Rugalach are classic cookies in the Jewish culinary repertoire. The surprise ingredient in this version is cottage cheese. The dough is just as tender and rich as when you use cream cheese.
- ⅔ cup small-curd cottage cheese
- ⅔ cup plus 3 Tablespoons stick margarine, room temperature
- 1⅓ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (about 2 ounces)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine the cottage cheese and 2/3 cup margarine and mix until combine. Add in the flour and knead until dough is smooth, about 1 minute. Do not over mix.
- Divide the dough into 2 balls. Flatten the balls into disks. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and freeze until the dough is firm enough to roll, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor combine the brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, vanilla and 3 Tablespoons margarine. Process until the mixture a smooth paste forms.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out 1 dough disc to 10-inch circle. Spread half of brown sugar mixture evenly over the disc. Cut the disc into 16 wedges.
- Starting at the curved edge and rolling toward the point, roll up the wedges. Bend ends in, forming crescents. Place on ungreased baking sheet (you can use parchment paper) point side down. Repeat rolling, filling and shaping with remaining dough disk.
- In a small bowl combine the egg and milk and beat to blend. Brush the milk glaze over the crescents.
- Bake until cooked through and light brown, about 25 minutes making sure to reverse the baking sheets after 10 minutes, front to back and top to bottom, to ensure even browning.
- Transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool immediately.
The rugelach can be made ahead and stored in airtight containers at room temperature or frozen for several weeks.