P&Q: Rugelach

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62 thoughts on “P&Q: Rugelach

  1. Hi everyone! I just want to repeat the links I posted over on the “Recipes for November” area in case anyone missed them.

    You can listen to Dorie talk about Rugelach here:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6649570

    and she has a post on her blog here:

    http://www.doriegreenspan.com/dorie_greenspan/2007/03/rugelach_three_.html

    And by the way, I’ve made Rugelach before and love, love, love them. I’ve tried a bunch of fillings and so far my favorite is apricot jam sprinkled with cinnamon, sugar and chopped walnuts. But raspberry jam / pecans / chocolate was pretty darn good too. And be sure to line your baking sheet with something — the filling oozes out and can be a real pain to clean off.

  2. I made them tonight and they are chilling in the fridge now and I will bake them in the morning. I used raspberry jam and replaced the currants and nuts with white and dark chocolate chips and used mini semi sweet chips too.

    Make sure you do the whole wax paper press though. I did it on the first one but forgot on the second and while they rolled up ok, it was messy!

    I am super excited to try these tomorrow!

  3. I’ve never eaten or made rugelach. I am curious about everyone’s variations. I am not a raisin fan so I was kinda brainstorming other flavor combos.
    Nutella+chocolate chips
    Nutella+toffee
    Caramel+chocolate chips+pecans
    Orange preserves+chocolate chips
    Anyone have any others to suggest? TIA!

  4. I’ve been doing some research on rugelach fillings, because my husband is allergic to chocolate, and there are so many ways to make traditional rugelach. Spreading jam (commonly apricot) is pretty standard, and then the filling usually has nuts, sugar and cinnamon. And almost always a dried fruit (dates, prunes, currants, raisins) – I think dried cranberries or cherries would be amazing. And if you can’t do nuts, I’d think you could chop some pepitas or sunflower seeds. Dorie’s use of chocolate is the exception, actually. I will make half with her filling and half with another fruit/nut combo.

  5. Good Morning….thanks Barbara for the great links. Can’t wait to watch them. Just thinking chocolate might be heavy is Rugelach pretty rich? Anyway, does anyone out there like fig? Is that a fruit worthy of a Rugelach? I’ve never eaten nor made it either. Maybe fig and honey?
    Amy

  6. If anyone is having trouble rolling up the rugelach crescent-style, I’d suggest rolling it up like a jelly roll and slicing them like that instead. Unconventional, I know, but much easier and less messy. Normally, I’m a fan of keeping to traditional fillings, but I found that Dorie’s fruit / chocolate / cinnamon combo was pretty tasty. Definitely rich though. And Clara, toffee might be a little hard & crunchy in the rugelach. Maybe dulce de leche instead if you want that caramel flavor?

  7. I love all the filling ideas – just one suggestion (from bitter personal experience!) I haven’t tasted these yet (can’t wait!!) but I’ve been using a very similar recipe for a long time. In mine, the pastry itself isn’t sweet – it can even be a little bit tangy from the cream cheese – so you need something sugary-sweet to balance that.. I made mine once with only chocolate, and they were so awful.
    Amy Ruth and Clara, I think fig and nutella sound amazing (um, not together…)! I’m also planning to play with a filling I saw that uses dried apples (still have some left from my scones!).

  8. I made mine last week with raspberry preserves. The flavor of the jam was stronger than the other flavors so (don’t be a slacker like me and try to avoid another trip to the store) make sure you use a really good jam that you love!

    I also did half with chocolate and the other half with Heath toffee bits- they were yummy!

  9. I think you could use all sorts of things for fillings. In the second link I posted, Dorie even mentions savory fillings.

    The dough is very rich and flakey, with a slight tang from the cream cheese, as Audrey mentioned.

  10. Hello everyone!:) I’m going to make mine over the weekend and I, too, have never made Rugelach, so I am excited to take on something new.. I was thinking of making mine with orange marmalade…anyone else using orange?

  11. This was my first time making rugelach, and I thought they were so so good. I have 2 comments though:

    DH and I both thought there was too much chocolate. (Shocking, I know.) The chocolate completely overpowered the other filling ingredients. I’ll use half the amount next time.

    I suggest cutting the dough round into triangles before sprinkling the chocolate over it. The pieces of chocolate blocked my pizza cutter from cutting through the dough.

  12. I just made these and i can’t believe how good they are. I’m a big rugelach fan, so long as they are chocolate and these are divine!

    I made one batch with bittersweet chocolate, almonds and cranberries and one with nutella and almonds. They rock!

  13. I am thrilled with this recipe. I made them yesterday and was very happy with the results. I used raspberry jam, chocolate and pecans. I thought the dough was crispy with a wonderful flavor. I used parchment paper to line my cookie sheets. It worked perfect. I cut mine like you would a pizza..very easy..just have a sharp knife handy.

  14. Michelle: me. too! Oh my word. I am literally staying of out the kitchen so I don’t eat any more of these. You could put cabbage in them and you would be happy.

  15. What did I do wrong? .I want to try them again my first batch was so dry and they didnt have a lot of taste.
    Should I add more filling chill a bit longer after they are made? Any suggestions ladies??

  16. I was thinking of using orange marmalade, chocolate and pecans, but hearing about the nutella made my mouth water. I just bought some yesterday. I may have to make half and half. What good ideas ladies!

  17. Did anyone make their dough without the FP? I have a tiny one that is more for cutting and chopping than dough and the last few times I have dough’d it…the dough does not come out right.

    I made a wonderful rugelach recipe last holiday…I might dig it out and see how I made that dough but just wondering if anyone in TWD had tried this recipe sans FP. Thanks!

  18. hi, Mara…I used my food processor and loved that method, but I’m sure you could use a mixer – that’s how I’ve always made mine (…up until now). Or even a mixing bowl with two knives or a pastry cutter. I think the secret is not overmixing – just cutting the butter and cream cheese in – to keep the dough flaky.

  19. Uh… my rugelach exploded. Ok maybe thats a bit melodramatic but there’s more jam on the baking sheet that in the cookie. I wonder what I did wrong? :(

  20. Thanks Audrey! I also looked up the one I did last year, and it said FP as well. Since I know I didn’t use FP, I figured I probably did hand mixer, so I put it on lowest setting and went that method, finishing it by hand. It’s chilling in fridge, we shall see!

  21. What’s the consistency been of everyone’s “dough”? Mine is dry and crumbly so turning it out to gather up and split into two “balls” was uhm… a joke for me. Then when I took it out of the fridge after 3 hrs I had to let it warm up on the counter for like 10-15 min before I could even consider rolling it. When I went to put the toppings on, cut and roll up it was all limp-looking so I don’t have real high hopes for this batch that I have in the oven right now :(

    What was your “dough” like?

  22. I let me dough chill in the refrigerator overnight and sit on the counter for 10 minutes before rolling it out. I also hit it a few times with my rolling pin.. My dough turned out perfect. Sorry EM you had some problems. Also CB I wonder if you spread to much of the jam on. I spread a thin layer and it did not leak out. I think the wax paper method helps a ton too. Im sorry for the ones who had problems. I was so happy with the way it came together.

  23. Em – my dough was pretty easy to roll out and not at all dry and crumbly. Maybe it was a bit overworked?

    I didn’t have enough dough to roll out into an 11-12 inch circle – more like 9 inches perhaps. I cut my dough into less sections since I had such a small circle – but I think these still turned out well. I ate one and already want another!

  24. I didnt let my dough chill as long as it was supposed to, however, it kind of fell apart in the oven, it didnt hold its shape, letting the jam and filling seep out. It was odd. Ive made rugelach before, using Ina Gartens recipe, which worked out perfectly. Unsure. Maybe only chilling it 1.5 hours vs. 2 was my downfall? They still tasted absolutely fantastic. Just not the picture perfect rugelach like in the book.

    Hopefully I will get a picture tomorrow, if they arent all gone by then..

  25. Audrey – Thanks for the tip about not skipping the jam. I almost made all chocolate until I read your comment.

    I ended up using apricot jam and mini chocolate chips. They taste great, but they’re ugly! The dough was crumbly and hard to roll out and then roll up, but I managed to get it done. I love the cream cheese dough, and I’m intrigued about savory fillings. These could be great appetizers.

  26. The dough should be supple, not crumbly — at least after it has rested and then warmed back up a little. If it seems very dry when you are first mixing it, you can add in a tablespoon or so of sour cream. It might have something to do with the type of flour you’re using and how you measure. Or — did you use non-fat cream cheese? The kind that says “1/3 less fat” will work (that’s just Neufchatel by another name), but I have doubts about the really low-fat kind.

  27. Hmmm… my dough was def crumbly when it came out of the food processor. I used regular cream cheese (not non-fat, not low-fat, not neufchatel). As for the flour, I used all purpose and used a scoop to transfer from the canister to the measuring cup. Thanks, though Barbara!! Oh, and I used unsalted real good ol butter too. Eh go figure! LOL

  28. I’ve just rolled my first circle and put all the toppings on – but I could not get a nice even 11-12 inch pastry – my dough came out looking like the map of Spain. Can anyone give a wise tip on how to get a circular dough? Sherrytrifle.

  29. Mine wasn’t crumbly at all, but I might have kept the food processor going a few seconds longer than I technically should have. It helps melt the butter and cream cheese a bit and makes it more supple. As for exploding jam, I’d just be glad that you didn’t have exploding filling Clara! I’ve had my rugelach just spit out all of the filling onto the sheet before. Mine look sorta sad – this is a softer dough than my normal recipe, and they slumped when they came out of the oven :P

  30. I didn’t have any non-colored decorating sugar….so….I have red and green rugelach. I guess I could have just used my regular sugar, but since I have tubs of the red and green sugars that I use only once a year I used it instead. They look funny, but smell great!! I just took them out of the oven and am waiting for them to cool off.

  31. I thought mixing up the dough was a breeze! Rolling it out was something else entirely…I’m not sure what country I had, but they definitely weren’t perfect little circles. The filling was a little time consuming, but I loved the way they turned out.

  32. Em and Heather, my dough was very crumbly when it came out of the food processor – little moist pieces the size of couscous, maybe? I think it’s supposed to be! Not dry or floury, but not satiny smooth either.

    I agree that the dough was hard to roll out (this amount of dough into an 11-inch circle meant rolling it pretty thin! Heather, I may not have had Spain (LOL) but I didn’t get nice round circles either. I pulled little pieces off and stuffed them in the gaps, and then rolled over to smooth things out. My “patches” may have shown a little in the finished cookies but they were so good it didn’t matter!

  33. I had irregular shapes of rolled dough also, but the wedges were so thin, that it didn’t matter. It just meant that the cookies were slightly different in size, and when I looked at the picture in the book they looked that way to me also. My dough rolled and handled well.

    I only baked off a half dozen- the prettiest ones of each flavor combination – and got the rest all packed up and in the freezer. THEN I realized that I’d forgotten the egg wash and sugar. So now I have 4 more in the oven… Also, it was hard for me to know when the middles were baked. The first batch was a bit underdone.
    Nancy
    The Dogs Eat the Crumbs

  34. I made the dough with a pastry cutter and it was definitely crumbly, but I still managed to form it into discs. It was tough to roll into a circle and it ended up really irregular but the finished cookies, although different sizes, are fabulous. This recipe is a keeper.

  35. Maybe this is a silly question but how do you prounounce rugelach? Is it like Roo-ga-lah?
    I keep telling people i am going to make this and feeling silly saying the name of it…..

  36. I baked up both dough-balls last night… and both came out looking horribly awful. Not sure I’ll post these since they’re about as bad as bad can possibly be.

    I’m thinking of checking out Ina’s recipe that someone mentioned since I love eating rugelach and now I really REALLY want some! LOL! Dorie’s pie crust has not been a winner for me and this rugelach dough ws the same. That’s okay, never know till you try :)

  37. i love rugelach at hanukkah and so happy i practiced them now! this recipe was very easy to work with, plus a lot of fun rolling them up. i only made half but surely should have made the whole thing as they came out so damn good. i did just cherry jam, walnuts, and golden raisins. but the best part was the dough was sooo nice and flaky! i will never buy store rugelach again!

  38. These were awesome!! My thanks to Mrs. Strauss (Dorie’s mom-in-law’s neighbor) for this recipe.
    My dough was extremely easy to work with- not crumbly or anything, though I do think the instructions for the dough needed to be a little clearer in terms of when to stop pulsing it. At first I thought large curds meant pea-sized pieces, as when making a regular pastry, However, it didn’t really hold together right, so I just continued pulsing until it looked like it was starting to come together. Probably another 10 pulses and it would’ve turned into the ball on the the blade that she warned against. In any case, I definitely thought I had over-worked it. Amazingly it baked up light and flaky.
    I will be making these again, and am going to try using the pastry for something else.

  39. Sweetchairity, I just mixed mine in my handy dandy FP and I think you are right. It helps if you have a little experience with FP’s and various doughs. I doubled my recipe (figuring on the holidays) and pulsed and scraped watching until I had probably about a baseball size, maybe ? wad or two. Remember it was doubled but there was still loose dough to gather. There was plenty of moisture from the cream cheese and butter so my dough was tacky and moist, is that what you found to be the case as well? Okay….resting in the frig, off to the trail for a little run, then back to roll ‘em baby. he he : ).

    AmyRuth

  40. BTW is anyone reading about Dorie’s adventures in SE Asia. Sounds amazing! I just can’t imagine. Its must be phenomenal to be completely on the other side of the world experiencing foods there. If only….
    AmyRuth

  41. My dough is in the fridge right now.. but it seemed to go together really easily and quickly with the FP. Lets hope it rolls out okay.

    If you watch the Martha Stewart Video that Shari posted.. you will see another way to roll it if the cresent triangles arent working for you.

    Im planning on trying white chocolate too. Did anybody try that & like it?

  42. I just started mine, it’s chilling now. I had to go with what I have on hand since I already made my grocery trip this weekend (I hadn’t realized this was this weeks and I really want to make it). I have cherry preserves, bittersweet chocolate chips, almonds and maybe 6 oz cream cheese. The dough came together nicely. I’m scared to do the rolling, afraid the fillings will squish out…stay tuned.

  43. Heather – The best way I have found to roll dough out in a circle is to rotate a quarter turn after every roll. It also keeps your dough from getting stuck to the counter because you have to give it a spin. If it’s stuck, just use a bench scraper or spatula to free it and toss a little more flour down. If you roll out on plastic or parchment, just spin the dough and paper together and peel the paper off after rolling.

  44. Yes, for this dough, you don’t need to stop pulsing as soon as you would for, say, Dorie’s pie crust. For that you want some of the butter/shortening to still be in pea-sized lumps. For this dough, it’s better to pulse longer, until there are no large lumps. It will still be flaky.

    The dough may seem to be in clumps and curds as you dump it out of the food processor, but it should start to stick together as you bring it together with your hands. It should feel reasonably supple and squooshy if you rub it between your fingers.

    If it seems very dry as you bring it together, you can sprinkle with a little water. (Or try Alton Brown’s technique — use water in a spray bottle.)

  45. Here’s a link on the history of rugelach:

    http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodcookies.html#rugelach

    I seem to recall reading somewhere that crescent-shaped pastries and cookies became popular in Europe around the time when the Ottoman Empire controlled much of southeastern Europe. Was it a tribute to the new rulers in the occupied lands? Or a symbolic “devouring of the enemies” by the worried denizens of nearby areas? Food legends suggest the latter, but at this distance in time, who knows?

  46. I just got my book today and with the kids home can’t get out to get ingredients, so my first TwD post won’t be on T and I will start next week. But the recipe looks great, so I think I will try working on the ruggelach this week along with next week’s recipe. I feel badly that people are coming to look while today my blog is all election all the time. But hopefully your hints will make things easier and I can get neufchatel tomorrow.

  47. I just got my book today and with the kids home can’t get out to get ingredients, so my first TwD post won’t be on T and I will start next week. But the recipe looks great, so I think I will try working on the ruggelach this week along with next week’s recipe. I feel badly that people are coming to look while today my blog is all election all the time. But hopefully your hints will make things easier and I can get neufchatel tomorrow.

  48. Ok, the dough is in the fridge – about to put the boys down for a nap. Wont be able to tackle the dough til hubby comes home in several hours. My dough came together quite well- a little sticky. I have never worked with dough like this, so thanks for all the tips. Will update later and post finished pics later!
    Wish me luck.
    T

  49. I’m a newbie here and really happy to be participating. I’ve been wanting to try this recipe to see how it measures up to my tried and true one that’s been a family favorite for years. I’ll be making this tomorrow and will report back with pics when completed!

  50. I forgot to mention that I’m planning to make a batch of Dorie’s, along with a batch of my own tried and true version that’s been a family favorite for years. I’m sure Dorie’s will outshine mine, but it will be fun to test them out on my unsuspecting family! :)

  51. I just got creative with my fillings and used leftover Halloween candy. The small size of the cookies made rolling them what I would call rather “fiddly”. I would prefer bigger cookies.

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