I’d be sad if many of you didn’t know what Rugelach was and where it originated from, but that is why we are here to learn new things and bake/cook fabulous dishes! Rugelach is an inspiring, yet challenging cookie that is so rewarding if done right. It has nutty, fruity goodness combined with a sweet, yet tangy dough that’s just to die for. This recipe is time consuming and requires a ton of patience, but I promise that if you give it your all you will be pleasantly surprised with the results. Just take your time and enjoy yourself! While this cookie can not technically be called a Christmas cookie since it is from Jewish tradition, it deserves a special little spot in our list, so today we are baking “Holiday” cookies and we are going to learn a lot too!
Let us talk about the basics first. If you’ve never had Rugelach before (which I find very hard to believe since many of you have probably had it but just didn’t know you have had it), it is a crescent-shaped cookie filled with nuts, dried fruit (we chose raisins) and preserves. There are obviously many variations of this recipe and each family has their own way of making them, but the general idea remains the same. They are incredibly sweet that has a counter-balance of tanginess from the cream cheese and/or sour cream in the dough. It is a delightful cookie.
I warned you a minute ago that these cookies are not easy and they do take time. You don’t want to rush through them or you will not be pleased with the outcome, so if you don’t have the time, save the recipe for another day. It took me a while because I’ve never actually made them before. My mom has made them before and she was one of the first to warn me that they are not simple. For my first time though they came out pretty freakin delicious! It was totally worth the wait!
Now we know that this cookie comes out of Jewish tradition, but there is still a debate to this day on where it originally originated from. Austria likes to take a lot of the credit, but a form of the pastry really dates back to the 1600s in Romania. And some believe that the pastry predates even the Early Modern Era. The “modern” version didn’t come about until the 19th century (so they say). So who really knows! Most of this stuff is purely speculation. The name is Yiddish (obviously) and I certainly can not pronounce it correctly. Go ahead, give it a try!
We also know that this cookie is not a cookie specific to the holidays. These little guys pop up all year long, including, but not limited to Shabbat. But as of late (or in the last century or two), they are quite popular around Hanukkah.
I challenge you guys to give it a whirl! You can start a new tradition and make them every year, like I plan on doing. It is also possibly that I will be whipping up another batch since I can not stop eating them. Come up with your own variations. Add chocolate, subtract the preserve, add another nut. The possibilities are endless.