Years ago, Alan, the office manager, brought rugulach from a bakery deep in Brooklyn whenever he was invited to dinner. He wouldn’t bring more than half a pound, even if I offered to pay for it. So I became interested in making them myself. This is a classic rugulach, I’ve tried other fillings but I think this is my favorite and my panel of tasters concur. The kosher recipe probably uses vegetable shortening but the butter gives it a better flavour and mouth feel. If you are observant just use vegetable shortening like Crisco instead of butter and add 2 tbsp. more flour to the dough.
1 lb. (2c) butter
1 lb (2c.). cream cheese
1/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
19 oz. flour (4c.) unsifted all purpose flour
plus 3 tbsp. flour for sprinkling
1/2 lb. (1 1/4 c.) currants or dark raisens
1/4 c. rum
11 oz sugar ( 1 1/2 c.)
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 lb. (1/2 c) butter melted
1/3 lb. (1 1/2 c.) walnuts or pecans chopped finely not ground
1 beaten egg
Soak the currants in the rum in a covered jar for several hours or overnight. Stir occasionally. This prevents it from becoming like pebbles in the rugulach.
Leave the butter and cheese at room temp for 10-15 min. until malleable.
In a large bowl beat the cheese, butter and sugar and vanilla. just to mix, about one minute. It’s okay if you can still recognize streaks of butter and cheese.
Add flour, beat on lowest speed just until incorporated, about one min. Scrape down sides of bowl.
Do not over mix or dough will become tough.
Divide dough into 6 portions, about 9 oz. each. Chill for 10- min. in freezer while you cut out wax paper.
Cut six 12″ long pieces of wax paper and set aside. Cut 6 more 10″ pieces and fold and cut into 10″ circles. This will guide your rolling out the dough.
Sprinkle each portion of dough with the additional flour and flatten into a disc on the 12″ piece of wax paper.
Cover with one 10″ circle and roll out the dough into a ten inch circle. You can adjust the paper if it has wrinkles or the dough to fill in open spaces. It will be about 1/4″ thick.
Stack the rolled out dough and refrigerate for 1 hr. or more until stiff.
Mix sugar and cinnamon for filling.
Take out one circle at a time. Peel off paper and place dough on board.
With a sharp knife cut into 12 pie shaped wedges. Retain circle shape.
Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with 1/4 c. of sugar mix, currants and nuts on the outer 3″ edge of the circle. Thump filling down lightly with your palm or a rolling pin.
Roll each wedge tightly starting fron the wide end. Filling will move towards the tip. Tuck tip under and place on parchment lined sheets. Foil lined is good, too. It should look like a small croissant. Save any filling that falls out and add to next circle of dough.
Brush tops lightly with beaten egg.
Bake in preheated 375 F oven on middle rack about 14-15 min. until bubbling and brown . Do not underbake.
Cool completely in pan before removing. Serve same day, will be good for 3 days refrigerated.
Makes 72 pieces or approx 4 3/4 lbs.
Note: Dough can be frozen in rolled out circles and kept for 2 weeks before filling and rolling and baking.
Marketman’s note: I have eaten these several times and they are DELICIOUS. I have never personally baked these but will attempt to make them sometime this year!
Recipe by Sister. Photo by Nephew.