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Rugulach (also known as "Schnecken")

Dough:
1 (8 oz) package Philadelphia Cream Cheese (the real thing, with fat)
2 sticks (1/2 lb) sweet salted butter (also the real thing....remember, this is a treat!)
2 cups pre-sifted flour

Filling:
White sugar
Cinnamon
Finely chopped walnuts
Sweet shredded cocoanut
Finely diced marashino cherries

Let cream cheese and butter stand in mixing bowl until they room temperature (or can be easily blended). Knead and squeeze together with your hand until evenly blended. 

Add 2 cups of pre-sifted flour, a little at a time, stirring with fingers and kneading (lightly) until all flour is absorbed and a ball can be formed. Chill in refrigerator or freeze for later use. (Note: this is a good way to save left-over butter and cream cheese.)

This amount of dough will make about 24 large rugulach or one 9-10" double pie crust. 

It is also a great dough for apple strudel, deep dish fruit pies, hamantaschen and other goodies that have "fillings."

Of course, the recipe can be doubled - which is what I did - or halved, depending on how much you want to bake. (Small left-over pieces are good to bake as cookies, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon!)

Remove dough from refrigerator when it can be easily rolled out (not too cold and hard...or, if it has hardened, let stand unrefrigerated until it feels ready).

Take a piece of the dough and roll it out on a floured board with a floured rolling pin, rolling lightly from the center in all directions to the edges to stretch it into a circle... 1/8-1/4 inch thick...(looks like a pancake). It is OK to flip the dough in the flour during the rolling out process.

Note: for smaller rugulach, use about 1/4 of the ball; for larger pieces, like the ones at the bris, use about 1/2 the ball......or whatever fits on your board.

Sprinkle whatever filling ingredients you like all over the rolled-out circle. I used - in this order - white sugar, cinnamon, finely chopped (or hammered) walnuts, sweet shredded cocoanut (packaged) and finely diced maraschino cherries. With a sharp floured knife, slice the sprinkled circle into halves, then quarters. Working with one quarter at a time, slice each into 3 pieces (like a pizza). Then roll up each "slice" working from the wide outside end to the center point. Try to keep as much of the filling as possible inside the dough as you are rolling. Tuck the point underneath each finished roll and shape/pinch the ends into a slight curve to hold the filling inside. Place on teflon or floured cookie sheet, well-spaced....2 long rows, about 5 or 6 to a row.  Brush each one lightly with slightly beaten egg (thinned with a little water) to give it a sheen.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes, or until toasty done (watch carefully to get in synch with your particular oven). Yes, you can bake 2 trays at a time.


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