TWINSBURG — The sweet and savory smell of cookie dough wafted through one of the classrooms at the Twinsburg Senior Center Dec. 10, as Isabel Madge of Mayfield Heights, and Leslie Knapp of Twinsburg demonstrated how to make rugelach cookies.

Tara Berardinelli from Heartland in Twinsburg said that she started the program, Grandma's Kitchen, and it has proven popular.

"We've been doing this for two years now," Berardinelli said. "Seniors from the community bring in their recipes and we try it. We've had salads, sweets, hummus. It's typically a recipe of something their family loves."

Berardinelli said that the demonstrations are typically offered every other month.

The December workshop also provided copies of the Rugelach recipie, which seemed popular with the dozen guests in attendance. This style of cookie consists of thinly-rolled dough with a fruit preserve spread and walnuts wrapped up within. The particular recipe included cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, flour, ground cinnamon, finely chopped walnuts, and apricot preserves.

However, Knapp said the recipe can be customized.

"Instead of vanilla extract, you can use lemon, strawberry, or almond," Knapp said. "Just make sure there are no nut allergies if you use almond."

Other spreadable fruit preserves and other types of nuts also could be used, Knapp added.

Already cooked rugelach was on hand for guests to try; the resulting recipe, which yields about four dozen cookies, results in a pastry that is rich, mildly sweet, buttery, and even a bit savory.

Berardinelli said that Madge and Knapp "have gone out of their way to try new things," and have been featured before.

Although the program is called Grandma's Kitchen, men have also done cooking demonstrations, Berardinelli said.

The Twinsburg Senior Center, which is at 10260 Ravenna Road, behind R.B. Chamberlin Middle School, is open to Twinsburg residents 55 and older. For details on this and other classes, call 330-963-8722, or visit online.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423,, or @AprilKHelms_RPC