Rugelach are deliciously rich cookies made from a cream cheese pastry rolled around a filling of nuts and raisins. They are traditional party fare.
1/2 pound butter
1/2 pound cream cheese
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
Cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup sugar, mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon)
How to make the dough:
Cream the butter until it is soft. Add the cream cheese and continue to cream the mixture until it is soft and smooth. Add vanilla, and then flour. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least an hour before using. Overnight is better. Dough may also be frozen before using.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup nuts (pecans or walnuts)
1 cup raisins
How to make the filling:
Combine sugar, water and cinnamon in a heavy sauce pan. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer one minute, to make a sugar syrup. Remove pan from heat. Add raisins and nuts and stir until these are coated with syrup. Cool mixture before using. It will be crumbly, not sticky.
Assembly and Baking
Divide the chilled dough into 6 equal parts. Shape each part into a ball. Work with one ball of dough at a time, keeping the other wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator until ready to use.
On a lightly floured board, roll the ball of dough out into a thin, 12” diameter circle. Cut into 12 equal pieces and sprinkle one-sixth of the filling over the round of dough. Press the filling down lightly with your hands. Roll each rugelach up, beginning at the outside of the circle and working toward the center. Place the rugelach on a lightly greased baking sheet, with the tip of the rolled dough underneath. Sprinkle tops of the rugelach with cinnamon sugar. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Makes 6 dozen cocktail-sized rugelach.