2020 Cookie Contest Entries

Rugalach (Cinnamon Nut Crescents)


1 cup butter, softened
1 8-0z. package cream cheese, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cut butter, melted, divided in half
1/2 to 1 cup finely chopped walnuts


Using a large mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese and softened butter
In a separate bowl, mix the flour and salt together
Gradually add the flour/salt mixture to the cheese/butter mixture until all the flour is well incorporated and the dough is smooth
Divide the dough into 4 balls and wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour – or until easy to handle.

Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and set aside
Preheat over to 350°

1) Take one dough ball out of the fridge and roll into a 12-in. circle between two pieces of wax paper (some flour can be used to prevent excessive sticking)
2) After rolling, remove the top sheet of wax paper
3) Brush the circle with 1 TBSP. of butter, then sprinkle with a 3 TBSP. of the cinnamon/sugar mix
4) Sprinkle a quarter of the nuts over the cinnamon/sugar
5) Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the circle into 12 equal wedges
starting with the outer edge of one of the wedges, gently roll up the wedge, pulling a little on the corners to form a “c” shaped crescent by the time you’re done rolling.
6) Tuck the last little point under the crescent, if possible
7) Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet – bake for 24-26 minutes until golden brown (the dough is like pie dough so brown is good!)
8) Remove cookies to a wire rack, then brush them with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon/sugar mix.

Repeat steps 1 thru 8 with the other 3 dough balls – one at a time so the others stay cold until ready to use. These cookies do not require refrigeration and will stay fresh for at least a couple of weeks if stored in a metal cookie tin lined with wax paper.

Kristina Lopez
Corn Belt Energy Corporation

Nothing brings the warmth, smells and cheer of the holidays into our home more than baking butter, cinnamon and nuts! These cookies are relatively easy to make once you get the hang of the rolling and they cannot be beat for their presence in a cookie tin or dessert platter.

My best friend and I have an epic 2-day-long cookie bake session together every holiday season where we bake 8-10 different kinds of cookies, usually totalling over 1,000 cookies altogether. We typically make 4 batches of the Rugalach – almost 200! We play music and dance around the kitchen as we produce tray after tray of holiday yumminess until the kitchen counters are overflowing with an array of cookies that would delight Santa Claus and all his elves – the house smells of butter and spices that lasts for days after the cookie-bake is over.

We use our cookies as gifts for friends, family and other people who we want to recognize or thank throughout the year. These cookies are our favorite variety to share because they embody our humble labor of love. Every bite of the tender, buttery crust and cinnamony sugar and nut filling reminds us of happy holidays from the past and gives us a lovely moment to stop and enjoy the simple pleasure of eating a homemade cookie – made with love.