Rugelach Cookies

For any of you who haven't tried rugelach cookies before, you don't know what you're missing. While spending time at the bed & breakfast in Vancouver this summer (see previous blog entry), I made a couple batches of these cookies. Each afternoon, Alison puts out fresh cookies for her guests and because this recipe makes 4 dozen cookies and also freezes well, I thought they would be perfect. After I returned home, I received an email from Alison... "What are those COOKIES?!" Apparently, the rugelach were being eaten up, lickety-split!

The first of my cooking classes has come and gone, and these cookies were part of its success. The topic was Prize-Winning Baking and we did it up right, starting with the Double-Double Chocolate Cake from The Harrow Fair Cookbook. Halfway through the class, the cake was iced and cut and we all enjoyed a slice of chocolate bliss.

We then moved on to rolling out pastry for the famous Black Raspberry & Blueberry pie, also in the cookbook. For those of you who don't know, this is Gayle Hedges' pie that was sold for $2400 at the pie auction in Harrow a few years ago. That is one pie - $2400. (It even had a sliver taken out of it by the judges!) Not deterred by the cake previously eaten, the students tucked right in to the warm pie, savouring every bite. Did I mention that we also had homemade vanilla ice cream to with it? Oh yes.

To round out the evening, we made these rugelach cookies, with fresh apricot jam that I had made earlier in the week. I love switching up the jam in these cookies. One of my all time favourite versions are made with my mom's homemade crab apple jelly. Seriously delicious and unique if you can get your hands on some.


8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 lb. unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 c. white sugar + 1/2 c.
1/4 t. kosher salt
1 t. pure vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
3/4 c. currants
1 c. walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 c. jam or jelly
1 egg beaten with 2 T. milk, for egg wash

1. In mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese together until light. Add 1/4 cup of white sugar, the salt, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix until just combined. Divide the dough up into four equal pieces and form each one into a disc. Wrap each one in plastic, and refrigerate for one hour.

2. To make the filling, combine 6 tablespoons of sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 t. cinnamon, the currants, and the walnuts.

3. On a well-floured board, roll each ball into a 9-inch circle. Spread the dough with 2 T. raspberry jam and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of filling. Press the filling lightly into the dough. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine 3 T. white sugar with 1 t. cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.

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