rugelach!


A favorite cookie of friends and family. Cream cheese cookie dough makes my heart sing. I made these recently at the tail end of a marathon of Christmas cookie baking and they were my favorite out of all. These cute curly cookies take a little more time and love than your average cookie but they are SO worth it. Feel free to play around with the flavor of jelly you use, maybe even throw in some chocolate chips instead of raisins!  There are tons of rugelach recipes out there but my mom and I always stick to the Barefoot Contessa's version

cookie dough:

8oz cream cheese @room temp

2 sticks unsalted butter @room temp

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

filling:

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 lightly packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup each of apricot and seedless raspberry preserves (OR 1/2 cup of one flavor), stirred very well or run through a food processor.

3/4 cup raisins

1 cup of finely chopped walnuts

topping:

1 egg beaten with a tablespoon of milk (for egg wash)

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

to make dough: Beat cream cheese and butter in bowl till light and fluffy. Add granulated sugar, salt and vanilla. Scraping the bowl to mix everything evenly together. Turn speed to low and slowly add flour, mix till just combined. Turn dough out on to a well floured surface and cut into 4 equal rounds. Wrap in plastic wrap and let chill in fridge for 1 hour.

for filling: In a medium bowl mix white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon together. Stir in raisins and walnuts. Set aside. 

for topping: In small bowl stir together sugar and cinnamon. Set aside!

Preheat oven to 350, line 2 or 4 cookie sheets with parchment. Now it's time to make the cookie. Working with one round at a time, roll out into a 9'' circle. I try really hard to make it a perfect circle, but usually it's a rough interpretation of a circle. Be sure to use flour while rolling it out to keep the dough from sticking. Using the preserve of your choice, spread about 2 tablespoons evenly on the round, keeping a small boarder around the edge. Next sprinkle 1/2 cup of the filling, gently pressing it in to the preserves to keep it in place. Cut the circle into 12 triangles. Time to roll! Working from the wide end of the triangle roll up to the small and slightly pinch the tip into the bottom to secure it. Place on baking sheet. If you wanted to, you could now put the cookies back in the fridge to chill a little, at this point in my day I was baking for roughly 8 hours..so I did indeed skip that step and my cookies turned out cute and delicious. Brush them with the egg wash and sprinkle cinnamon sugar topping evenly over each cookie. Repeat with 3 remaining dough rounds.

Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Be sure to check them after 15, I tend to like these under-done.

iced coffee hermits with espresso icing

 

Hermits were never my idea, but now we are pretty good friends. I'm happy we met. Conor typically never ever request sweets ('cause he is sweet enough...AMIRIGHT!? **insert punchline drum kick here**). So if ever the occasion comes where he says I'd really love cookies or cake or fried things I am right on it. This is where I meet the hermit. I had never really had a run-in with a hermit cookie and didn't know what they were all about. Conor's dad makes a nice one with molasses and a dusting of sugar on top, and this piqued my interest. After consulting with Mama Rubes and her magical vintage Boston Globe Cookbook from.....a wicked long time ago I stumbled upon a hermit from back in the day. I played with it a little and ended up throwing a glaze on them, which we both really loved. Add some raisins and pecans and this really is a great little cookie. Not too sweet, but just enough. You should really meet this hermit.

iced coffee hermit (makes about 6 dozen)

1 1/2 cups butter @ room temp

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cold coffee

3 1/2 cups a.p flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

2 cups raisins

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

In the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment beat butter, sugar and eggs till fluffy. Add coffee and mix together (it might look a little broken and strange..but do not worry, it's natural). In a separate bowl whisk together flour, soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix dry into your butter sugar mix till evenly combined. Stir in raisins and nuts. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400. On cookie sheets lined with parchment drop rounded teaspoons (or use your smallest cookie scoop) two inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes or till they are just firm on the top. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

espresso icing!

2 teaspoon espresso powder

2 tablespoon water

3/4 cup confectionary sugar; sifted


In a medium sized bowl dissolve powder into water. Gradually whisk in sugar. Drizzle over hermits. Be friends with the hermit.