Who needs another rugelach recipe?
I thought I didn’t.
We wanted to make rugelach for Dose Market and so I researched recipes looking for the best one. Maybe there was some technique out there that would push mine over the top—I didn’t find much. Then, one lazy Sunday afternoon, I was watching an old episode of Baking with Julia. It featured Nancy Silverton. She wasn’t making rugelach, but I loved what she was wearing. She looked like a french baker from the 1930’s via Berkeley in the 1970s. I was thinking to myself that I had never thought of Nancy Silverton as a style icon, but that (at least in the late 90’s, I haven’t seen her recently) she was pretty rad. While thinking about that, I picked up my copy of the Baking With Julia book and opened it to this recipe.
Kismet! Nancy Silverton’s funky head scarf had lead me to Dorie Greenspan writing about Lauren Groveman’s rugelach. Match made in heaven. They sounded pretty amazing and so I gave them a whirl. They were fantastic and the basis for what became our Dose rugelach. I know, I know, it is sort of another swirl. I should have spaced this further from the fig and date swirls. But! The two cookies could not be more different. Where the others are focused and almost sophisticated, these are a wild, rustic mess of flavors. They are fantastically delicious and worth all of the work. I think everyone will find something about this recipe to incorporate into their own rugelach. And if you don’t have a rugelach recipe—you’re welcome.
Read through the entire recipe first! There are a lot of steps, but none of them difficult.
Rugelach (adapted from Lauren Groveman via Baking with Julia)
- 3 sticks (12 Ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
Beat the butter, cream cheese, and the salt together until smooth in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mixing on medium-low, gradually add the sugar and beat until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, mixing just until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a ball, divide in half, and press each half into a rough rectangle. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or up to 2 days.
The Filling and Topping
- 2 cups granulated sugar (divided)
- 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 3 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon (divided)
- 3 1/2 cups coarsely chopped assorted toasted nuts (I used hazelnuts, pecans and almonds)
- 2 cups prune lekvar (homemade (see below) or store bought)
- 2 cups assorted dried fruits (I used dates, cherries and apricots) diced if large
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cream or milk, for egg wash
Whisk together 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Put the remaining 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon, a pinch of salt and 1 1/2 cups of the assorted nuts into a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely chopped. Turn into a bowl and set aside for topping the rugelach.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Working with one piece of the chilled dough at a time, place it on a lightly floured work surface and roll the dough into a 14 x 10-inch rectangle, 1/4-inch thick. Don’t roll thinner, because there is a lot of filling that needs to be supported. Trim the edges of the dough and cut the rectangle in half lengthwise so you have two 14 x 5-inch rectangles; leave the two halves in place.
Spread each half generously with one quarter of the prune lekvar. Sprinkle with one quarter of the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture, pressing it lightly with your fingers. Finish by strewing 1/2 cup of the remaining nuts and 1/2 cup of the dried fruit over each dough half. Starting with a long edge of the dough, roll up each rectangle jelly-roll style, tucking in any fruits of nuts that fall out.
Transfer the rolls to the paper-lined baking sheet and roll and fill the remaining dough. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 4 hours or preferably overnight. I put mine in the freezer for a few hours to make them easier to cut.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with parchment. Push the egg wash through a sieve and reserve.
Working with one roll of dough at a time, brush the roll all over with the egg wash. Using a serrated knife and sawing motion, slice the roll into pieces that are 1 1/2 inches wide. Toss each slice in the cinnamon-sugar-nut mixture to coat generously (you can press the topping in with your fingers to help it stick). Transfer the rugelach to the prepared baking sheets, cut side down, leaving an inch or so between each pastry. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and caramelized. Cool the pastries on pans for a few minutes, then release them from the parchment by running a small thin spatula under each one. Cool to room temperature on a rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.
These will keep for a week in an airtight container.
- 3 cups (packed) pitted prunes
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup very finely chopped walnuts
Put the prunes in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the prunes are very soft, about 10 minutes; drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the liquid. Place the prunes and liquid, lemon juice and sugar in a food processor and process until pureed. Scrape the prune butter into a bowl and stir in the walnuts.
The prune butter will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
Makes 2 cups.
Previously, on THE 12 DAYS OF COOKIES
Day 1: Maple Pecan Cookies
Day 2: Fig and Date Swirls
Day 3: Evergreen Shortbread