Submitted by: Michelle
Probably my favorite Christmas cookie is the rugelach (say: roo-gah-lah), though I'm not really sure it is a Christmas cookie. I just happen to bake them at Christmas time. They are created from a delicate dough made of butter and cream cheese and sweetened up with chocolate chips and spiced up with cinnamon. So yummy. So easy to make. And a real crowd pleaser as they appear as if they took days and a pastry chef to make, whilst in actuality any cookie baker, novice or pro, can produce them.
I've turned many of my friends into rugelach lovers, particularly Claudia, the 13 year old daughter of my front row friend Veronica. Over the weekend, Claudia and Veronica came over for a rugelach making tutorial.
We started with the dough, which does requiring chilling, that I had made the night before. It is simply made of butter, cream cheese, flour and salt.
I rolled the dough out on a lightly floured surface. The shape isn't perfect but that's OK.
Once on the cookie sheet, Claudia brushed egg white over the tops and add another sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar.
Some Reasons Why I Love This Cookie:
It is unusual. Not the typical cookie that everyone is making
The dough mixes up easily and is not difficult to work with.
Every bit of the dough is used, unlike cookie cutter cookies where the left over scraps either have to be re-rolled or thrown away.
Anyone can make them and look like a professional baker.
Chocolate Chip & Cinnamon Rugelach
from the Williams-Sonoma Cookies & Biscotti cookbook
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
cinnamon sugar (recipe below)
1 bag miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips (you won't use them all)
1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
To make the pastry, combine the butter and cream cheese with a hand mixer or Kitchen Aide using paddle attachment at a high speed, until smooth. Add the flour, a little at a time, and mix well. On a lightly floured surface, form the dough into a log. Cut into 4 equal pieces. Flatten each piece into a disk and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter baking sheets or better yet, use a Silpat mat! Let 1 dough disk stand at room temperature about 10 minutes to soften slightly. Place on a floured surface and roll out to a round, about 1/8 inch thick.
Brush the dough with 1 tablespoon butter (I don't measure. Just don't put too much. You don't want greasy cookies.) Immediately sprinkle with 3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar. ( I don't measure.) Top with chocolate chips. Using the rolling pin, gently roll over the filling to help it adhere to the dough. Cut the round of dough into 12 wedges. Starting at the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Transfer the cookies to prepared baking sheets, arranging point-sides down. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Brush the cookies with the egg white-water mixture, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.