There are certain things that remind me of my childhood and it takes me back to a point in my life where I can recall what I was doing at that time – for example, have you ever heard a song that takes you back to a place that reminds you of where you were or what you were doing at exactly that time? Sometimes it isn’t a song but a place or an event that takes you back. For me, baking rugelach conjures an old reverie of time spent with my mom in the kitchen. This recipe is the same as I made with her.
This little pastry is so popular, it can be found in cafes, bakeries, even supermarkets worldwide and year-round. At the turn of the century, many Eastern European Jews immigrated to America and introduced rugelach. Traditionally, it’s made with a yeast dough requiring the repetitive, arduous task of kneading and rising. The more popular rugelach dough now used is not a yeast dough, but instead made with cream cheese. Because there’s no yeast, there’s no rise time.
Roll out the disk to the shape of a square, approximately 1/8 inch (3mm) thick.
Sprinkle approximately 1/3 cup (65g) sugar mixture on dough, spread evenly across surface of dough.
Next, sprinkle ¾ cup (110g) nut mixture on dough, spread evenly across surface.
Cut 4 strips. Cut each strip into 5 triangles.
Starting with the wide end, roll each triangle ending with the point. Wet the point and tuck it under the rugelach (This is so that the rugelach won’t open during baking).
Roll each rugelach in the sugar mixture. (If the mixture doesn’t stick to the dough, lightly brush a little water on the rugelach, then dip it in the sugar mixture). Reshape by slightly curving in the narrow ends to give it the “C” shape.
Now, what sets these rugelach apart? It is custom to add the filling to the inside of the dough. This recipe calls for the filling on the inside and outside of the rugelach! Every bite is so flavorful ~ It’s amazing!
- 1 8oz. (225g) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (223g), room temperature
- 2 cups (220g) all purpose flour (I use unbromated flour, King Arthur)
- powdered sugar *(see note at bottom)*
- ¾ cup (150g) white sugar
- ¾ cup (135g) light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 cup (150g) chopped walnuts
- 1 cup (150g) chopped pecans
- For the dough, you can either do this by hand or with a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Combine cream cheese and butter until well blended and smooth.
- Add flour, ½ cup (55g) at a time until all incorporated.
- Divide dough into thirds. Take ⅓ of the dough, roll into a ball, and then flatten into a disk, approximately ½ inch (13mm) thick. This will make it easier to roll the dough when assembling the rugelach. Do the same for the rest of the dough, wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- In the meantime, in a medium size bowl, combine both sugars and cinnamon.
- In a separate bowl, combine the pecans and walnuts.
- Let dough come to room temperature.
- Position rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350℉ (177℃).
- Before rolling the dough, sprinkle surface and rolling pin with powdered sugar *(See tip below).
- Roll out the disk to the shape of a square, approximately ⅛ inch (3mm) thick.
- Sprinkle approximately ⅓ cup (65g) sugar mixture on dough, spread evenly across surface of dough.
- Next, sprinkle ¾ cup (110g) nut mixture on dough, spread evenly across surface.
- Cut 4 strips. Cut each strip into 5 triangles.
- Starting with the wide end, roll each triangle, ending with the point. Wet the point and tuck it under the rugelach (This is so that the rugelach won’t open during baking).
- Roll each rugelach in the sugar mixture. (If the mixture doesn't stick to the dough, lightly brush a little water on the rugelach, then dip it in the sugar mixture).
- Reshape by slightly curving in the narrow ends to give it the “C” shape.
- Place on prepared cookie sheet. Repeat the process until all dough is finished. Space the rugelach approximately one inch apart.
- Bake 10-12 minutes until golden. Cool on wire rack. Store in air tight container for up to three days, room temperature.
- Each disk yields approximately 20 rugelach. If you wanted to make only one disk at a time, the remaining dough can be stored either in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. When I store it in the freezer, I wrap the disks in plastic wrap, and then place them in a large zip lock freezer bag to ensure freshness.
food processor (for chopping nuts)
silicone mat (surface for rolling dough)