The single most frequently asked (possibly rhetorical but I’ve never let that stop me before) question in regards to the sweet recipes on this site is “How do you not eat all of these?” And I finally have an answer: They’re not rugelach. I love chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, I think snickerdoodles are wildly underrated, but rugelach — those impossibly flaky Central European crescent cookies — are the single item in the category of foods that are just not allowed to be here ever, because there’s something about the glorious harmony of it all (the salty cheese, the tart jam, the cinnamon aroma, the crunch, and if you love your people, the chocolate, gaaah) that it will not be safe with me. Or I will not be safe with it. Which is unfortunate, because I have an avalanche of rugelach in my apartment right now.
Previously, the only things that prohibited me from an all-rugelach diet were the fact that: they are never as good from a bakery, even a great one*, as they are homemade and that they’re pretty tedious to make. Butter and cream cheese must be softened, which takes forever in the winter. The dough has to be beaten with a mixer, then chilled, then rolled out, one-quarter at a time, then spread with jam and nuts and dried fruit and, because you love your friends, chocolate and then cut into 16 wedges and each rolled individually then arranged on a baking sheet, brushed with egg or cream wash, sprinkled with more sugar, baked and cooled then repeated three more times with the remaining dough and even I don’t love them enough to do that more than once a year.