sounds like “arugala”

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.

Enjoy!

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