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Rugelach

(by Barbara Ballinger)


8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature

1/2 lb. unsalted butter at room temperature

3/4 c. granulated sugar, divided

1/4 t. salt

1 t. pure vanilla extract

2 c. all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough

1/2 c. light or dark brown sugar

1 t. cinnamon, divided

1 c. pecans, chopped fine

1/3 - 1/2 c. raspberry, apricot, or strawberry preserves

1 egg

1 T. milk or water

In an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and butter until light.

Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla.

Slowly add the flour, and mix until well combined.

Gather up and place on a well-floured board.

Roll into a ball.

Cut the ball into four parts, roll each into balls, and wrap each in waxed paper.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

To make the filling, combine 6 T. granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 t. cinnamon, and the pecans.

On a well-floured board, roll one ball of dough into a circle of about 9 in. in diameter.

Spread the dough with some of the preserves, and sprinkle with some of the filling.

Press the filling lightly onto the dough.

Cut the circle into 12 pizza-shaped wedges.

Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge into a “snail” shape.

Repeat with remaining balls of dough.

Place the rugelach with points tucked under on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Beat egg with milk or water, and brush each cookie.

Combine remaining 2 T. granulated sugar with remaining 1/2 t. cinnamon, and sprinkle on the cookies gently.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until browned.

Let cool on a wire rack.

Makes 4 dozen.

(Cookies can be frozen.)


(Read The Party Secret, the story that accompanies this recipe.)

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