Rugelach

Makes 3 dozen

For the pastry:

1 cup butter, just about room temperature, cubed

6 oz cream cheese, just about room temperature, cubed

1/3 cup sour cream

2 cups flour, ½ tsp salt

For the filling:

½ cup brown sugar

1 1/3 cup walnuts, pre-toasted (350 oven, 15 minutes, allow to cool)

¾ cup raisins

1 Tb cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

¼ cup jam or preserves of your choice; I used fig preserves, which worked perfectly

Egg wash and sugar for sprinkling

Make the pastry: I used a food processor, but you can also make the dough in a mixer. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Toss the cubed butter and cream cheese in the flour to distribute evenly. Put everything into the food processor and pulse several times to cut the cubes up. Add the sour cream and pulse again a few times until the dough is softly crumbly and you can pinch it together. Remove it to a bowl and press it together.

Divide the dough into three balls that you then gently flatten into disks with your hands, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for an hour.

While the dough chills, make your filling. In a food processor or blender, process the nuts, raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, pulsing several times until finely chopped but still crumbly. Dot the jam around your filling, and then pulse a few more times to incorporate it.

Once the pastry has chilled, roll each disk, one at a time, into a 10-inch circle. Brush the pastry lightly with water and then place 1/3 of the filling onto it. Gently press the filling into an even layer covering the entire circle. I also took an offset metal spatula to coax the filling to spread easier, but you don’t need to use one.

With a very sharp knife, cut your circle into 12 triangles. Roll each triangle up, starting with the wide edge and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet with the tip beneath the cookie. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for about 25 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and cool.

Cookies keep nicely for a few days in an airtight container and make wonderful holiday gifts as well.

For a lovely alternative to the usual coffee, try a matcha tea latte to drink with your holiday cookies. I especially like to make mine with oat or flax milk and a bit of maple syrup. To make a matcha latte, put a 2 teaspoons of matcha tea powder into a mug and whisk in your heated milk. I have a little whisk for this purpose, but a milk frother works equally well, or with a little more effort, a fork will do the job too. Stir in sweetener to taste and serve.

Rugelach

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