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Non-dairy Rugelach?

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Is there a way to make this cookie treat without the cream cheese? What non-dairy ingredient can be substituted without destroying the overall taste of the dough?

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  1. I don't think it's possible, personally.

    1. There are so many pareve rugalachs sold in bakeries! I'm not sure what their recipes are, but it's definitely possible to make it delicious! I prefer it even! (Call up a Jewish kosher bakery and ask)

      1. You might be able to find a recipe... but how good could it be?

        why not find a good dessert that is inherently non-dairy?

        11 Replies
        1. re: Jennalynn

          I've never seen a recipe for it but I've seen and unfortunately tasted commercial versions. Which invariably taste - at best like not much at all apart from sweet and cinnamon-y, at worst like bad generic supermarket cookies or pastries. That is, not worth the calories it takes to chew and digest them, much less bake them Fake cream cheese + shortening = double disgusting.

          If you need something small, dry and parve, maybe mandel bread?

          1. re: MikeG

            I agree. Rugalech should have a cream cheesey buttery dough to be delicious. Without it, they are cookies, not rugalech IMHO

            1. re: pescatarian

              I'll chime in the same. Certain things just shouldn't be messed with. Save the rugelach for when you can have dairy. Pareve rugelach never taste right. No cream cheese = no point.

              1. re: rockycat

                I honestly don't have a problem with non-dairy rugalach from the bakeries. It definitely depends on the bakery but some make very good chocolate flavored pareve rugalach. If the OP is asking for non-dairy rugalach, it should be know that they do exist...

                1. re: Chew on That

                  Yes, the OP should know if they exist, but the OP also asked if it would destroy the taste. The chocolate flavour pareve rugelach might taste ok, but not like rugelach. In my opinion, it's just not rugelach. Even in terms of filling, the best rugelach to me are the jam/nut/cinnamon sugar mixtures. They are better to me than chocolate ones. But the most important distinction of rugelach is the cream cheese dough. So ya, you might be able to find pareve onces, but they won't taste as good or like real rugelach.

                  1. re: pescatarian

                    Thanks for all the opinions and suggestions. The question was originally posed because of a family member's lactose intolerance rather than a need for pareve.

                    I have a great recipe for homemade almond paste & wanted to try it in a rugelach (since that's the only desserty cookie I could think of that might benefit from an almond paste filling). I was disappointed that all the recipes called for cream cheese.

                    Perhaps I should expand the question to finding non-dairy cookie suggestions that could use almond paste as a filling. Small quantities of butter & milk in the recipe are OK, but sour cream/cream cheese, etc. would be detrimental. Any advice?

                    1. re: socalqtpi

                      Oh, yum. What if you made some sort of sandwich cookie and used the almond paste as filling? I guess most good cookies would have a lot of butter, though--I was envisioning something kind of shortbreadish. But, though it hurts me to say this, maybe with a chocolate cookie or some other kind where butter isn't the dominant flavor, margarine wouldn't be so awful.

                      Or, not cookies, but how about this--bake pears, fill cavities with almond paste, melt extra-dark chocolate over top!

                      1. re: socalqtpi

                        I think that an almond paste would work well in what I call a thom thumb cookie. It usually has an almond extract in the butter dough (you said that you can use a little bit of butter) I think if you are using an almond paste, you can minimize the butter. I would not use margarine as a replacement. The dough does not have cream cheese and you make a dent in each cookie and fill it with jam or chocolate (nutella) and then bake. You can sprinkle them with crushed nuts if you like.

                        1. re: socalqtpi

                          I would love to have the recipe, if you can post it please. Another idea, is to fill miniature tart shells with the mixture and put some sliced almonds on top.

                          1. re: paprkutr

                            Almond paste:
                            2 cups finely ground blanched almonds
                            1 cup confectioner's sugar
                            2 Tbsp. orange flower water
                            2 Tbsp. melted butter
                            2 beaten egg yolks
                            1/2 tsp. cinnamon

                            Combine all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth & creamy (I used our Kitchen Aid mixer & it turned out much better than in a food processor).

                            1. re: socalqtpi

                              Thank you

            2. Try using the non-dairy cream cheese, it's not bad, and when you bake it and put the fillings in you shouldn't taste the difference. They also have non'dairy sour cream.

              1. I know this sounds gross and I can't vouch for it personally, but Mitchell Davis's cookbook "The Mensch Chef" has a recipe using chicken schmaltz rendered with a vanilla bean to make it sweet. He swears it tastes okay. Personally I think it sounds like a lot of trouble as well as somewhat icky and I would rather just have something other than rugelach if it had to be non-dairy, but the recipe is out there and could be a good science experiment. I mean, it beats Crisco.

                1. I know this cookie to be a crescent roll up with jam filled inside. If this is the same I have a recipe from my ex-boyfriend's Ukrainian mother.
                  1 lb margarine
                  4 cups all purpose flour
                  6 oz of beer
                  1. Mix flour and margarine with pastry cutter. Add beer to form dough. Refrigerate overnight.
                  2. Take a small piece of dough and roll out into a circle and cut into 8 pieces.
                  3. Place a bit of jam and roll from wide to narrow. Use water to tuck ends under.
                  4. Place on greased baking sheet and bake in preheated 350F oven for 40min or golden brown underneath and on top.

                  1. From the Jewish Food archive - http://www.jewishfood-list.com/recipe...

                    It uses margarine and non-dairy whipped topping (which I can't find where I live - but lactose free whipped topping should be easy)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: flourless

                      Sounds like it would taste icky.

                    2. Have you tried Tofutti Cream Cheese (I use it in cheesecake with no problem whatsoever)?

                      Also, firm tofu as a sub is worth trying, just need to add a bit of tang back into the dough perhaps with a shpritz of lemon juice.