We got onto the rugelach from the ECBF’s good friend Dr. Long. We didn’t have these at my house growing up, but I remember my step-dad bringing home something similar from his favourite bagel place on the weekends. The ECBF had one of Dr. Long’s creations and insisted I try to recreate (or improve upon) this fantastic dessert. I took the rugelach idea, and tried to make it into a cookie (I like cookies). I needed it to be smaller than the usual, something easily transportable, and that would complement my other Christmas creations on a plate.
I had a major cookie wreck a couple years ago when I tried to make peppermint pinwheel cookies. Wow. These were brutal. The whole batch went into the garbage. BUT – I liked the idea, and this rugelach dough is really great for rolling. So… I borrowed a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa – and combined it with the recipe from Sweet On You Bakery AND my family recipe for rugelach and this is what I came up with:
Rugelach Pinwheel Cookies
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temp
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup and 2 TBSP granulated sugar (for filling)
2 cups flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup dried cherries
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup apricot preserves, heated in microwave for approx. 30 seconds and then slightly cooled
1 cup sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 TBSP brown sugar for topping
Cream the cheese and butter with paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar. With mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix until just combined. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball into quarters, wrapping each quarter in plastic, and refrigerate at least an hour.
To make the filling, combine 1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, the raisins and the walnuts.
On a well-floured board, roll each ball of dough into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Spread the dough with a thin layer of apricot preserves and sprinkle with a 1/2 cup of the filing. Press the filling lightly into the dough. You may need a pizza cutter or knife to even out one side. Starting with the jagged edge, roll up each wedge into a log. Rewrap in plastic and put back in fridge for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Cut each log into 1/4 inch thick slices, tossing each cookie in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place 3 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. *Note, I do these ones on convection 325, for 12.5 minutes
Lift parchment from baking sheets and move over to a wire rack to cool.