These cookies are a delightful addition to any cookie tray or breakfast table. Use any jam you’ve got on hand, but if it’s very chunky or seedy, it’s best to strain it before using. Makes 16 rugelach.
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) cream cheese
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (1½ ounces) toasted nuts, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
½ cup preserves
1 egg yolk, beaten
To make the dough, cut the butter and cream cheese into 1-inch cubes. Place the butter, cream cheese, flour, and salt in a metal bowl and freeze for 30 minutes.
Transfer the chilled ingredients to a food processor and pulse until the dough forms a shaggy ball, about 20 pulses. Alternatively, cut the butter and cream cheese into the flour with a pastry cutter or 2 table knives. Scrape the moist, sticky dough onto a floured countertop and form into a 6-inch disk. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a small bowl, mix together the nuts, sugar, and breadcrumbs.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread the jam across the surface of the dough, leaving a ½-inch border. Sprinkle the nut mixture over the jam.
Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the disk into 16 wedges. Starting from the wide end of the long triangle, roll each segment up and press on the pointy end to seal. Place seam side down on the baking sheet and place the pan in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush the egg yolk gently on the tops of the cookies. Place another baking sheet under the cookie-filled sheet. (Stacking sheets will keep the rugelach from burning on the bottom.) Bake for 22 to 25 minutes. The nuts and jam will have squished out a little and will be a little messy; that’s OK. The bottoms of the rugelach should be caramelized, not burned. Transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
Stored between layers of wax paper in a tightly covered container, rugelach keep well for up to 3 weeks.
This recipe is adapted from Cathy Barrow’s Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry (W.W. Norton & Company, 2014) and is reprinted with permission from the author.