This is, by far, the finest pastry in my mother’s recipe book—my Great Aunt Gert’s yeast cookie, which is a traditional rugelach. Some rugelach recipes use cream cheese while others use sour cream and yeast; this one uses them all. They are exquisitely delicate with a meringue filling that melts in your mouth.
For the dough
- ½ lb. butter (2 sticks)
- 2/3 of an 8 oz package
of cream cheese
- 3 packages of yeast (6¾ tsp.)
- 3 egg yolks, beaten
- ½ c. sour cream
- 4 c. of flour (or a bit less)
- confectioners sugar
For the meringue filling
- 3 egg whites
- 1 c. sugar
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- for the filling topping
- chopped walnuts (or pecans), about 1 c.
- raisins, about 1 c.
- Blend together butter, cream cheese and yeast.
- Mix in egg yolks and sour cream, then flour, a little at a time, until the dough is quite stiff and not too sticky. Shape into a ball and set aside.
- To make the filling: beat the egg whites until stiff, then slowly mix in the sugar and cinnamon.
- To assemble (see photos): cut the dough into 10 equal portions. Make a ball out of each and, on a board dusted with confectioners sugar, roll out into a 9˝ circle. Spread a portion (one-tenth) of the filling over the circle of dough. Sprinkle with nuts. Using a pizza slicer, or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 8–10 wedges. Place 3 or 4 raisins on each wedge. Roll up, starting from the outside of the circle. Cover and let rise for 30 mins.
- Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375° until golden brown (about 20–25 mins).