Since my boss celebrates Hanukkah, I try to give her a food gift that would be appropriate for the holiday. Last year I made a challah. This year I made rugelach. Truthfully, I've been wanting to make rugelach for a long time, and then I saw a recipe from one of my favorite bakers, and it was a sign.
I got this recipe from Confections of a (Closet) Master Baker. Please check out her site. Her book is also wonderful. I received it as a gift a couple of years ago from a dear friend, and it was so inspiring to me.
The recipe for the rugelach dough is amazingly delicious. I could eat it plain, but it was so so good with fillings. As you can see in the picture, I made two fillings (well, "made" is a generous term): strawberry pistachio and Nutella. I prefer the Nutella, but that isn't a shock, now is it?
The boss loved these. The day after I gave them to her, she came in and declared that rugelach are not what she should be eating for breakfast, but boy were they good with coffee.
Source: Confections of a (Closet) Master Baker
2 packages (1 pound) cream cheese
1 pound unsalted, room temperature butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
4 cups all-purpose flour
- Cream together cream cheese, butter, sugar, salt until creamy. Add vanilla and milk. Mix until incorporated.
- Slowly add all flour until just combined.
- Using your hands turn the dough out onto a floured surface and lightly knead until smooth.
- Divide the dough into three even pieces.
- Pat each piece of dough into a circle and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour.
- Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12 inch circle (fp note: i can never make things roll out into pretty circles. do the best you can, but no one will know in the end)
- Score the dough into 12 pieces. Don't cut through just yet, you'll find that unless you have a pie marker, you won't be as good at this as you'd like (totally true). Once you are happy with your score marks, go ahead and make your cuts (fp note: i used a pizza cutter. worked really well).
- At this point, you can either smear the whole circle with your choice of filling, or you can separate all of the pieces and smear them individually. I found that things were messier if I smeared the whole circle, so I recommend doing them individually, even if it seems like a pain.
- Roll each triangle of dough, starting at the wide end, into a crescent.
- Brush each piece with a little milk and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
- Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.