Day 4: Rugelach

Who needs another rugelach recipe?

I thought I didn’t.

I did.

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)

Pastry

  • 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)
  • salt
  • 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.

Prune Lekvar

  • 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.

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Previously, on THE 12 DAYS OF COOKIES

Day 1: Maple Pecan Cookies

Day 2: Fig and Date Swirls

Day 3: Evergreen Shortbread

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26 comments to “Day 4: Rugelach”

  1. I run the group Tuesdays with Dorie, we will be finishing Baking From My Home to Yours later this month after 4 years. We decided to keep the group going and will be taking on Baking with Julia next. So super stoked about it! This recipe looks amazing!

  2. These look gorgeous!

  3. Laurie! You guys are going to have so much fun. That book is incredible and everything I have made from it has been fantastic. So fun!

  4. Also, Laurie, are you going to attempt the wedding cake?!?!

  5. …Oh for yum sakes! These look absolutely delish’! As II am typing this I have a hot, steaming cup of coffee nearby and this looks like just the thing to pare with it at this very moment.

    …Thank you for the recipe and for posting the Prune Lekvar recipe as well. :o)

    …Have a great day!

    …Blessings :o)

  6. …As “I”, not “II”. Sheesh. I hate typos. *sigh* :o\

    …*giggle*shrug*

  7. Mmmm, delish. Rugelach always reminds me of my aunt. We’re doing our holiday baking on Sunday and I can’t wait to try it. Thank you for sharing it!

  8. We will be making the wedding cake! While it looks completely intimidating, I am looking forward to the challenge. I am awful with layer cakes, so a wicked challenge it will be. I think we will need to make that a 2 month task. It will be so much fun to see how they all turn out.

  9. I’ll bake anything that’s described as a “wild, rustic mess”… I love how serendipitous life can be:) I don’t currently have a rugall..rugela… rugalach recipe.. so thanks:)

  10. Crispy, crusty sugar exterior, melt-in-your-mouth flakey dough and that final chewy gooey sweetness in the middle…worth resisting my bowl of the filling and my favorite spoon to survive to the final product!

  11. Wow…I’ve never been a big fan of rugelach, but then again, the ones I’ve had didn’t look as gorgeous and enticing as the ones here. Thanks for sharing the recipe; this will have to be a holiday DO this year!

  12. Yum!
    I love rugalah…. In fact I have about half a dozen sitting in my kitchen right now. Although now that I think about it, they may not be there by morning. Thats okay, right?

  13. These looked so gorgeous, I had to try them. My first and best rugelach ever! I can’t stop tasting them. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  14. Anne- Really glad you liked them! Thanks for letting me know. Enjoy!

  15. I tried making these yesterday. The flavor is amazing but they completely fell apart during the baking process and turned into puddles of dough and filling. Do you think I overfilled them or stretched my dough too thin? I think I’ll have to try again. Thank you for the recipes!!

  16. Kate, Boo! That is terrible. It could be a few things, the dough being too thin might be one of them. Also, if the butter wasn’t incorporated enough it could have melted out. Next time, make sure the dough is thick enough and try to seal the roll after rolling it up. At least they still tasted good!

  17. Do you end up with a ton o’ leftover nuts and fruit? I’m likely reading incorrectly or missing something, but I’m at the part where it says to only use 1/4 of the lekvar on each piece of dough…which means I only actually need half of the recipe because there are two rolls, right? Same thing for the fruit….the recipe says to use 1/2 cup of fruit for each piece of dough, so I only need one cup?

  18. Oops! I just re-read and caught my own silly mistake. : )

  19. These were outstanding–I work at a Jewish school and got rave reviews from my colleagues when I brought these in! I always know that whatever you post will be well worth the effort of making. Thanks, Tim.

  20. Nishta- So glad to hear that! Thanks for checking in.

  21. whoa – thank you for this! Just made these and mine arent nearly as neatly swirled as yours but it doesnt even matter- they are still beautiful and sooo good!!!

  22. Made these again for Christmas, because the first batch tasted so yummy. This time I put half of the rugelach in the freezer, because chance is they would all have been tasted by tonight. See, I’m getting wiser ;-) I also added grated lemon rind to the dough, which goes wonderfully well with the sweet and spicy filling.
    Happy baking and cooking everyone!

  23. These look amazing.

  24. These look great!!
    Few questions:
    If I don’t have a mixer with a paddle attachment can I use a hand held?
    If I am using a convection oven-do you have any tips? Or should I simply take the temp and time down.

  25. Hey Sara- I haven’t made these with a handheld, but I am sure it would be fine. And unfortunately, I don’t know anything about convection cooking. But it seems like something you should be able to google? Good luck!

  26. First, thank you for your response. Second, I love this blog and that you are local-go Chicago! Third, I made these and received rave reviews from my family, friends and colleagues at work. I actually did a slight variation by rolling it in a typical rugelach style and also from the bottom up for teh second batch. The latter resulted in a danish looking piece. They looked great because you could see all the fruits and nuts and they modernized the rugelach! I tried it with macadamia nuts instead of hazelnut and that was tasty too. I’m glad I found Lottie + Doof.

What do you think?