Vegan Rugelah [V, GF Option]

Vegan rugelah with homemade cashew cream cheese from The Spoon + Shovel

This is one of the few recipes I have that I can trace back to the “old country,” Czechoslovakia (now known as the Czech Republic and Slovakia). These rugelah were THE Christmas cookie for my grandmother (Mom’s mom), and I would spend at least one Sunday every December in her little kitchen in Middleburg Heights helping her assemble them. She would always fret over the bigger apricot pieces in the preserve and any nut pieces that required further grinding. It was serious business. Getting this recipe just right was definitely the feather in my cap I was looking for this holiday (baking) season. Enjoy, and happy holidays!

1 C. (8 oz.) vegan cream cheese; I used this recipe to make my own
2 C. flour (gf options here)
½ C. coconut oil
½ C. dairy-free butter
2 T. sugar
1 C. walnuts, very finely chopped or processed
½ C. sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon
Apricot preserve (peach jam works too)

Prep time: 1 hour 30 min
Cook time: 20-30 min
Yield: 64 cookies

-Soften cream cheese and butter on the counter.
-Combine cream cheese and butter, then add sugar and flour.
-Divide into 4 equal pieces; I take a large knife and cut it vertically down the middle, then again horizontally.
-Roll each between floured wax paper into a 10-12” circle. Make sure to not let the dough stick to the paper. Refrigerate for 1 hr.
-Preheat the oven to 375 F.
-Chop the walnuts as finely as you can, then combine with the sugar and cinnamon.
-Remove one of the prepared dough portions from the fridge and peel the wax paper from one side then the other.
-Spread a thin layer of preserve over the dough, leaving a ¼” edge clean. 
-Spread ¼ of the filling evenly on top of the preserve.
-Cut dough vertically, then horizontally, so the dough is quartered, then quarter each section so you have 18 slices.
-Roll each slice from end to tip. Place tip-down on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.
-Bake for 10-12 min. or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a rack.

Vegan rugelah with homemade cashew cream cheese from The Spoon + Shovel