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Rugelach - Jam- And Nut-Filled Pastry Horns

Jewish Food: The World at Table by Matthew Goodman

The word rugelach is derived from the Slavic word rog, meaning horn; thus, rugelach are "little horns." In Eastern Europe the rugelach dough was made with butter or sour cream, but as with cheesecake. New World tastes preferred the unabashed luxury of cream cheese, which produces a dough that is exceedingly rich, flaky, and tender. This recipe, like the following one, is from rugelach maven Herb Schon of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

MAKES 48


FOR THE DOUGH
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon sour cream
4 ounces cream cheese
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

FOR THE FILLING
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
10 ounces apricot preserves


1. Make the dough: Place all of the dough ingredients except the flour in the bowl of a standing electric mixer and beat at medium speed until fully combined. Slowly add the flour, beating until the dough is smooth and cleans the sides of the bowl. Divide into 3 equal pieces, shape into disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

2. Make the filling: In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 large baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.

4. Make the rugelach: On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the pastry disks into a 12-inch round; if necessary, cut around the edges of the pastry to create an even circle. (Keep the other 2 pastry disks in the refrigerator until ready to use.) Place one third of the preserves on the pastry round and spread evenly to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Sprinkle one third of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on the round and spread it evenly over the preserves.

5. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the round into 16 triangles, slicing it like a pie. Starting at the outer edge, gently roll each triangle toward the center. Place the rugelach on one of the prepared sheets. Make sure the point of the triangle faces down, so it will not unravel during baking. Repeat with the remaining 2 pastry disks and filling.

6. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 33 minutes. (Some preserves will ooze out during baking.) Let cool briefly, then transfer to wire cooling racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer.
 

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