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Rugelach: how hard can it be? Plus, FOUR filling ideas.


Huh? Rugelach are Jewish cookies typically made with jams, cinnamon or nuts. The filling is rolled in a cream cheese dough and baked until the dough is golden brown.

I've had these cookies multiple times. My favorite filling is apricot jam with walnuts; I'm not a fan of cinnamon/sugar filling.

When I received a preview copy of Edible Brooklyn: The Cookbook and found a recipe for Cinnamon Nut Rugelach in it, I decided it was time I baked the rugelach.

A few notes:
1. I doubled the recipe in the book
2. I completely changed the steps for forming the cookies: instead of cutting the dough into triangles and then rolling each one into crescents, I rolled the dough out into a rectangle, sprinkled the filling on top, rolled the dough into a log, and then cut it.
3. I came up with four of my own fillings.

Rugelach Dough
(Recipe from Edible Brooklyn: The Cookbook)
makes ~ 32 cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups sifted flour {I had to use quite a bit more}

1. Blend together the butter, cream cheese, and sour cream in a large bowl. Gradually add the flour until you have a soft, but not sticky, dough. Form the dough into a ball and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

{I managed to not notice the directions that the dough needs to be kept in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. By the time I made the dough and read all the directions, it was too late to make the rugelach: basically it would be too dark to take photographs. I ended up freezing the dough and baking the rugelach a week later.}

Four types of Rugelach
Filling #1: 3-4 tablespoons peach jam, 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Directions (these apply regardless of which filling you use)
1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. Take 1/4 of the dough and roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper into a rectangular'ish shape that is about 12" x 7". I found that sprinkling the dough with flour before covering it with the parchment paper helped quite a bit.
3. Refrigerate the dough for about 5 minutes. Spread the peach jam onto the dough and sprinkle the walnuts on top.

4. Roll the dough, put it back into the refrigerator for about 5 minutes, then cut it into ~ 3/4" slices.

5. Refrigerate the cut dough for 5-10 minutes, then bake on a parchment-covered cookie sheet for about 20 minutes.

Filling #2: 3-4 tablespoons Nutella; 1/4 cup dried sour cherries, chopped -- This one was my favorite!

Filling #3: 3-4 tablespoons peach jam, 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts, 1/4 cup golden raisins

Filling #4: 10 dates, chopped; 1-2 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts; 1/4 cup chocolate chips

As I said, the Nutella/Dried Sour Cherry filling was my favorite one:

Here are all four kinds of rugelach together:

This was quite a laborious baking project. I'm quite pleased with how everything worked out, but I'm not sure if I'll be making this any time soon :)

I shared these cookies with my friends and even sent some with my brother to Seattle to share with my parents. Everyone liked them!

Have you baked anything new in the kitchen lately?


Cecilia said...

The nutella/sour cherry rugelach are to die for!

gina homolka said...

I love rugelach, my mom makes them every year for Christmas. I think the chocolate chip nut filling is my fave!

Michele said...

I love rugelach...I make it every Hanukkah...but always forget how time consuming it is to make. I make mine with Greek yogurt in place of the cream cheese. I like the nice clean flavor of the dough..and I fool myself to thinking the fat and calories are cut just a wee bit...LOL!! I could not believe when I read the part of your post about the chocolate cherry filling...I too tried this combo for the first time this year. I used nutella and dried cherries...most people agree they were the best ones.

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

Great idea to use Greek Yogurt! My mom thought my dough was too buttery! {eye roll} I guess great minds think alike: glad everyone liked your Nutella and dry cherry filling too.

Megan said...

They all look so good! And it sounds like they were a lot of work!

Sasha said...

I love filling#1 - that's how my mom does it :)