When a friend kindly invited me to join him and his family for a Yom Kippur break fast, I decided that it was time to revisit rugelach. I've only tried making rugelach twice before (documented here and here), and I wasn't fully satisfied with either attempt. This time, I picked a rugelach recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum's cookbook Rose's Christmas Cookies, which she calls "without a doubt, the best rugelach I've ever tasted." The recipe actually originates from Lora Brody's Cooking With Memories -- hence the recipe name, "Lora Brody's Rugelach."
If you make this dough in the food processor, it only takes a minute or two. You just process cream cheese and butter, incorporate sugar and vanilla, and then add flour and salt and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. You divide the dough into four portions and chill them overnight. After chilling, you roll it each portion into a circle, spread on a thin layer of apricot jam, and then sprinkle on a filling made from sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, golden raisins, and chopped walnuts. I made sure that my rolling surface was floured and didn't have any problem with the dough sticking as I cut it into triangles and rolled up each piece into the distinctive crescent shape. You chill the rolled rugelach for 30 minutes, brush them with milk, and then sprinkle them with cinnamon-sugar before baking.
Even though I thought the rugelach were wonderful, I didn't think I could call them a success until I saw how they were received at the break fast. I was thrilled that they were enjoyed by all. Most gratifying, my friend's parents loved them, and I consider that the best endorsement of them all -- Jewish mother approved!
Recipe: "Lora Brody's Rugelach," from Rose's Chrismas Cookies by Rose Levy Beranbaum, available on epicurious.com.