Rugelach

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Rugelach are a traditional Jewish pastry. Even though we’re not Jewish, these tender little pastries have become a holiday cookie tradition in our house. I make them every year at Christmastime.

They remind me of the cinnamon-sugary dough piggies my mom would make with leftover pie dough in our orange-walled, brown-linoleum kitchen a million years ago.

This rugelach dough is made with butter, cream cheese and flour. Basically, you make the dough, divide it into four balls, refrigerate them, roll each ball into little pizzas, paint them with pureed apricot preserves and top them with a mixture of brown sugar, white sugar, raisins and chopped walnuts, slice them into 12 wedges, roll each wedge into crescents, refrigerate them again, then paint them with egg wash, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar, and bake ’em. Yeah, they’re a little time-consuming. And this year, it was a two-day process because of Barrak’s ice capades and subsequent trip to the ER on Sunday night.

I use Barefoot Contessa’s recipe.

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My helper.

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The dough is incredibly soft and tender from the block of cream cheese.

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That’s why the dough goes in the fridge for an hour before you roll it out. Or overnight if your husband goes to the ER.

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My father in law gave me this 50-pound slab of marble that I heft onto the counter when making pies or pastries.

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I rinsed and saved the jar – it’s too pretty to pitch!

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The filling: pureed apricot preserves and the mixture of raisins, sugars and nuts.

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The dough is pretty fragile. It helps to smush and roll it while it’s still in Saran Wrap. It doesn’t crack and fall apart.

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I slice the ‘pizzas’ into 12 wedges with a pizza cutter. It should be called a rugelach cutter.

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So pretty and fragile before they go in the oven.

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Oy vey, does my hair really look like that?

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They’re best straight out of the oven, when they’re still warm. They flatten a little bit but still taste danish-y and figgy and tender.

Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Merry Christmas.

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