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Dec 3, 2006 07:16 PM

What your best Rugelach Recipe? welcome all tried & tru + any filling variations

Rugelach! (IMHO) The pefect coffee companion.

This time of year, I'll double situp reps just to eat as many of these flaky delights as I can. My great grandmothers recipe is a keeper but I would love to expand on filling variations and any tried & true dough tips.

Here's mine:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup rough chopped raisins

Cut cold butter or margarine and cream cheese into bits. In food processor pulse flour, salt, butter or margarine, cream cheese and sour cream until crumbly.
Shape crumbly mixture into four equal disks...wrap each disk and chill 2 hours.
Combine sugar, cinnamon, chopped walnuts, and finely chopped raisins.
Roll each disk into a 9 inch round.
Sprinkle each round with sugar/nut mixture. Press lightly into dough. With a knife or pizza cutter, cut each round into 12 wedges. Roll wedges from wide to narrow, you will end up with point on outside of cookie. Place on ungreased baking sheets and chill rugelach 20 minutes before baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
After rugelach are chilled, bake them in the center rack of your oven 22 minutes until lightly golden.
Should make about 50 cookies.

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  1. Cook's Illustrated had a great recipe. Let me see if I can dig it up for you.

    7 Replies
    1. re: twodales

      Thanks, I welcome the recipe :)

      1. re: twodales

        Yes! Their recipe is fantastic. As for variations, I've always meant to try a Nutella filling.

        1. re: Mmmonica

          I do this recipe as well and do a nutella-heath bar version that's a huge hit. I spread the nutella -soften it a bit in microwave first as it's very thick - and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture (you need it as nutella is actually not very sweet and, as you know, the dough has no sugar)and then press in heath bits (they sell them in the bag in the baking section. I use the ones that are just the brittle. Then roll as usual. They come out great.

        2. re: twodales

          Here is the para-phrased Cook's Illustrated recipe. You can of course look up the 2 page article via their web site or the library to get the always thorough low-down. (I highly recommend their Danish recipe too!)
          These are apricot/walnut (my favorite, but you can easily sub chopped dried fruit: prunes, cherries, cranberries, currants, raspberry preserves and chocolate etc.

          Here is the original name in case you want to find the article. The author is Lisa Yockelson.

          Crescent-Shaped Rugelach w/Raisin-Walnut Filling

          2 1/2 cups (12 1/2) ounces unbleached all-purpose flour
          1 1/2 T sugar
          1/4 t salt
          2 sticks (8 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 " pieces
          8 oz cold cream cheese, cut into 1/2" chunks
          2 T sour cream

          1 cup (7 oz) sugar
          1 T cinnamon
          2/3 cup apricot preserves (process if necessary to break up big chunks)
          1 cup golden (or other) raisins
          2 1/4 cup (9 oz) walnuts, chopped fine

          2 large egg yolks
          2 T milk

          Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor and pulse to mix. Add butter, cream cheese and sour cream, process until dough comes together in small uneven, cottage cheese-like curds. About 15 pulses.

          For Crescent-shaped: Turn mixture out and press into a 9" x6" log. Divide into 4 equal portions. Press into a 4 1/2" disk. Between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, roll into an 8 1/2" circle. Stack dough on a plate and "freeze" for 30 minutes (or in freezer bags for up to a month for future baking).

          For "Roulades": Roll into four 7" x 11" rectangles.
          Stack dough on a plate and "freeze" for 15 minutes (or in freezer bags for up to a month for future baking).

          Filling: Mix cinnamon and sugar, set aside. Line 2 heavy rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with one circle or roulade at a time, remove dough from freezer and spread 2 1/2 T preserves, 1/4 cup raisins, 2 T cinnamon-sugar, and 1/2 cup walnuts over dough. Pat gently with your fingers.

          Crescent-shaped:Cut dough into 8 wedges and roll up from wide to the narrow pointed end. Place 2" apart on prepared sheets and freeze for 15 minutes.

          Traditional-shaped (from rolled-up dough[roulade]): Starting from long-side, roll dough tightly into a long cylinder. Try to keep the filling in the dough as much as possible. Trim each end of cylinder to get a nice clean edge. Cut into 1" pieces. Place 2" apart on sheet. Place seam side down on baking sheets and freeze for 15 minutes.

          Pre-heat oven to 375F. Whisk egg yolks and milk together and brush this over the tops and sides of "frozen" rugelach. Bake in middle (upper-middle and lower-middle racks) for 21-23 minutes until pale gold and slightly puffy. Rotate baking sheets if necessary as in front-to-back and/or shelf-to-shelf halfway through baking time.

          Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture immediately upon leaving the oven. Carefully transfer to wire rack for cooling. Store for 4 days OR freeze.

          These were so, so tasty. What can be bad with butter, cream cheese, sour cream and apricots?

          1. re: twodales

            I get why you freeze the dough prior to shaping, but why the shaped cookies before baking?

            1. re: toodie jane

              freezing (or refrigerating, which is what I do) cuts down on spread . . . you've worked that dough a bit and it's come up to room temp, most likely - chilling it will yield a nicer-looking, plumper cookie. This is making me hungry!!


        3. When I realized the rugelach at Costco were so much better than anything I ever fixed, I gave up.

          I applaud you for doing it the right way.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Atlantis

            Costco rugelach remind me of mini danish but I remember tasting the raspberry vers. and liking it. If I remember correctly, they offer a variety pack, yes?

            1. re: HillJ

              When they first appeared, they weren't all that great, except for the raspberry, which was very, very good (you have a fine memory!). But, over the years, they've gotten so good, it's almost illegal. My experience with Costco bakeries, though, is that they're top-notch.

              I don't think they come in anything except a variety pack. Otherwise, I'd just buy the raspberry.

              1. re: Atlantis

                Really? I'll have to tag along on my mother's next trip to costco. The ones at Sam's club are bland, tasteless, foul excuses for calories that leave a thick paste of pastry shortening in your mouth. I love good rugelach. Love. LOVE, I tell you. I'd be very excited if I could buy anything good here in the southwest.

                But I guess as a litmus test I should ask--do you actually like Costco bakery cake? That airy chemical-laden stuff that passes for cake covered in buckets of Rich's Bettercreme (definitely not buttercream)? If that's what you like, then more power (and inexpensive cake) to you, but our taste preferences probably aren't a match.

                1. re: modthyrth

                  I bought them earlier this year - the "variety" is chocolate and raspberry. I found the chocolate to be bitter. The raspberry was better but I would have preferred if the varieties were brown sugar and apricot. Also, I prefer the shell of sugar that you get if the cookies are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and the Costco ones aren't.

          2. Brown sugar and Cinnamon is a classic filling, as is chocolate chip/mocha, fruit jams can be utilized, apples/Cinnamon, I have fulled them with ground pistachios/dates and honey.

            You are only limited by your imagination, so don't be afraid to try something different.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Kelli2006

              Kelli, question: when you use apples how do you prepare the apple mixture (fresh tiny chopped pieces, sweetened in a cinnamon sauce). Please explain :)

              1. re: HillJ

                I like to puree them to a consistency of a very thick apple butter. The addition of a bit of corn starch and some walnuts are always welcome.

                P.S. Rugelach dough is very sticky, and the use of a chilled stone surface to work on will make the job much less stressful.

                1. re: Kelli2006

                  Thank you very much for both tips!

                  1. re: Kelli2006

                    The last time I made them, I couldn't find my rolling pin, so I used a large stoneware bottle of beer that happened to be in my fridge, and covered the dough with a sheet of waxed paper while rolling to prevent sticking. Working with a cold "rolling pin" made the process easier.

                2. re: Kelli2006

                  I have had great success with the traditional apricot jelly + poppyseeds, chocolate chips, fig jam, walnuts, and once in an attempt to use up leftovers I tried putting apricot jelly with chocolate chips, and it was really delicious and surprising.

                3. I love Lora Brody's recipe, included in RLB's book:


                  It's almost identical to the Barefoot Contessa recipe.

                  I kept a bunch in the freezer to bake as desired.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Anya L

                    Anya you freeze the cookies prep'd for baking or freeze just the dough?

                    1. re: HillJ

                      I freeze them after they are filled and rolled. The jam is kind of gooey, so I layer them on sheets of parchment paper. Then I just transfer the rugelach and parchment to a baking sheet, brush the rugelach with milk, and bake.

                      1. re: Anya L

                        Def. doubling the batch for futuring baking. Thanks for the tips!

                      2. re: HillJ

                        I do her recipe as well. I usually just freeze the dough. Make a big batch in the processor, freeze the dough and as needed roll them out and bake.

                        Or, I make the cookies then freeze the finished product. Both works just fine.

                      3. re: Anya L

                        Yes indeed! Those are my favorites as well. I freeze them ready for baking but without the milk/sugar glaze. Just bake, right from the freezer, an additional couple of minutes. Really, truly, the best rugelach I've ever had.

                        1. re: Anya L

                          Exactly my suggestion. Any Lora Brody recipe or cookbook is the way to go. Idiot proof instructions, exactly what you can and can't get away with, and what to expect. Mine all went after Katrina, but it's good to see this recipe turn up.

                        2. Here's my recipe for Rugelach. It's gotten lots of raves -- it was one of two recipes that my mom always asked me to make for her (a supreme compliment -- she was a great cook.)


                          1 cup Butter, softened
                          6 ounces Cream cheese, room temp
                          3 cups All-purpose flour
                          1/2 teaspoon Salt
                          1/2 cup Sugar
                          2 teaspoons Cinnamon
                          1/2 cup Zante currants or seedless raisins
                          1/2 cup Chopped walnuts
                          3/4 cup Jam (apricot, strawberry or raspberry)
                          1 Egg, mixed with
                          1 tablespoon Water
                          1/4 cup sugar, NOT superfine

                          Combine the butter and cream cheese and beat until well mixed. Add the flour and salt, and mix until completely blended. The dough will be easier to handle if you wrap and chill it for about an hour. I divide the dough into 6 balls and them press them into disks and wrap each in plastic wrap and then chill.

                          Stir together 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Add the raisins and nuts, and toss to coat all the pieces.

                          Preheat the oven to 375 F, and get out some cookie sheets. Keep chilled any dough you are not working on.

                          Roll 1 of the disks into an 8-inch circle. Spread with 2 tablespoons jam and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the sugar-raisin-nut mixture. Cut into 8 pie-shaped wedges (I use a pizza cutter.) Beginning at the wide end, roll toward the point, forming a crescent shape. Repeat with the other disks.

                          Place the cookies point sides down, about 1" apart on the ungreased cookie sheets that are lined with silicone baking liners.

                          Mix together the egg and water and brush over the top of each cookie. Sprinkle each cookie with a little of the remaining 1/4 cup sugar or just dip into the sugar to coat.

                          Bake for about 20-22 minutes, or until lightly golden.

                          Makes 48 Rugelach.

                          adapted from a recipe by Marion Cunningham in The Fanny Farmer Baking Book

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Nancy Berry

                            Could I make a wanna be rugelach using a brioche dough and spreading on mascarpone or cream cheese, then filling? It is rich in eggs and butter. I've been bitten by the "Artisan Bread in 5 MInutes A Day" bug, and have some brioche dough to use up!

                            1. re: toodie jane

                              There's an absolutely gorgeous brioche cream cheese tart in Baking with Julia that would use that dough up very nicely indeed!

                              1. re: buttertart

                                thanks--I made a coffee ring this am with blueberries, orange marmalade and ricotta. The cheese (I had no cream cheese) was too wet with all the juice from the HUGE blueberries, and the dough spread quite a bit. Still tasty, but I think it was past its prime (dough was over 7 days old)

                                I'll check out the Julia recipe! here is a variation using choc ganache instead of custard: