When I started telling people that I was going to make rugelach for a co-worker’s going away party/Nate’s and my monthly book club meeting, I got a lot of raised eyebrows. Apparently, if you say “I’m baking rugelach” quickly, people might think you’ve just stated that you’re going to bake arugala, which conjures a leafy image that’s a far cry from the delicious cookie called rugelach.
I’ve been familiar with rugelach for years, although I only recently found out the cookie’s actual name. For those of you who aren’t familiar, rugelach is a pinwheel cookie, composed of a butter/cream cheese dough rolled with apriot (or any other fruit) preserves, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, chopped walnuts, and raisins. It’s not too sweet and is a great dessert after almost any meal.
This was my first attempt at making rugelach. They have always seemed kind of daunting to me, and I love them so much, that I worried my version wouldn’t do them justice. I set those fears aside, however, when I came across Ina Garten’s apparently flawless recipe (144 five-star ratings on foodtv.com!). Ina has never steered me wrong, so I swallowed my doubts and gave them a go.
Friends, I am so glad I did. These little buggers definitely take a while to assemble (you have to make the dough, chill it, roll the cookies, chill them, then bake), but they are absolutely worth the effort. I brought two dozen to work and two dozen to book club, thinking Nate and I would have at least a few left over for ourselves. Unfortunately, we were left with one small rugelach to split between us. I guess I’ll just have to make more.
A quick note to anyone who tries this recipe — Ina calls for baking the cookies at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. I personally found that they bake perfectly if you put them in for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, and then up the oven temp to 375 degrees for another five minutes.