These crescent-shaped pastries are made of a smooth cream cheese dough wrapped around a nutty walnut and cherry filling. They’re as cute as they are delicious.
Most of the work for these cookies can be done in advance! Complete step one, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and store the discs of dough in the freezer; frozen dough will last up to three months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before using.
Back in the day all recipes were done by hand, so it’s fine if you don’t have an electric mixer. It will take a bit more time, but by using a whisk you’ll get a nice arm workout!
Wow, you’ve got some beautiful ingredients! Once you’ve unpacked your Red Velvet kit, let cream cheese and butter come to room temperature. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt (for dough) and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the flour and salt mixture and mix until combined. Divide the dough into three equal balls. Flatten each into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, until dough is firm.
Make the filling. Combine the dried cherries, walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon (for filling) and salt (for filling). Using a cutting board and knife (or a food processor), finely chop the mixture until it resembles coarse sand, and set aside. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon (for topping) and granulated sugar. Set aside for rugelach topping in step 6. Prepare three baking sheets with parchment paper provided. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Remove one piece of dough from fridge at a time. Generously flour a work area (using flour for surface prep). Use a rolling pin to roll the dough from the center towards the edges. Roll it once or twice in one direction, lift up dough and rotate it a quarter turn. Flip it over every few turns. Repeat until the dough is even in thickness and about 10 to 11 inches in diameter. Re-flour the counter and dough as needed so that the dough does not stick, then gently brush excess flour off the dough.
Using a pastry brush or your finger, brush the top of the dough with a small amount of water to help the filling adhere to the dough. Sprinkle one-third of the filling over the dough, leaving about a quarter-inch around the outside edge. Gently press the filling into the dough. Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 equal triangular wedges.
Starting at the base of each triangular wedge, roll dough carefully toward the tip. Place on the baking tray with the tip tucked under the roll so it doesn’t unravel while baking. Place the rugelach about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Repeat this process with the two remaining pieces of dough.
Remove 1 egg from your refrigerator. Crack into a small bowl, and mix in 1 tablespoon of lukewarm water. Using a pastry brush, “wash” the top of each cookie, coating every nook and cranny; be careful not to smear bits of filling. Sprinkle each rugelach generously with cinnamon sugar topping. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the rugelach are light golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!