Walnut Rugelach Cookies


Rugelach are little rolled cookies with a honey-walnut filling enrobed in a rich butter and cream cheese pastry.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces cold cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • confectioners' sugar
  • Filling:
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
  1. Add the flour and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to mix.
  2. Add the cubes of cream cheese and butter. Pulse 10 to 12 times until coarse crumbs form. In a small bowl whisk together the vanilla and yolk. Add to the flour mixture and run the processor continuously until the dough starts to clump together and form large curdlike pieces.
  3. Lightly dust the counter or a cutting board with flour and gather the pieces into a ball. Divide into four portions and flatten each into 1-inch thick disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate the dough at least 2 hours orup to 3 days (can be frozen for up to 3 months - thaw in the refrigerator before using).
  4. Make the filling: In a food processor pulse the walnuts 25 - 30 times until you have tiny crumbs. Combine the ground nuts in a bowl with the butter, honey, sugar and vanilla.
  5. Line a large baking sheet (or 2) with parchment paper.
  6. Roll out the dough: Sprinkle your work surface generously with powdered sugar. Sprinkle the surface of the dough and the rolling pin with more powdered sugar. Roll the dough from the center out into a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Don't worry if a few cracks form near the edges. Use more powdered sugar as needed to prevent sticking.
  7. Divide the filling into 4 equal portions. Spread 1/4 of the filling in a thin layer evenly over the surface of the dough from edge to edge. Press the filling gently into the dough.
  8. Use a pastry cutter or pizza slicer to cut the the dough into 16 wedges like a pizza. Beginning at the wide end roll up each wedge and place on the baking sheet with the small tip tucked underneath.
  9. Refrigerate cookies on the baking sheet, 20 - 30 minutes. Meanwhile work on the remaining batches.
  10. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the cookies one tray at a time until golden-brown about 18 - 22 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet, 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
  11. Repeat until all the cookies are baked.

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