I remember when I was young my dad would buy these rugelach cookies sold at the market. I first thought they looked curious and assumed they probably weren’t that delicious. I was proven wrong when I tried one and ended up eating the entire package, leaving only one for my dad. He was not pleased. I haven’t had a rugelach in quite a while so I decided to make my own. The ones sold at the market usually only have two types of fillings, but you can be creative and make your own.rugelachrugelachrugelach

Rugelach

Yields 24 rugelach


1 hr, 45 Total Time

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 8 oz butter, cut into chunks
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 large yolks mixed with 2 tbsp milk
  • coarse sugar for sprinkling
  • Filling
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserves, pureed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Pulse flour-salt in the food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand. Add cream cheese and sour cream until the mixture forms a rough dough.
  3. Divide the dough into 4 sections. Pat each into 4 rectangles, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile for the filling, put the cranberries in a saucepan and cover with enough water to fully submerge. Add the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Bring to a simmer on medium heat and continue to cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and drain any excess water. Blend the mixture together. Add the walnuts and process to make a paste. Stir in the preserves and cool.
  5. Roll one of the portions of the dough into a rectangle, 1/8 inch thick. Keep the others in the fridge while you work on one portion. Spread 1/4 of the filling on the dough. Starting with the long side, roll the dough away from you. Slightly flatten the log and wrap in plastic wrap. Return to the refrigerator and repeat with the remaining dough.
  6. Remove the logs from the refrigerator and slice into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Place the cookies seam side down on lined baking sheets. Brush the yolk and milk mixture on each cookie and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. Serve.
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**Helpful tips and common mistakes

I didn’t realize that rugelach had cream cheese in the dough until I saw recipes. It all makes sense because the crust is so flaky and buttery yet slightly dense. The dough comes together very quickly. Because of the cream cheese, it needs to be chilled to firm up, making it easier to roll out later.
rugelachFor the filling, you can be creative and use raisins, dried figs, or plums instead of cranberries. Cook your desired dried fruit in the water, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla to re-hydrate them. When it was time to blend the mixture, I added some of the water to help it blend; the mixture was so thick, it needed a little liquid.

You can also substitute the strawberry preserves with fig jam, apricot preserves, peach, or grape. You can even add chocolate chips and make a chocolate rugelach.rugelachI rolled out the first portion of the dough on the counter; however, I found that the dough is sticky and tends to stick. To make it easier, roll it out on plastic wrap. You have to wrap it in plastic wrap anyways so why not combine two steps and simply roll the dough on the plastic wrap?
rugelachYou can choose to cut the cookies larger than 1 1/2 inches since the ones at the market are at least 2 inches.rugelachBake until golden and let it cool. In my opinion, these cookies tasted much better cooled than hot.

My o my these rugelach are delicious! They are better than the ones sold in the market! When I had someone try these, he never had a rugelach before, but his eyes opened wide and a loud “mmmmm!” was exclaimed; pretty much the response I was anticipating.

Now that I have a great base, time to experiment with Nutella or fig jam!
rugelach

 

 

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