Leave butter and cream cheese in a warm place for a couple of hours to soften. They have to be soft and cannot be used straight out of the fridge.
Pre-heat oven to 180 deg Celsius.
Place soft butter in a large mixing bowl. Add a block of cream cheese. Use block cream cheese, not cream cheese in a tub. Set the beater to a medium speed and beat the butter and cream cheese till it’s combined and light and fluffy.
Add 2 large egg yolks, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1/2 cup of caster sugar, a pinch of salt and 2.5 cups of plain flour. Mix all the ingredients together in the mixer on medium speed. The dough should come together.
While the dough is being mixed, chop 1/2 cup of walnuts into fine pieces. Set aside.
When the dough is ready to be used, scatter some flour on the table or counter top. Knead the dough and gently form into a large block. Add more flour if dough is too sticky.
The dough should be a nice elastic block. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Set 3 pieces of dough aside. Cover with a slightly damp cloth to prevent them from drying out. Roll the 4th piece of dough into a nice ball.
Using a floured rolling pin, roll out that ball of dough into a flat circle. The dough should be thin, about 2 to 3mm thick. Cut the rolled dough into 8 pieces.
Prepare some fruit preserves. I used a good jar of orange marmalade with pieces of orange rind in it. If the preserves is thick and difficult to spread, whisk it with a fork for a minute first.
Place one teaspoon of preserves on the long end of each triangular piece of dough. Lightly spread it towards the other end, keeping most of the preserves on the long end. Scatter some chopped walnuts on the preserves at the long end.
To roll the rugelach, tuck in the sides of the triangle slightly to hold the preserves and nuts in. Roll towards the 3rd corner of the triangle.
Repeat for all the blocks of dough till the rugelachs are prepared.
Place all the prepared rugelachs on a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray.
Add 1/4 cup of caster sugar and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to a small bowl. Mix well to combine.
Melt 50g of butter. Gently brush each rugelach with melted butter.
Sprinkle lots of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on to each rugelach. You can also roll the rugelachs in the mixture.
Place the rugelachs in a pre-heated oven and bake at 180 deg Celsius for about 35 minutes or till they are a dark golden brown.
Leave the rugelachs to cool before storing them.