Jan's famous rugelach

Time 1 hour
Yields Makes 36 standard or 48 smaller cookies
Jan's famous rugelach
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

In a medium bowl, beat together the cottage cheese and softened 1 cup butter until well-blended. Slowly beat in the flour, mixing until the dough comes together and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Divide the dough into thirds and form each portion into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic or wax paper, and chill for at least 1 hour.


Heat the oven to 375 degrees, and line cookie or baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly spray the parchment with cooking spray.


Roll out the dough, 1 disk at a time. Sprinkle the work surface generously with flour. Roll the dough from the center out into a circle approximately one-eighth inch thick; each circle will be about the size of a dinner plate. Perfect circles can be achieved by trimming edges of the dough with a dinner plate placed on top.


Brush a thin layer of melted butter over the dough, using a pastry brush. Make sure the butter goes right up to the edge of the dough.


Top the dough with the chocolate chips, sprinkling one-third of the chips evenly over the circle. Gently press the chips down on the dough so they stick.


In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar with the nuts. Sprinkle one-third of the sugar-nut mixture over the dough, then sprinkle over one-third of the cinnamon sugar. Gently press the toppings down onto the dough.


Slice and roll the cookies: Slice the dough into 12 to 16 wedges, like a pizza, using a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Roll up each wedge, beginning at the wide outer edge and moving inward. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure the dough tip is tucked underneath.


Refrigerate cookies on the baking sheet for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare remaining batches.


Bake the first tray of cookies until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack. Bake the remaining cookies, one sheet at a time.


The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week.

The disks of dough can be frozen for up to three months; thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using. The shaped cookies can also be frozen for up to three months. Arrange cookies on a baking sheet, making sure they do not touch, and freeze until solid. Transfer to a freezer container for long-term storage. Cookies can be baked straight from the freezer and may need an extra few minutes to bake.