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Just like the pronunciation of this Hanukkah cookie differs from person to person, there are thousands of different ways to prepare them. Many prefer the traditional recipe made with walnuts and honey, while others prefer to spice it up with exotic jellies and jams. Since the fillings are different, what makes a rugelach a rugelach is the way it's rolled and baked, into a crescent shape with a brown sugar coating. Since it's too hard to choose which flavor is best, make both varieties of this Hanukkah dessert recipe this season!
This sweet and rich rugelach cookie recipe is made with cream cheese dough, but if you are keeping a kosher meal this holiday, substitute non-dairy creamer in your dough instead!
Yields about 36
1 cup plus one teaspoon butter, divided (room temperature)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups ground walnuts
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk (2 percent)
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Using a mixer (hand-held or Kitchen Aid), add one cup of butter and cream cheese and beat until creamy. Gradually add flour until mixture forms a ball. Divide the dough and roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
While dough is chilling, melt remaining butter in a large bowl. Add walnuts, 3/4 cup of the sugar, honey, milk, almond extract and salt into the melted butter. Spread the walnut mixture over the dough circles, spreading evenly. Roll up the wedges and form crescent shapes.
Place dough point side down and bake for at least 35 minutes or until cookie is browned. Put the rest of the sugar in a bowl and dip the tops of the cookies in the sugar.
Jam filled rugelach
Yields about 36
For this recipe, just double the dough recipe above to save time and effort in the kitchen!
4 (12-inch) rugelach dough circles (see above)
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup raspberry preserves
1/2 cup chopped fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
Prepare rugelach dough and chill. While chilling, mix together the jam, the walnuts and the chopped blueberries.
Spread the filling over the dough circles and cut into wedges and form a crescent shape.
Bake for at least 35 minutes or until soft. Roll dough in excess sugar and cool.