While testing the recipes for this book, I could always tell when I really liked one by my total inability to stop eating it. These little monsters wouldn’t stop beckoning me from the kitchen, coercing me back time and again with their flaky pastry and sweet apricot and raisin filling. Traditionally Jewish, rugelach can be stuffed with pretty much anything. I chose apricot jam and Thompson raisins, but you can use chopped walnuts, pistachios, mini chocolate chips, even cake or cookie crumbs left over from your baking adventures. There are about 1001 variations online, so use your little fingers to Google up your own crazy concoction. Beteavon! (That’s Hebrew for bon appétit which is French for “hands off my treat!”)
- Yield: 18 to 24 cookies
- In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Add the sugar, vanilla, xanthan gum, and salt, mixing thoroughly to combine. Slowly sift in the flour and cinnamon, mixing well. You can also use your hands to mix the dough, but if you do, start with a fork first, using your hands when the crumbs start to come together.
- Divide the dough into three portions and shape each into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a floured work surface, roll out one disc of dough to form a large circle about ? inch thick.
- Using a butter knife, cut the circle into 6 or 8 triangular wedges (like slicing a pie), depending on the desired cookie size.
- Spread about 2½ tablespoons jam over the top, all the way to the edges. Sprinkle ¼ cup raisins over top. Starting from the wide edge of each triangle, roll the dough toward the centre, forming a croissant-shaped roll. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with remaining dough wedges, placing about ½ inch apart. Repeat process with the remaining two discs of dough.
- Bake for 20 minutes for smaller cookies (8 slices per disc, or 24 cookies total), and 24 minutes for larger cookies (6 slices per disc, or 18 cookies total), or until the bottoms are a warm, golden colour (lift the cookies with a fork or spatula to check).