon sugar handy to sprinkle on the cookies before they go in the oven. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or butter well. Roll out the cookies as shown:
Brush each cookie with melted butter and sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar. Bake in preheated oven about 15 mins until golden.