The first time we made that rugelach, our daughter was just old enough to help. She stood on a phone book on a step stool and helped Yumiko pat out the rounds of soft dough in a pie plate and sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar. She learned to cut the dough into wedges and roll the wedges into tiny crescents. “Mine are the prettiest!” she crowed.
“Keep going,” laughed Yumiko, “we’ve got a lot to make.” She and that little girl cranked out 128 rugelach in record them.
For Yumiko, who died way too young, there’s no reason to stop and admire your handiwork, not when you’re making it with so much joy.
Total time: 4 hours
Hands on: About 1 hour
Makes 32 cookies
- 1 package dry yeast
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
In a mixing bowl, place yeast and lukewarm water with two tablespoons sugar and wait until foamy, then add flour, four tablespoons sugar, eggs and butter. Mix together until dough is uniform; do not overwork. Place in a bowl, cover tightly and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Remove dough from refrigerator and bring back to room temperature. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each part into a ball. Combine the remaining cup of sugar with the cinnamon. Set aside. Sprinkle a little of the sugar/cinnamon mixture in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Flatten one ball of dough with your hands (you may wish to roll it out a little bit with a rolling pin), sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top, and press the dough to the sides of the pie plate so that you have a flat 9-inch circle of uniform thickness.
Cut the dough circle like a pie into 8 triangular wedges. Sprinkle a little more cinnamon sugar on top for good measure. Roll up the wedges, starting at the thick end, like a croissant. Bend the edges in to make the rugelach crescent-shaped.
Place prepared rugelach on ungreased baking sheets and bake in preheated oven, 10 to 15 minutes, on a rack in center of oven. They are done when they’re puffed and lightly browned. Remove baking sheets from oven and let rugelach rest several minutes before removing them with a metal spatula.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container. The rugelach will last about a week. You may also freeze them.
Variation: If desired, sprinkle chopped nuts or raisins over rugelach before rolling them up.
Per serving (two cookies): 133 calories (percent of calories from fat, 41), 2 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 6 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 29 milligrams cholesterol, 6 milligrams sodium.