Ragalach or rugalach? To make it more confusing, we have found ready made versions of this pastries in shops under the names ragelach and rugelach. Whatever the name, these pastries will always be a New Jersey thing to us. This recipe is a cream cheese version of the Jewish rugalach as prepared by New Jersey home cook of Italian ascent.
- Mix the butter, cream cheese and salt working on them until creamy. Mix in flour and blend into a soft dough. Form into 14 balls. Chill overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Mix nuts, sugar and cinnamon.
- Roll each ball into a 6-inch circle on lightly floured cloth. Cut each circle into quarters.
- Drop a rounded teaspoon of the nut mix onto each quarter and pinch the edges of the dough to form it into crescents.
- Place the crescents into an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes, until they turn light brown.
Chill the dough for a minimum 2 hours and 24 hours maximum.
Experiment with other fillings. Raisins give the finished pastry a very sweet taste. Hazelnuts, pecans or other nuts can be used, as poppy seeds, other dried fruits or fruit preserves.
The dough freezes well. Mix in the filling, form into a roll, wrap in cling film and freeze. When you need fresh ragalach, cut thick slices and bake - other option is to freeze the formed, filled crescents.
For those using metric system, 1 tablespoon ground to powder cinnamon is about 7-7 grams.