After making and creating tons of rugelach recipes for years, baker Marcy Goldman still ranks this one at the top of the heap.
Make Ahead: The dough needs 1 to 2 hours' refrigeration time.
Storage Notes: Baked rugelach are best kept between layers of wax paper and loosely covered with aluminum foil (the object is to keep the pastries dry; do not store under a cake dome or closed container). The rich dough freezes well for up to 4 months; freeze unbaked rugelach on a baking sheet until they are firm, then transfer to heavy-duty resealable plastic food storage freezer bags; there is no need to defrost them before baking.
Servings: 48 pieces
- For the dough
- 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups sour cream
- 4 1/2 cups flour, plus more for the work surface
- For the filling
- 1 1/3 cups raspberry or apricot jam
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 cups finely chopped nuts (optional)
- 4 cups raisins, plumped in warm water for 10 minutes, then dried
- For assembly
- 1 large egg
- Pinch granulated sugar
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
For the dough: Combine the melted butter, granulated sugar, salt, baking powder, sour cream and flour in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on low speed until a ball forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll in a bit of additional flour, as necessary, to make a soft but manageable dough. Divide into 4 portions, press each into a flattened disk and wrap in wax paper. Place them in a large resealable plastic food storage bag; seal and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stack 2 large baking sheets together and line the top sheet with parchment paper. You will need to repeat this procedure for each batch.
For the filling: Roll out each portion of dough into a 12-inch circle on a well-floured work surface. Smear on the jam, covering the surface of the dough, and then evenly sprinkle on the brown sugar, cinnamon, nuts, if using, and raisins. Use a pastry or pizza wheel to cut the dough into 12 wedges. Roll up each wedge snugly and place on the lined baking sheet.
For assembly: Whisk together the egg and granulated sugar in a small bowl; brush the rugelach with the egg wash. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the pastries are nicely browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired.
Adapted from Goldman's "A Passion for Baking" (Oxmoor House, 2007).
Tested by Geneva Collins and Madonna Lebling.
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