Aren’t rugelach just the cutest little cookies!? I love them. I think they’re just adorable.
If you’re not familiar with rugelach, you should become so. They are awesome. I, myself, was first introduced to them from my sister-in-law and her mother who made Rugelach each Holiday season to give to friends and family. This was probably only 4 years ago. It’s upsetting to think how I had been missing out on such a treat.
The dough is rich, made of butter and cream cheese. This particular recipe is Dorie Greenspans’. It does not use any added sugar in the dough. Some recipes do (such as Ina Garten’s highly rated recipe). I chose to go with the unsweetened dough because of personal preference only. Believe it or not… I actually like my cookies less sweet. I am not big into rich, decadent treats. Like fudge. Yuck. Ugh, anyways, that’s up to you.
I think I have this affinity for cookies that require slicing/rolling/shaping. It’s like a fun art project of culinary sorts haha Not as though I don’t appreciate the ease or deliciousness of a good drop cookie…. I suppose I love them both equally if I had to say so.
But! Don’t get me wrong, even though these cookies aren’t as simple as chocolate chip cookies, you don’t need a pastry degree to make them. Just a food processor and a rolling pin.
First cut up your butter and cream cheese.
Measure your dry ingredients into the food processor and give it a couple pulses to mix it around.
Now just dump the cream cheese and butter in and process it until it starts to come together.
There should be no more dry lumps in the dough, but it shouldn’t quite gather into a ball.
I probably mixed it a little bit further than it needed to be here.
You really don’t want to over-process it… just don’t. It’ll ruin the dough.
Divide the dough into two and cover with plastic wrap. And refrigerate.
I use a kitchen scale.
Because that’s how I roll.
Here’s where things get fun- the fillings.
You can use whatever combination you want,
I went with apricot jam and walnuts. No dried fruit.
But raspberry jam, almonds, pecans, raisins, currants, even chopped chocolate, are all great choices.
Use your artistic license.
Just make sure to finely chop your nuts.
Doing the best you can, roll out 1/2 the dough into a circle.
I kind of made a jagged rectangle…. whoops.
Guess what though? Didn’t make a difference in the end.
Spread on your jam of choice.
Not too thick now! It’s always more than it looks.
Sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar.
Without a doubt use all 2 Tb.
Next, sprinkle on your toppings.
I actually decided to go with some mini chocolate chips on one of my dough’s. Last minute decision kind of thing.
Chocolate and apricots have this thing together over here in Europe.
I don’t know why, but for some reason they are eternally meant for each other in their eyes.
I think it’s a tart/sweet thing… haven’t figured it out quite yet. More on that later though.
Use a pizza wheel or knife to cut the dough into 16 slices.
This is a pretty important part if you want your cookies to be even.
It helps if your rectangle is more of a circle though…
Place your cookies on a sheet pan that has been lined in parchment paper.
Definitely refrigerate before baking. This will help them keep their shape. So they come out just perfect.
You can even freeze them and store them until your ready to bake them.
You can bake the rugelach straight from the oven. How easy is that?
Brush them with egg wash and then sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar.
It’s going to be magical. Just wait.
Ahhhhhhhh… so beautiful and golden and just perfect.
Oh, how I love rugelach.
Really, you should go for it. They’re such a treat.
Flaky, crunchy and sweet.
- 4 oz. cold cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ⅔ cup raspberry jam, apricot jam or marmalade
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds)
- ¼ cup dried currants or chopped dried cherries
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, or mini chocolate chips (or chopped regular chips)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. cold water
- 2 Tbsp. sugar, preferably coarse
- Make the dough: Put flour and salt in a food processor, and scatter the cream cheese and butter chunks overtop. Pulse the machine 6-10 times, then process, scraping down the sides as necessary. Stop when the dough forms large curds.
- Turn the dough out, gather it into a ball, divide it in two, and refrigerate each half in plastic wrap for at least two hours and up to one day.
- Make the filling: heat the jam in a saucepan over low heat until it liquefies. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and set aside. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone.
- Shape the cookies: Pull one packet of dough from the refrigerator. If it’s too easy to roll, leave it out for ten minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 11-12 inch circle. Spoon a thin gloss of jam overtop, and sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar. Scatter over half of the chopped stuff (nuts etc), and use a piece of wax paper to press the ingredients into the dough. Set aside the paper for the second batch of dough.
- Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, slice the dough into quarters, and slice each of the quarters into four long, narrow triangles. Starting at the outside rim of each triangle (the base), roll each triangle up so that it becomes a little crescent. Make sure points are tucked under the cookie, and arrange on a baking sheet. Repeat with the second packet of dough. Refrigerate rugelach for at least 30 minutes before baking.
- Position racks to divide oven into thirds, and preheat to 350 degrees. Stir the egg and water together, and brush a bit of this glaze over the rugelach. Sprinkle each with coarse sugar. (I didn’t have any, so I used more cinnamon sugar.) Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom and front to back half way through. Jam will likely have leaked out, so it’s best to scoop underneath each cookie within a minute of removing them from the oven, so that they don’t stick to the tray.
adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking From my Home to Yours“