Cookie Monster: Cranberry Orange Rugelach
There are certain foods which I've decided are just too good to only eat one or two days a year. Stuffing, pumpkin pie, and rugelach are at the top of this list.
Rugelach seemed the easiest to slip past the holiday radar. To help them assimilate into everyday life, I've dressed them in fall flavors. The filling is dried cranberries mixed with chopped walnuts, sugar, and a bit of orange zest for brightness. The dough is the same flaky, slightly tangy cream cheese dough as the original.
As anyone who has made rugelach knows, it's a rather sticky dough. That's why I highly recommend both chilling the dough before rolling it out and chilling the cookies before they're baked. Flouring your work surface is also key. You don't want to incorporate too much extra flour, but you also don't want to leave half your dough stuck on your board. Go little by little, and, if needed, a pastry scraper like this can help release stuck dough.
Patience is also key when rolling up the cookies. If you go too fast, you're likely to stretch the dough. That's when you end up with what I like to call Dumbo Ears—or floppy extra dough that hangs off the side the cookie. Go slowly, using both hands to lightly press the filling into the dough and keep the shape in line.
I'll be making these cookies all month long and you should too. If anyone asks, say you're practicing for the holidays.