These are worth the work. You have to double this recipe, because if you don't you will not be able to sample them. This recipe is a Jewish favorite, but you do not have to be Jewish to love them. These are a typical recipe for the Jewish holiday of Chanukah, my non Jewish friends have made them as one of their Christmas cookies!!
To make Pastry: In a large bowl, combine the butter & the cream cheese.
Using the electric mixer, set on high speed, beat until smooth.
Mix in the salt. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour & mix just until dough forms.
Turn dough out onto floured work surface. Using floured hands, form the dough into a log. Cut into 4 equal pieces. Flatten each piece into a disk & wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
PREHEAT oven to 375.
TO MAKE FILLING & ASSEMBLE RUGELACH:
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Remove dough disks from the refrigerator. Unwrap the dough disks & let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes to soften slightly.
Meanwhile in small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar & ground cinnamon.
Flour one dough disk & place between two sheets of waxed paper. With a rolling pin, roll out into a round 10 inches in diameter & 1/8 inch thick.
Remove the top sheet & brush the dough with the melted butter, then sprinkle with 3 tbsp. of the sugar mixture. Top with about 1/3 cup of the finely ground walnuts (pressing mixture into the dough to help it adhere to the dough).
Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife cut the round into 12 wedges. Starting at the wide end roll up each wedge, jelly-roll style. transfer to prepared baking sheet, arranging the cookies point side down & spacing them at least one inch apart.
In a small bowl, mix together the granulated sugar & ground cinnamon.
Using a pastry brush, brush the cookies with the egg white/water egg wash, then sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough, filling & topping.
Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Makes about 4 dozen rugelach cookies.