This recipe is the traditional one. You may find others — I tried currants one year and didn’t like that. Chocolate chips are not traditional but we’ve also tried that and love it.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 8-oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Cream butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract together in bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar and salt, run mixer a few more seconds to incorporate, then add flour and mix on low speed until dough comes together. Divide into four equal parts. Form each into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for an hour. While dough is chilling,
Puree in food processor or blender
1/2 cup apricot preserves
In a bowl, combine filling ingredients:
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins (regular or golden)
1 cup chopped walnuts
In a small bowl, whisk together egg wash:
2 tablespoons milk
In another small bowl combine cinnamon topping:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
When dough is chilled, remove one of the disks from the fridge and lay plastic wrap on top to keep from sticking. Roll to a 9-inch circle on a well-floured board. Spoon 1/4 of the apricot preserves onto the circle, spreading evenly.
Sprinkle with 1/4 of the raisin-walnut filling.
With a sharp knife, cut circle into quarters, then each quarter into 3 wedges. Roll up each wedge starting from the wide end. Curl cookie slightly into a crescent shape. Transfer rugalach to parchment-lined baking sheet, points underneath. Chill 30 minutes (since I usually make this around Christmastime, it’s often cold enough outside that I stick it on the porch while I work on the rest ).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F while cookies are chilling.
Brush each one with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Bake 15 minutes or until golden. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container.
Pictures from the 2006 rugelach baking session, which I wrote about here — when I was still working for b5media.