Holiday Baking Recipes

Rugelach is a Jewish pastry of Ashkenazic origin. It is very popular in Israel, and a popular treat among American Jews. The name Rugelach is Yiddish, the Jewish language of eastern Europe. The translation would be “little twists,” a reference to the shape of this cookie.


Praline Rugelach

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softenedpraline-rugelach
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons cane syrup (Maple syrup may be substituted)
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups finely chopped toasted pecans
Parchment Paper
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Beat cream cheese, softened butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1/2 tsp. salt at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer 2 to 3 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add flour, beating until smooth. Divide dough into 4 equal portions; flatten each into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 2 hours.

Stir together melted butter, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla, and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt.
Unwrap 1 dough disk, and roll into a 10-inch circle (about 1/4 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Spread about 3 1/2 Tbsp. butter mixture in a thin layer on dough circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges. Sprinkle 1/2 cup pecans over butter mixture, pressing to adhere. Cut circle into 12 wedges, and roll up wedges, starting at wide end. Place, point sides down, on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Chill 20 minutes to keep the filling from melting out of the dough. Repeat procedure with remaining dough, butter mixture, and pecans.
Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together egg and 1 Tbsp. water. Brush each roll with egg mixture. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown, switching baking sheets halfway through. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes; transfer to wire racks, and cool. Makes 4 dozen.

Sources: Southern Living Magazine ( and Wikipedia (

Rolled Sugar Cookiessugarcookies2_6885-copy




2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
11 tablespoons butter softened
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir together flour, baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Beat butter for 30 seconds; add
sugar and beat till fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well. Add dry ingredients to beaten mixture, beating till well combined. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. Working with ½ of the dough at a time, on a lightly floured surface roll to ⅛-inch thickness. The thinner the better. Cut into desired shapes. Sprinkle with colored sugar or nonpareils. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375°F oven for 8 minutes or till slightly brown on edges. Makes 36 to 48 cookies.

Benne Wafers

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butterkwanzaa-benne-wafers
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup toasted sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking soda, and egg.
Add the flour and mix until smooth. Stir in the sesame seeds.
Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets.
Bake the wafers for 8 to 9 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.
Remove them from the oven, allow them to cool for 1 minute on the pan, then transfer the wafers to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in a closed container for up to a week. Freeze for up to a month. Makes 3 dozen 3” wafers.


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