Before you roll your rugelach, make sure you have your dough and filling ingredients ready; bench flour to ensure the dough doesn't stick; a pastry cloth to roll the dough on; a rolling pin; and a smooth flat surface on which to roll.
For her "original" rugelach, Joanna uses cinnamon sugar, raisins, and walnuts together for the filling.
Joanna chops the walnuts for her filling quite finely. Placing all your filling ingredients in small bowls near your workplace ensures everything is ready to go when you need it.
Melted butter is key when filling rugelach; it helps "glue" the cinnamon sugar, raisins, and walnuts to the dough.
Joanna uses a 8-inch round pie dough ring when rolling out her dough to ensure she gets a perfectly round circle every time. Make sure your dough has had time to soften, after removing it from the refrigerator, before rolling, about 10 minutes.
Make sure to sprinkle flour on both sides of your dough before you begin rolling, so that the dough doesn't stick.
As you roll, keep flipping and turning your dough, lifting it off the pastry cloth every other roll, so that it doesn't stick — and to ensure your dough is flat and round.
Make sure to use even pressure between both hands. Roll the dough to about 1/4-1/8 inch thickness.
The rugelach dough is very forgiving; if you rip or crack the dough, just gently press it back together, or patch it, and keep rolling.
Keep rolling the dough to make a perfect circle, about 10-12 inches in diameter.
Once your dough is rolled to size, you're ready to spread it with the filling.
First apply the melted butter with a brush in a thin layer that coats the entire disc of dough. Make sure fully coat the dough, going all the way to the edges.
Next, sprinkle cinnamon sugar all over the buttered surface, making sure to fully cover the dough with sugar so you can't see the dough anymore.
After adding the cinnamon sugar, sprinkle raisins all over the dough.
Adding finely chopped walnuts on top is the last step.
With your rolling pin, gently roll the topping into the dough so that it adheres well, and won't fall off when rolling the rugelach.
Using a pizza cutter, then roll your circle of dough first into quarters, then each quarter in half to create eighths, then again to create 16 little "slices."
Then, starting at the outer edge of the circle, roll each wedge of dough into a rugelach. Place each piece on a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet, taking care that the pointy end of each rugelach is securely tucked underneath.
When placing rugelachs on the baking sheet, make sure to allow for space between each.
To finish, brush each rolled rugelach with an egg wash before baking.
Then, lightly sprinkle on more cinnamon sugar on top of the egg washed rugelach.
The rugelach are then ready to bake in the oven.
Rugelach are best eaten fresh out of the oven, while still warm. You can also cool them, and freeze them in an air-tight container for up to one month. Let them sit at room temperature before serving.
Clockwise, from left: Jam and Chocolate; The Original; Peanut Butter and Jelly.