Rugelach originated in Eastern European Jewish communities. The pastry dough is traditionally made with sour cream and rolled into crescents, as pictured below. Making the dough with cream cheese is a Jewish American tradition.
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts (or pecans, marzipan, poppy seeds…)
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup currants (or raisins, cranberries, figs, apricots…)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raspberry preserves (or apricot, currant, strawberry…)
In a large bowl using a hand-held electric mixer set at medium speed, cream together the butter, cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the salt and flour until just combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
In a large bowl combine the nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Position oven racks in the top third and bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F.
Divide the dough in quarters. Rewrap and refrigerate the other quarters until ready to use.
Roll out your dough quarter to 1/8″ thick disk. Spread with jam (I used the last of my raspberry port jam – sorry mom, I know how much you love it… but I’ll make more). Sprinkle on 1/4 of the nut, dried fruit, chocolate mixture. Cut disk into 16 wedges and roll up each wedge into a crescent, starting at the wide end. (You can speed up the process by rolling the disk of dough into a log and then cutting into 1 1/2 -2″ lengths.) Place on cookie sheets. Bake two sheets at a time for 25+ minutes until the crust is golden. Cool on wire rack.