Cookies in the Mail

... because I love mail.

....even when it is just e-mail.  For a few years now I've signed up for the 12 days of cookies on the Food Network website.  Every holiday season the Food Network sends me a new cookie recipe for 12 days before Christmas "reinvented" or "touched up" by one of the Food Network celebrity chefs.  While most of them are usually cookies that I would not make or have made before, this year Ina Garten (I love the Barefoot Contessa) sent out Rugelach!  I've always loved them and have never thought to make then until now!

Here are what Ina's cookies looked like in the email I got:
(photo thanks to the Food Network

Let's see if mine turn out the same.


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (Yeah.... I was surprised there was cream cheese in them too!)
  • 1/2-pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 9 tablespoons
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves, pureed in a food processor
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash


Add the cheese and butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until light.  
( I used a wooden spoon...seriously. This stuff is so soft my grandmother could stir it)  

Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the salt, and vanilla. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a ball.
NOTE: my dough was REALLY wet. I don't know if I did something wrong or if this is how it was supposed to be.  Just in case yours turns out this way..no need to panic...the cookies will turn out just fine :)

Cut the ball in quarters, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make the filling, combine 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the raisins, and walnuts.

On a well-floured board, (they aren't kidding here.  This dough is STICKY.  I rolled it out several times only to realize there was NO WAY it was coming off the counter.  FLOUR FLOUR FLOUR) roll each ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread the dough with 2 tablespoons apricot preserves and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the filling. Press the filling lightly into the dough. Cut the circles into 12 equal wedges-cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into thirds.

Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Arrange the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet(s) lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes.(Chilling will help take the sticky off and make them easier to handle)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven to a wire rack and let cool. Arrange on a large platter and serve.

 Rolling them as it turns out was pretty hard.  It was very sticky and the raisin and walnut filling would fall out sometimes.  Next time I might chop everything up more finely.
I wouldn't call my cookies pretty but they tasted great :)

Bon Appetit!

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