These raisin and walnut filled crescents, from Jane Wolfman's Bubbe Kate, her maternal grandmother, are made with a rich butter and cream cheese pastry. After making the pastry, divide it into pieces, roll each out to a round, and cut triangles. Then sprinkle with filling and roll each one up.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2-3 cups flour
1. In a food processor, work the butter and cream cheese until creamy. Add the eggs and salt. Pulse the mixture to blend them. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour and pulse a few times just until the dough starts to clump together. It should not form a ball.
2. Scrape the dough into a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup more flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour. (The dough will be soft; add only enough flour to make a workable dough.)
3. Gather the dough into a ball, press it into a disk and wrap in foil; chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon Flour (for rolling)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. If the dough is too firm, let it sit out until it is soft enough to roll.
2. In a bowl, combine the raisins, walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon.
3. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time (keep the remaining dough refrigerated), place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a 9-inch circle (about 1/2-inch thick) and brush lightly with melted butter.
4. Cut the round into quarters, then cut each quarter in half toform 8 wedges. Sprinkle the raisin mixture in a 1-inch band on the dough (If you sprinkle the mixture near the center or edges, it will be too messy to roll). Make sure each wedge has some raisins and nuts. Starting at the wide end of each wedge, roll it up tightly to the tip.
5. Place the pieces, tip sides down, on the baking sheet, spacing them 11/2 inches apart. Bend the ends of the rugelach toward each other to form crescents. Brush the tops lightly with butter. Clean the surface and continue rolling and shaping until all the rugelach are made. Use fresh parchment paper for each batch.
6. Bake them for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden. Carefully transfer to a rack to cool. Store the rugelach in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months. Adapted from Jane Wolfman