For many years now my husband and I have been hosting an annual celebration we call Cookiefest. It started with a small group of friends coming over and just making as many cookies as possible in one night. Eventually, it evolved into an event where everyone brings cookies that they’ve made and they are pitted against the others in various categories such as “Most Festive”, “Most Exotic”, “Best Tasting” & “Best Looking” and then everyone gets to take home a lot of cookies.
This is a pretty informal event and mostly just an excuse to get together and eat cookies. Still, some take it pretty seriously. Here are a handful of the cookies from the party and a recipe for the ones my husband made, Fig & Walnut Rugelach.
- ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1½ cups fresh breadcrumbs from soft white bread (save ½ cup for prune filling)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ½ cup Trader Joe's Fig Butter
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Mix butter, cream cheese, and salt in a large bowl with hands until crumbly. Add flour, and mix until just combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, and divide in half. Shape each half into a disk; wrap each disk in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours or up to overnight.
- Stir together breadcrumbs and ½ cup sugar in a small bowl; set aside. Stir together remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon in another small bowl; set aside.
- To make filling: Combine fig butter and walnuts.
- Roll 1 disk to ⅛ inch thick. Cut out a 12-inch circle. Brush beaten egg in a 1-inch border around circle. Put half the fig & walnut filling in center, and spread out to beaten egg border. Sprinkle ½ cup breadcrumb mixture over filling. Cut circle into 16 wedges. Starting at outside edge of each wedge, roll up into a crescent shape. Space 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining disk and filling. Refrigerate rugelach until cold, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake rugelach until golden brown and cooked through, about 40 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks. Rugelach can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.