This cookie is a combination of rugelah and ma’amoul. I used a recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s book Rose’sChristmas Cookies and given it a Lebanese touch by stuffing it with a traditional dried fig jam. The richness of cream cheese in the dough and fig jam and walnut in the filling create an almost decadent cookie!
Rolling the cookie dough like a jelly roll simplified the execution. Once the jelly roll is done, slip it in the freezer for 15 minutes and then cut into thin slices
Fig jam cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
2 cups all-purpose flour more, as needed
8 ounces cream cheese
12 tbsp butter
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 jar fig jam 8 ounces or so
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans or almonds
1 tbsp ground anise
3 tbsp milk
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds toast, in a skillet or oven, dry
1. Soften the cream cheese and butter by letting them sit at room temperature for a couple hours. Mix the cream cheese and butter till creamy and well-combined. Add salt and sugar to the all-purpose flour. Add to the butter mixture and when a dough forms, gather and place in a plastic bag and in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
2. Empty the content of the jar of fig jam into a food processor. Chop so that it becomes pasty and more manageable. Remove the rugelah dough from the fridge. Divide it in halves. Spread each on a counter adding more flour to prevent sticking. Form 2 large rectangles about 1/8 in in thickness, no more. Spread the fig jam on the dough, then sprinkle the walnuts and a tablespoon of anise powder. Roll the 2 rectangles and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Freeze them for 15 minutes.
3. Brush some milk on the dough and sprinkle sesame seeds on it. Cut the dough roll thinly with a serrated knife. Bake in a 350F oven until golden and crispy The cookies will keep very well for about 5 days in an hermetic jar.
The filling can be versatile and the fig jam substituted for apricot, or raspberry or any other jam.
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