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Apricot Almond Cookies
for the dough
1 cup (140 g) flour
8 tablespoons (110 g) cold butter, diced
4 oz (115 g) cold cream cheese, cut in pieces
for the filling
1/4 cup apricot jam
2 oz (60 g) almonds, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
1 teaspoon lemon peel, finely grated
for the topping
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
1 oz (30 g) almonds, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). In a food processor, fitted with a blade, place flour, butter, and cream cheese. Run the blade pulsing until a dough in the shape of a ball is formed.
Rugelach, or Rugulach, as there are many ways to spell the name, is a scrumptious bite-sized cookie of eastern European Jewish tradition. In Europe in the old times, the dough was made with butter. The modern version calls for the use of cream cheese instead, making them very soft and smooth. Rolled up to resemble a croissant, they can be filled in different ways, but traditional recipes call more frequently for apricot jam and ground almonds. The best part is that when you bake these cookies, a little bit of the jam comes out and gets caramelized together with the sugar and the almonds, giving them a delicious flavor. The recipe makes 24, but everybody likes them so much that they are never enough.
Recipe loosely adapted using a recipe by Nick Malgieri.
Remove the dough from the food processor.
Divide it into 2 pieces, wrap each one separately in a plastic sheet, and place them the refrigerator.
Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place the jam in a bowl and stir until it is fluid.
Combine together the almonds, sugar and lemon peel together in a bowl.
Remove one of the pieces of dough from the refrigerator. Place it on a lightly floured work surface. Reduce the dough to a disk approximately 10 inches round, using a lightly floured rolling pin.
Cut the circle in 12 wedges using a pizza cutting wheel.
Spread the jam on the wedges.
Roll each wedge of dough . . . .
And spread the almond mixture on top.
. . . . from the outer edge toward the center.
Place the rugelach on the cookie sheets in rows. Repeat the step with the rest of the dough.
Mix the sugar with the almonds. Beat the egg in a small bowl, and brush the surface of the rugelach.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until the rughelach are golden and the sugar is slightly caramelized. Cool on a rack.
Spread the almond/sugar mix on top of the cookies.