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Saturday, March 06, 2021
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Rugelach, the crescent-shaped cookie meaning “little twists,” appears to be a Polish creation maybe in the 17th century.

My Mom’s (z”l) Rugelach
  • ½ pound room-temperature cream cheese
  • ½ pound (1 cup) margarine
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • melted margarine
  • cinnamon
  • sugar
  • raisins
  • chopped nuts

Day before:

In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese with margarine, flour and vanilla to make a dough.

Knead well, and leave in the refrigerator overnight or a few hours.

Later or next day:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a baking sheet.

Divide dough into quarters. Roll out one quarter at a time on a floured board to a round shape. Cut into 8 wedges.

Spread with melted margarine, sprinkle with cinnamon, sugar, raisins and chopped nuts. Roll up from the wide side. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Continue with remaining quarters. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Un-Rugelach Mini Turnovers

Servings: 20

(This came from a Family Circle magazine of 1998)

  • 4 ounces room temperature cream cheese
  • ½ cup unsalted room temperature butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅛  teaspoon salt

Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup finely chopped raisins
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ⅓ cup chopped apricot preserves

Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Drizzle:
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F if planning to bake after refrigeration.

Beat cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl until blended. Add sugar and vanilla.

Beat in flour and salt. Scrape dough onto plastic wrap, form a ball, place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

In a bowl, stir together sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins and nuts.

Place tablespoons of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet. Refrigerate.

Removing one piece of dough at a time from the refrigerator, roll quickly between floured hands into a ball. Dust with flour and place between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Press dough, flatten lightly, roll with a rolling pin into a 3-3 ⅓ -inch circle. Remove the top layer of the plastic wrap. Spread ¾ teaspoon apricot preserve over dough, leaving a border around the edge. Brush the border with water. Using plastic wrap, lift and fold dough over nut filling. Leaving plastic wrap in place, press dough together at the edge of turnover to seal.

Remove plastic wrap and transfer turnover to greased, foil-covered baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Place turnovers on a baking sheet, leaving 1 ½ inches between them. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Stir together sugar and cinnamon topping. Brush each turnover with milk and sprinkle with sugar mixture.

Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.

Whisk together milk and confectioners’ sugar drizzle. Scrape into a plastic food storage bag, snip off a corner. Drizzle in decorative patterns over turnovers.


Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, author, compiler/contributor/editor of nine kosher cookbooks (working on a 10th) and food writer for North American Jewish publications. She lives in Jerusalem, where she has led weekly walks of the Jewish food market, Machaneh Yehudah, in English since 2009. She wrote the kosher Jerusalem restaurant features for Janglo.net, the oldest, largest website for English speakers from 2014 to 2020. 

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