RAGALACH


1 bar butter, softened
1 bar margarine, softened
6 ounces cream cheese
2 cups flour
1 / 3 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1 / 2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Cream butter and margarine with cream cheese in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in flour and mix well. Shape into a ball and refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours.
2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Mix together brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon. Divide pastry into 4 equal size balls and the divide each ball into another 4 balls each, ending up with 16 balls of dough.
Flatten each ball slightly with your hand and then roll it out into a 6-inch circle. The circle doesn’t have to be perfect. Cut each circle into four pieces, place about
1 / 2 to 1 teaspoon of nut filling onto each piece of dough, towards the wide side of the wedge. Then roll the pastry over the filling toward the point.
4. Place on an un-greased baking sheet and bake for 12 to 18 minutes or until golden
brown. Cool on wire rack and serve very fresh. When completely cool, sprinkle with
a little powdered sugar before serving.
5. Enjoy – Rugalach or Ragalach, either way you say it…..it’s delicious!

Ragalach is a pastry. Ragalach is a cookie. I have a hard time with that. Mostly, it is considered a pastry but to me, it tastes more like a cookie. Ragalach comes in many flavors, such as chocolate, apricot, poppy and cinnamon nut fillings. This is a very ethnic pastry, and I believe it is Hungarian. These pastries are very popular in the Jewish household. I am employed at a Jewish school, and we have many different desserts and treats available to us, but the Ragalach is definitely a standard, similar to chocolate chip cookies in the American home and biscotti in an Italian home.

The Ragalach pastry is made with cream cheese. Many of my co-workers talk about their grandmother’s baking expertise with Ragalach. In our present time, all cultures baking from scratch is a dying art. Very rarely does anyone at my workplace bake. I do bake, but I cannot bring my baked goods to work to share with my co-workers because I do not use kosher products, and I work in a kosher environment. I respect that, but I still have this urge to feed people. When there is a will there is a way.

I learned how to find the kosher label so I would be able to bring food to work. On my desk is a candy jar filled with Hershey brand candies. Most of Hershey’s candies are kosher. Pretzels are always available for those who need something to munch on other then candy. I buy the Snyder’s pretzels because they are kosher, and pretzels are not as fattening as potato chips. Then there are those of us, like me, who have a sweet tooth and want to sink their teeth into something like a cookie or a piece of crumb cake once in a while. For us, I buy Entenmanns’s cakes, donuts and cookies for those special occasions.

The symbol for a kosher product on a package is the letter “u” in a circle. The “u” in that circle represents the Union of Orthodox Rabbis which supervises the preparation of these foods that carry this symbol. These symbols appear on the front or back of a package in a corner or beside the list of ingredients. I never knew these symbols existed until I shopped for kosher food, and so many products have that kosher symbol. In the beginning, I would check with my boss, the Rabbi, to determine if a product was kosher or not. He knows I would never intentionally bring in food that was not kosher to share with others. Meat and dairy products cannot mix together in the kosher world. The kosher symbol tells me that a product does not include animal fat in its preparation. Since I am not a huge fan of animal fat, this is great with me.

They say you learn something new every day and here it is!

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