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Rugelach (Jewish pastries) recipe

Rugelach (Jewish pastries) recipe


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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Biscuits and cookies

Little finger pastries made with a cream cheese dough and filled with a sweet cinnamon, walnut and sultana filling.

271 people made this

IngredientsServes: 48

  • 225g butter, chilled
  • 225g cream cheese, chilled
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 75g soured cream
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 110g finely chopped walnuts
  • 75g sultanas, chopped

MethodPrep:2hr40min ›Cook:20min ›Extra time:2min › Ready in:3hr2min

  1. Use your fingers to rub cold butter and cream cheese together until they crumble into bits. In food processor pulse flour, salt, butter, cream cheese and soured cream until crumbly.
  2. Shape crumbly mixture into four equal pieces or blocks. Wrap each piece and chill for 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  3. Roll each block into a 23cm round, keeping other blocks chilled until ready to roll them.
  4. Combine sugar, cinnamon, walnuts and sultanas.
  5. Sprinkle each round with sugar and 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). Place on ungreased baking trays and chill for 20 minutes before baking.
  6. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4.
  7. After rugelach are chilled, bake them in the centre rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly golden. Cool before storing in airtight containers. They freeze very well.
  8. Variations: Before putting the filling on the dough, use a pastry brush to layer apricot jam and dark brown soft sugar. Then add the recommended filling. You may also make a mixture of cinnamon and sugar and roll the outside of the rugelach in this prior to putting them on the baking trays.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(290)

Reviews in English (243)

by GINNYG

Something else.Thank you, Jackie! Great recipe!! I made each of the four quarters of the dough differently, just to experiment. One with cinnamon, sugar and walnuts, one with rasberry preserves, one with chocolate ganache and walnuts and one with walnuts heated in a simple syrup (and then cooled). Brushed all of them with beaten egg white and sprinkled a little sugar on top. I found that 20 minutes produced a rugelach that was lightly browned and was very flaky and tender when cooled. By baking them just two minutes more, they were a little crisper. Both ways are wonderful, and I'm sure I'll come up with other filling variations. Thanks again.-21 Jul 2008

by JINIZ

Took shortcuts.Absolutely the best rugelach recipe that I have tried and I have tried a lot of them. Very easy to do in the food processor. I followed the recipe exactly. I chopped the walnuts and sultanas in the processor also. The filling stayed put when rolling by simply pressing it onto the dough as the recipe stated. Most rugelach I have made leak all over the tin giving them a burnt look on the bottom, but these did not do that. The flavour is wonderful! Definitely try this recipe! It is a gem!-21 Jul 2008

by Katie

These were a huge hit at the office. For anyone who is having issues with filling falling out, I would suggest pushing the chunky parts of the filling to the outside of the circle (leaving the cinnamon/sugar mixure in the middle) before rolling. This way you can squeeze the sultanas/nuts in as you roll. Also if you don't want to make the crescent shape, you can use this recipe to make roulades. To do this, roll the dough out either into a rectangle or circle. Then add the toppings. Roll the dough with the filling. Then cut into slices. Place seam side down for baking.-21 Jul 2008

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How to Make Chocolate Rugelach, a Favorite Jewish Pastry: Recipe and Video

This much-loved Jewish cookie is ubiquitous in Israel nowadays, where varieties range from average pastry at neighborhood grocery stores to gourmet delicacies at the country's best bakeries. This recipe takes the treat up a notch.

Chocolate rugelach, a favorite Jewish pastry. David Bachar

Rugelach, a much-loved Jewish pastry, is ubiquitous in Israel nowadays, where varieties range from merely-average cookies sold at neighborhood grocery chains to gourmet delicacies at the country’s best bakeries.


These Chocolate Rugelach Are the Bite-Sized Desserts of Your Dreams

If you’ve ever had the chocolate-Nutella babka from Breads Bakery in New York City or Tel Aviv, you’re well aware of the craze surrounding the pastry. The wonderfully flaky, densely chocolate babka is beautifully pleated, golden and caramelized on top, just waiting to be torn into. And if you’ve ever wondered how you could replicate said babka at home, baker extraordinaire Uri Scheft is here to help, thanks to his new cookbook “ The Artisanal Kitchen: Jewish Holiday Baking .”

The Artisanal Kitchen: Jewish Holiday Baking: Inspired Recipes for Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, Purim, Passover, and More, $12.95 on Amazon

This book, which is adapted from his 2016 cookbook “ Breaking Breads ,” is a streamlined version, focusing solely on the pastries and breads often present during Jewish holiday celebrations. There’s the chocolate babka, of course, along with options for other fillings like ricotta, apple, and poppy seed, plus standbys like challah for Rosh Hashanah, sweet and savory hamantaschen for Purim, and coconut macaroons for Passover. These recipes certainly aren’t reserved for just these holidays, but can be prepared and baked whenever you’d like.

Along with the recipes, Uri also takes time to walk bakers through the notes and tips he uses when he’s working in the kitchen. He also shares the tools he believes are invaluable to the baker’s toolkit, like a digital scale, rolling pins, rulers, and parchment paper.

Farberware Classic Wood Rolling Pin, $14.52 on Amazon

Below, Uri shares a recipe for chocolate rugelach, a classic, rolled-up and filled Jewish pastry originating in Poland. These are a modernized take of the more traditional version, in large part thanks to the Nutella, but the shape is also different. Instead of one long round cut into small pieces, these rugelach are rolled up like croissants.

The bite-sized pastries rely on the same dough as Uri’s beloved babka. Here, the dough is rolled out very thin, swiped with Nutella and chocolate ganache, then coiled into the same shape as a croissant. They’re baked with a brushing of egg wash on top, but the real surprise is once the rugelach come out of the oven, you must paint the tops with homemade simple syrup, making for that wonderfully glossy, crackling finish.

Excerpted from The Artisanal Kitchen: Jewish Holiday Baking by Uri Scheft (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2020. Photographs by Con Poulos.

Chocolate Rugelach Recipe

These rugelach are more of a pastry than a cookie. The babka dough is rolled very thin, then you spread the dough with Nutella and bittersweet chocolate ganache and shape the rugelach into mini croissants. The key to the success of the rugelach is for the dough to be rolled extra-thin, and since the dough is yeasted (remember, you’re using babka dough), it’s important to refrigerate it whenever it starts to resist your rolling pin, which will happen. A marble surface is excellent for rolling this pastry. You can get the effect of cool marble by placing a couple of bags of ice on the counter to chill it before rolling. Note that the babka dough must be chilled for 24 hours before you begin.

Chocolate Rugelach

Ingredients
  • 140 grams (½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) heavy cream
  • 120 grams (4 ounces) bittersweet chocolate (at least 55% cacao), finely chopped
  • 60 grams (¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon, lightly packed) dark brown sugar
  • 30 grams (2 tablespoons) cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 30 grams (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 120 grams (½ cup) Nutella
  • 1 recipe Basic Babka Dough, refrigerated for 24 hours
  • All-purpose flour for rolling
  • Egg Wash: 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch of fine salt
  • Simple Syrup: 160 grams (¾ plus 1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
  • 120 grams (½ cup) water
Instructions
  1. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Place the chocolate and dark brown sugar in a heat-safe bowl and pour the hot cream over it. Set aside for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Sift in the cocoa powder (yes, it is sifted twice), then stir in the butter until it’s completely melted. Stir in the Nutella until the mixture is smooth and set aside until it is cooled to room temperature (this is very important).
  2. Set the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll it, flouring the top as needed, into a rectangle that is about 8 by 22 inches with the short side facing you. Smear half the chocolate mixture over the bottom two-thirds of the dough. Fold the top third of the dough over the middle, then fold the bottom third of the dough over the middle (this is called a simple fold). Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 20 minutes.
  3. Lightly flour the work surface and set the dough on top with the seam of the dough facing to the right. Repeat step 2, rolling the dough out to an 8-by-22-inch rectangle and spreading the remaining chocolate mixture over the bottom two-thirds. Fold the dough again into a simple fold. Wrap the dough and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. Note: It is very important to chill the filled dough for exactly the amount of time directed. If the filled dough is chilled too long, when you go to roll the dough, the filling will break and the rugelach will look tiger-striped.
  4. Set the dough on a lightly floured work surface with the opening facing left. Lightly dust the top with flour and roll the dough into a 15-by-28-inch rectangle with a long side facing you. When the dough resists rolling and bounces back (and it will), cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 10 minutes (if resting longer than 10 minutes, place it in the refrigerator), then try again.
  5. Divide the dough lengthwise into three 5-by-28-inch strips. Make a small cut in the right edge of one of the strips of dough, about 1 inch from the bottom right corner of the strip. Then, starting at that notch, make another notch every 2½ inches. Repeat on the top left edge of the strip, making the first notch at 2½ inches and repeating in 2½-inch lengths all the way down. Place a dough cutter or a chef’s knife in the first notch at the bottom right edge and angle the knife up to the next notch on the left edge to make the first diagonal cut. Repeat in the other direction and continue, connecting the notches to create triangles.
  6. Make a small notch in the center of the wide base of each triangle. Hold a triangle in your hand and gently stretch it to elongate it. Repeat with the remaining triangles, then roll the triangles up, starting at the wide base and ending at the narrow tip. Place the rugelach, with the pointy end tucked under the dough, on parchment paper–lined sheet pans. (You’ll have enough rugelach to fill 2 to 3 sheets you may need to bake the cookies in batches if you run out of sheet pans.)
  7. Cover the sheet pans with kitchen towels (see the box opposite for other homemade proof box ideas) and set them aside in a warm, draft-free spot to proof until they jiggle when the sheet pan is tapped, about 1½ hours.
  8. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  9. Make the egg wash by mixing the egg, water, and salt together in a small bowl. Brush each rugelach so the top is lightly coated. Bake the rugelach until they are nicely browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes (do this in batches if necessary), rotating the pan midway through baking.
  10. Meanwhile, make the simple syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Turn off the heat and set the syrup aside to cool. Transfer the rugelach to a wire rack set over a sheet of parchment paper and brush the still-warm rugelach with the simple syrup. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store the rugelach in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Basic Babka Dough Recipe

This simple babka dough will yield a very rich and delicious babka. And if you want an even richer, flakier version, try out the Advanced Babka Dough on page 54. Making babka takes less than an hour of actual work—the rest of the time is the proofing and the baking. You can shape the cake into a twisted loaf, or bake it in smaller pieces in a muffin tin, or even try baking it free-form. The thing about babka is that even if it isn’t perfect in your eyes, when it comes out of the oven hot and fragrant, your friends and family will still devour it.


If you want this delectable Jewish pastry, you’ll have to go to Cleveland

This article originally appeared in The Nosher.

Russian tea biscuits are so much a part of Cleveland’s landscape that locals are surprised to learn that these rugelach-like pastries are from their hometown. As a Clevelander, I didn’t discover the truth until I moved to several cities and Russian tea biscuits were nowhere to be found, prompting me to do a little digging online. I discovered that the pastry’s origin story — a story that feels more like a legend — is connected to the Cleveland Jewish community.

Even though Salon published a lively discussion in 2011 about the origins of Russian tea biscuits, the pastry’s full story remains a mystery. How did these mammoth pastries come to Cleveland? Were they called Russian tea biscuits because they were brought to Cleveland by Russian immigrants?

Russian tea biscuits in Cleveland can be traced back to the first half of the 20th century when bakeries proliferated across the city. Many of these bakeries were started by Jewish immigrants from Eastern European countries. Among them were Sherwin’s Bakery, Lax and Mandel, Unger’s Bakery and Davis Bakery, all of which survived into the 1980s or longer. According to an article in the Cleveland Jewish News, Sherwin’s Bakery sold Russian tea biscuits three for a nickel during the Great Depression.

Of these first-generation bakeries, Unger’s and Davis are still open, along with many others that serve Russian tea biscuits. Just like in the early 20th century, today’s bakeries have loyal regulars who insist that their Russian tea biscuits are the best. Ask a Clevelander where they get their Russian tea biscuits and you will hear a story, not just a quick answer.

Russian tea biscuits have even traveled as far as California and Florida. Clevelanders started Bea’s Bakery in Los Angeles and 3G’s Deli in Delray Beach, Florida, bringing their recipes with them. Rumor has it also that a former Peruvian employee of the Stone Oven Bakery may have taken the pastry back home with her.

But what about their alleged Russian origins? The fact that the bakeries were started by immigrants from various Eastern European countries muddies the waters. What these iconic Cleveland bakery owners did have in common, however, was that they were all Jewish.

Could it be, then, that Russian tea biscuits should more accurately be called Jewish tea biscuits?

Maybe. Family-owned bakeries started by immigrants had to bring their recipes from somewhere. Countless women’s obituaries in the Cleveland Jewish News refer to the Russian tea biscuits they were known for sharing with friends and family. Many of these women were grandmothers who emigrated from Eastern European countries at around the same time as the first generation of family-owned Cleveland bakeries.

Then again, some stories from home bakers suggest the pastry might still have Russian origins. Two anonymous Cleveland bubbes in their 80s each separately said their family recipes came from Kiev at a time when the Ukraine was still part of Russia.

Yet Russian immigrant Tatyana Rehn, one of the owners of the Stone Oven Bakery, said she never encountered Russian tea biscuits until she immigrated to Cleveland in the 1970s. Her then-husband took her to Lax and Mandel, where she had her first. She carries on Lax and Mandel’s legacy by following their Russian tea biscuit recipe. Her theory?

“Raspberry jam is very Russian,” she said, explaining that adding raspberry jam to desserts made them a special treat.

One thing is clear: For generations of Clevelanders, Russian tea biscuits conjure up memories of gathering around family tables, being a regular at a family-owned bakery and sharing the pastries at shiva. One former Davis Bakery regular now has Russian tea biscuits shipped to her and her family in California. Her eyes glistened as she described opening a package of Russian tea biscuits after losing her father.

There’s no doubt these pastries loom large in people’s memories — and yes, it’s partly because Russian tea biscuits are so large. As Cleveland Russian tea biscuit eater Jerry Ferstman explained, he always liked rugelach, but Russian tea biscuits were so much better because there was so much more to eat.

Now you, too, can make and savor Russian tea biscuits at home. Get the recipe here.


Rugelach

(Lisa Zwirn FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE)

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Even though the recipe contains yeast, there’s no kneading or rising required. Like most pastry doughs, this one needs to rest in the refrigerator for a few hours before shaping and baking.

1/2  cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut up 

6  tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, such as Crisco 

2  tablespoons warm water 

3  tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar 

1  packet ( 1/4 ounce) active dry yeast 

2  cups flour 

2  eggs 

1  teaspoon vanilla extract 

1/4  teaspoon salt 

1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and shortening over low heat. Cool to room temperature.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the water and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Let sit for 5 minutes or until it just starts to foam.

3. In a large bowl, place the flour. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture. Spoon some of the flour over the yeast mixture to cover it.

4. In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in the butter mixture. Add the liquids to the flour and yeast mixture. Using a rubber spatula, mix thoroughly and form the dough into a ball. (The dough will be moist, but not sticky like most yeast doughs.) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

3/4  cup sugar mixed with 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon  

2/3  cup walnuts, finely chopped  

1/2  cup raisins or currants 

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cinnamon-sugar in a shallow bowl. Set it and the walnuts and raisins or currants near your work surface.

2. Sprinkle some cinnamon-sugar on the counter. Divide the dough into thirds. Working with one-third of the dough at a time (keep the remaining dough refrigerated), roll it on the cinnamon-sugar into a 10-inch circle. (If the rolling pin sticks to the dough, sprinkle the dough with cinnamon-sugar. It doesn’t matter if the outer edge is ragged.)

3. Sprinkle the dough with cinnamon-sugar, then sprinkle with 1/3 of the nuts and 1/3 of the raisins. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough into quarters, then cut each quarter into 2 or 3 wedges. Starting at the wide ends, roll up the wedges to the tips to form a crescent. Pinch the ends if the filling is falling out. Roll the crescents in the cinnamon-sugar in the bowl. Place the crescents, tip side down, about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Continue until all the dough is shaped. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Bake the rugelach for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly, then remove from the baking sheet and set on the rack to cool completely.


Rugelach (Jewish Rolled Pastry)

In a large bowl, work flour, cream cheese, butter, and salt together with your hands until smoothly blended. Form into 2 balls flatten each into a disc. Wrap each in plastic refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine sugar with nuts, raisins, and cinnamon.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disc into a very thin circle, about ⅛ inch thick. (Trim if necessary to make a true circle.) Spread a thin layer of preserves over the surface. Sprinkle a thin layer of the nut mixture.

Cut into 16 wedges. Gently, but tightly, roll each wedge from wide edge to center point to enclose filling. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough, preserves, and nut mixture.

Whisk egg yolk with milk. Brush tops of pastries with mixture, and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in center of oven until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely on rack. Store in an airtight container up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.


If you want this delectable Jewish pastry, you’ll have to go to Cleveland

(Photo by Sarah Bania-Dobyns)

By Sarah Bania-Dobyns

Russian tea biscuits are so much a part of Cleveland’s landscape that locals are surprised to learn that these rugelach-like pastries are from their hometown. As a Clevelander, I didn’t discover the truth until I moved to several cities and Russian tea biscuits were nowhere to be found, prompting me to do a little digging online. I discovered that the pastry’s origin story — a story that feels more like a legend — is connected to the Cleveland Jewish community.

Even though Salon published a lively discussion in 2011 about the origins of Russian tea biscuits, the pastry’s full story remains a mystery. How did these mammoth pastries come to Cleveland? Were they called Russian tea biscuits because they were brought to Cleveland by Russian immigrants?

Russian tea biscuits in Cleveland can be traced back to the first half of the 20th century when bakeries proliferated across the city. Many of these bakeries were started by Jewish immigrants from Eastern European countries. Among them were Sherwin’s Bakery, Lax and Mandel, Unger’s Bakery and Davis Bakery, all of which survived into the 1980s or later.

According to an article in the Cleveland Jewish News, Sherwin’s Bakery sold Russian tea biscuits at three for a nickel during the Great Depression.

Of these first-generation bakeries, Unger’s and Davis are still open, along with many others that serve Russian tea biscuits. Just like in the early 20th century, today’s bakeries have loyal regulars who insist that their Russian tea biscuits are the best. Ask a Clevelander where they get their Russian tea biscuits and you will hear a story, not just a quick answer.

Russian tea biscuits have even traveled as far as California and Florida. Clevelanders started Bea’s Bakery in Los Angeles and 3G’s Deli in Delray Beach, Fla., bringing their recipes with them. Rumor has it also that a former Peruvian employee of the Stone Oven Bakery may have taken the pastry back home with her.

But what about their alleged Russian origins? The fact that the bakeries were started by immigrants from various Eastern European countries muddies the waters. What these iconic Cleveland bakery owners did have in common, however, was that they were all Jewish.

Could it be, then, that Russian tea biscuits should more accurately be called Jewish tea biscuits?

Maybe. Family-owned bakeries started by immigrants had to bring their recipes from somewhere. Countless women’s obituaries in the Cleveland Jewish News refer to the Russian tea biscuits they were known for sharing with friends and family. Many of these women were grandmothers who emigrated from Eastern European countries at around the same time as the first generation of family-owned Cleveland bakeries.

Then again, some stories from home bakers suggest the pastry might still have Russian origins. Two anonymous Cleveland bubbes in their 80s each separately said their family recipes came from Kiev at a time when the Ukraine was still part of Russia.

Yet Russian immigrant Tatyana Rehn, one of the owners of the Stone Oven Bakery, said she never encountered Russian tea biscuits until she immigrated to Cleveland in the 1970s. Her then-husband took her to Lax and Mandel, where she had her first. She carries on Lax and Mandel’s legacy by following their Russian tea biscuit recipe. Her theory?

“Raspberry jam is very Russian,” she said, explaining that adding raspberry jam to desserts made them a special treat.

One thing is clear: For generations of Clevelanders, Russian tea biscuits conjure up memories of gathering around family tables, being a regular at a family-owned bakery and sharing the pastries at shivah.

There’s no doubt these pastries loom large in people’s memories — and yes, it’s partly because Russian tea biscuits are so large. As Cleveland Russian tea biscuit eater Jerry Ferstman explained, he always liked rugelach, but Russian tea biscuits were so much better because there was so much more to eat.

Now you, too, can make and savor Russian tea biscuits at home.

Ingredients
For the dough
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks room temperature butter
1 cup full-fat sour cream or crème fraiche
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks (reserve the whites to glaze the pastries)

For the filling
18 ounces raspberry jam
1 ½ cups golden raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
(or shredded coconut)
Splash of orange juice
Grated rind of ½ orange
Dash of cinnamon

Directions
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients for the dough.

Cut the butter into 12 pieces (or more). Then cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter pieces are the size of pecan halves.

In another bowl, mix the vanilla, egg yolks and sour cream. Gradually stir into the dry ingredients until they just come together.

Form the dough into two balls, flatten into discs, then use your fingers to smear the small pieces of butter to create streaks through the dough. Turn the dough over several times, smearing the butter each time.

Form the dough back into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or overnight.

For the filling, mix all ingredients in a bowl. Use enough raisins and nuts (or coconut) to achieve a mortar-like texture to prevent the filling from oozing in the baking process.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Flour a surface and roll each ball out into ¼ inch thick rectangles. Slice each rectangle into four equal pieces. Spread filling evenly on each piece, leaving ¼ inch of room on the edges. Roll up, then brush egg white generously on top. Bake for 30 minutes.

This article originally appeared in The Nosher, a 70 Faces Media Brand.


You can never eat just one rugelach

Rabbi Ed Feinstein, senior rabbi at Valley Beth Shalom in Los Angeles and a lifelong Jewish pastry expert, says if a hand-sized Danish is a meal, a rugelach is a snack. He should know, since, growing up, he and his younger brothers were the taste-testers at Plaza Bakery, their father’s Jewish bakery in the San Fernando Valley. (It is now closed.)

“We just loved chocolate,” he remembers. “Serious chocolate chips or it wouldn’t pass. [It had a] combo of cinnamon and chocolate chips and yellowy-white streusel on top, like cake with a lot of butter.”

But Feinstein is probably in the minority that knows you can’t have one rugelach: I don’t mean they’re too delicious to eat just one (which is true), but that singularly, it’s a rugel.

Rugelach is like Hanukkah in that it’s one of those words that isn’t easily transliterated into English so you may find it spelled or pronounced rugelakh or roggelach or even rugula. If this helps, think of the prefix a- meaning not, so rugula is the antithesis of arugula with a guttural “ch” at the end. The name means “little twists” in Yiddish and each one is a small bite-sized pastry—two bites for those with will power—that’s essentially a triangle of dough rolled around a sweet filling (commonly chocolate but all manner of preserved fruits, nuts, and spices can be found) forming what looks like a tiny croissant. That said, the treat predates Viennoiserie pastries, so don’t think of rugelach as denser, tiny croissants but croissants as lighter, larger rugelach.

The Jewish high holidays—Rosh Hashanah, aka the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement—are the high season for rugelach orders. Not that they aren’t immensely popular at Hanukkah, Bar Mitzvahs, Shabbat, and all days where a morning cup of coffee is called for. But the high holidays are when Jewish families gather for celebratory meals, and, as Rabbi Feinstein notes, “eating [rugelach] on your own is no fun.”


Rugelach

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 24 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: European

Description

Homemade rugelach is buttery and flaky with a light and crisp pastry dough and sweet cinnamon filling.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ( 250g ) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup ( 16 tablespoons 230g ) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 3/4 cup ( 6 ounces 170g ) block cream cheese, cold and cubed
  • 1/3 cup ( 75g ) sour cream, cold

Filling

  • 1/2 cup ( 100g ) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup ( 115g ) chopped walnuts (chopped pecans work too)
  • 1/2 cup ( 85g ) raisins (or dried cranberries for some color!)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • water for brushing dough
  • optional for topping: confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

  1. For the crust: Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple times to blend.
  2. Add the butter, cream cheese, and sour cream. Pulse until crumbly this will take 30 seconds or so. Pulse until there are pea-sized crumbs throughout. See photo above for a visual.
  3. Divide the dough into three equal portions and gently flatten into a disc shape. Wrap in plastic wrap, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day. Or freeze for up to 3 months and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
  4. For the filling: Pulse the brown sugar, walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon in the food processor until very finely chopped and well combined. The filling will feel a little moist. You’ll have a little over 2 cups total.
  5. Line 3 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Working with one disc of dough at a time and on a lightly floured work surface, roll into a 10-inch circle (roughly 1/4 inch thick, give or take) and brush it lightly with water. Spread about 1/3 of the filling on top. Gently press the filling down into the dough so it’s compact.
  7. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 equal wedges. If you’re cutting on a silicone mat, be careful not to cut the mat. Roll each wedge up, beginning with the wide end and ending with the narrow end. Place the rolls point-side down onto the baking sheets, 8 on each. Repeat with the remaining two discs of dough.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  9. Bake the rugelach for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown. As the rugelach bake, the butter will lightly fry their bottoms, giving them a super crunchy crust.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm or at room temperature. Cover leftovers and store tightly at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can prepare the dough up to 1 day ahead of time as noted in step 3 or freeze for up to 3 months, also noted in step 3. You can prepare the filling 1 day in advance. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature until ready to use. Rugelach freezes well for up to 2 months simply place in freezer bags. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
  2. Special Tools:Food Processor | Rolling Pin | Pastry Cutter | Pastry Brush | Silicone Pastry Brush | Silpat Baking Mat | Baking Sheet | Purple Plate
  3. No Food Processor? Use a pastry cutter for the crust. Do not use a mixer. For the filling, simply chop it up very fine and use a pastry cutter again to combine it all.
  4. In partnership with King Arthur Flour.

Keywords: homemade rugelach, rugelach

Did you miss yesterday’s cookie palooza recipe? Red velvet whoopie pies.


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Dana Bate
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Dana Bate is the author of A Second Bite at the Apple, the forthcoming Too Many Cooks and The Girls' Guide to Love and Supper Clubs, which earned a starred review in Publishers Weekly and has been translated into five languages. Before writing fiction full time, she was a Washington producer and reporter for PBS's Nightly Business Report, where she won the Gerald Loeb Award.