Tonight I'm baking ruggalach--or cream cheese cookies--for the holiday party held at our boss's house. He's head of the English Department, and a nice guy.
I've been asked to bring one of my specialties, the Jewish cookie, ruggalach. My tried and true recipe never fails to be crowd pleaser. A note of warning: Jewish cooking is not known for its heart-healthy properties!
What you'll need: 8 oz. cream cheese, 1 stick butter, 1 stick margarine, 2 cups flour and flour for the board, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup sour cream, 1 egg--separated, fruit preserves, 1tbsp. cinammon, 1/2 cup sugar--if desired, 1/2 cup c hopped walnuts or pecans--if desired.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, margarine, cream cheese. Add egg yolk and sour cream.
Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add flour to the butter mixture until dough forms. Mix thoroughly. Leave in the fridge for at least three hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to just over 325 degrees (330). Take egg white out of fridge and set aside.
On a floured board, roll dough to about 1/4 inch thick and cut into 2 inch squares.
Put a half teaspoon of preserves into the center of each square (and nuts and raisins if desired). Bring two ends of the diagonal together and press.
Beat the egg white with a half teaspoon of warm water, brush on cookies. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Place on greased baking sheet until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
Notes: I have used two eggs and two teaspoons of baking powder. This creates a less dense cookie, almost a pastry. It's good but not as traditional as the denser version above.
Work fast once the dough is rolled and cut, or it will get too sticky to handle. You can then put back in fridge for a few minutes--or add a little more flour to make less sticky.
Use best quality preserves.
These are great with coffee, and everyone loves them (except my Weight Watcher leader). Enjoy!
(This recipe is part of my story "Lord of the Ruggalach" in One for Each Night: Chanukah Tales and Recipes. My mother-in-law, Hilda Gross, who was a dessert caterer in Philadelphia, gave me this recipe!)
Causes Marilyn Kallet Supports
Southern Poverty Law Center, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, ACLU, Amnesty International, Save Darfur.