If you’re a fan of sweet treats, you’re going to love this real rugelach recipe. Originating from Jewish cuisine, these delicious pastries offer the perfect mixture of flaky pastry and sweet filling that’s hard to resist. I first learned this rugelach recipe from my grandmother, who passed it down to me as a family heirloom. Over the years, I’ve perfected it with small tweaks and twists to make it uniquely my own. And today, I’m thrilled to share my tried-and-true rugelach recipe with you.
As an Israeli chef, I’ve come across many rugelach recipes, but none quite like mine. This recipe is all about balance – the dough is flaky and buttery, while the filling is sticky and sweet. It’s versatile too; you can customize the fillings to suit your taste or use seasonal ingredients. But whichever flavor you opt for, the result is always melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Making rugelach can seem daunting at first, but don’t be intimidated – this recipe is relatively easy to follow, even for beginner bakers. All you need are simple pantry ingredients like flour, sugar, and butter. You’ll also need some walnuts (but feel free to substitute them), cinnamon, and seedless raisins for the filling. With a little bit of time and patience (and maybe some good music and a cup of tea), you’ll have homemade rugelach that tastes even better than store-bought.
So let’s get started on this real rugelach recipe! One bite of these buttery treats will transport you straight to a Jerusalem boulangerie or give you that comfort feeling of your grandmother’s baking in her kitchen.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Welcome to my real rugelach recipe! If you’re looking for a sweet and buttery treat that is both comforting and indulgent, this classic Jewish pastry will definitely be your new downfall. In this section, I will convince you of the reasons why you’ll fall in love with my rugelach recipe.
Firstly, my rugelach cookies are packed with the rich and nutty flavors of cinnamon, walnuts, and seedless raisins. They are sweetened with granulated sugar and brown sugar, but not overly sweet that it will make your teeth hurt. The filling is spread evenly over each circle of dough to ensure that every bite is full of flavor. Trust me when I say that this combination of flavors will have you coming back for more in no time!
Secondly, making rugelach is a unique and enjoyable baking experience. It allows you to get creative with different fillings, shapes, and sizes. Whether you prefer apricot walnut or raspberry chocolate filling, the possibilities are endless. Rugelach can also be made in small or large batches depending on your baking needs – they are perfect for sharing or indulging in as a solo treat.
Lastly, my recipe is easy to follow with simple ingredients you likely already have on hand. It begins with a flaky cream cheese dough that is rolled up like crescents before being baked to golden perfection. Trust me when I say that these cookies are worth the effort and patience required to make them.
In conclusion, there are many reasons to love this traditional rugelach recipe – it’s delicious, versatile, and fun to make. Whether it’s your first time trying rugelach or it’s been a long-time favorite, you won’t regret trying out my version!
Here are the ingredients you need to make a classic rugelach recipe:
For the dough:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup seedless raisins or currants
- 1/2 cup apricot jam, melted and cooled
For the assembly:
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Sanding sugar or granulated sugar, for sprinkling
These rugelach ingredients can be easily found in your local grocery store. So don’t hesitate to prepare this classic Israeli pastry and impress your friends and family with your baking skills!
The Recipe How-To
Now it’s time to create the delicious Rugelach cookies. First, we’ll prepare the dough.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (for sprinkling over the dough)
- In a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the butter and cream cheese until well combined.
- Add in the 2 cups of flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Mix until a dough is formed.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal parts, shape them into balls and cover each ball with plastic wrap.
- Place them in the refrigerator and leave them for at least two hours but overnight is even better.
After chilling our dough for a while, let’s create our filling.
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- ¾ cup seedless raisins
- Combine light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl.
- Roll out each ball of chilled dough on a floured surface into an approximately 9-inch circle.
- Spread melted butter on each circle and sprinkle with sugar-cinnamon mixture.
- Top each circle with finely chopped nuts and raisins pressing them into the dough so they stick.
- Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut each circle into 12 equal wedges (like a pizza) so that you have a total of 48 wedges.
Now that our filling has been neatly arranged on our circles of dough let’s make some rugelach.
- Starting at wide end roll up each wedge tightly like you are creating a crescent shape.
- Place each rugelach cookie onto an ungreased cookie sheet with pointed end tucked underneath cookie to prevent it from unrolling when baking.
- Sprinkle more of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over each rugelach cookie.
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Bake until golden brown, approximate time is 15-20 minutes depending best on your oven.
As soon as they are baked remove from oven and let cool before removing from baking sheet.
Now you’ve made your own Rugelach! These little pastries are great for dessert or as a snack any time of day! Enjoy!
Substitutions and Variations
One of the things I love most about cooking is that there’s always room to experiment and try out new things. The same goes for this rugelach recipe. You can create your own variations based on your preferences, dietary restrictions or simply what you have on hand.
If you don’t have walnuts, don’t worry. You can easily swap them out for almonds, pecans, or any other variety of nuts. Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds are also great alternatives.
While the traditional rugelach recipe calls for cinnamon and raisins, you can mix it up with other fillings like chocolate chips, jam, or a combination of fruits and nuts – apricot-walnut rugelach is one of my personal favorites.
If you’re looking to make a dairy-free or lower-fat version, replace the cream cheese with vegan cream cheese or Greek yogurt. You could also try using coconut oil instead of butter.
Alternatively, if you want an even richer pastry, consider adding a tablespoon or two of sour cream to your dough recipe. It gives the rugelach an extra tangy flavor that pairs well with the sweetness of the filling.
For those with a sweet tooth, consider swapping some of the sugar in the filling with honey or maple syrup for an added depth of flavor.
If you’re feeling creative, why not try your hand at pastry shaping? There are many ways to shape rugelach, from classic crescents to spirals and braids – just keep in mind that different shapes may require different bake times.
Ultimately, the best rugelach is the one that suits your taste buds!
Serving and Pairing
These sweet little delights are meant to be shared with loved ones, so get the teapot ready and invite your friends over for a cozy afternoon tea party. Served best with a good cup of coffee or tea, rugelach cookies will complement almost any hot beverage.
For a more fancy affair, create an elegant cheese board and pair with a glass of sparkling wine or champagne. Rugelach can be served as a first course or as dessert following any meal.
Since rugelach have such a delicious blend of flavors, they’re used as an all-purpose dessert that transitions from season to season – perfect for any celebration! You can add your own twists and incorporate seasonal fruits into the filling, or even experiment with savory toppings such as cream cheese and smoked salmon. The possibilities are endless!
For the complete Israeli experience, visit Bread’s Bakery in New York City or take a trip overseas to try Ina Garten’s homemade rugelach at her East Hampton home.
In summary, you can serve rugelach cookies on almost any occasion whether it’s tea time, birthday celebrations or as a special treat at the end of a dinner party. Complement this pastry delight with coffee, tea or even champagne for an after-party treat that will keep your guests coming back for more!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
If you are planning on preparing this real rugelach recipe for a special occasion or for guests, you will be happy to know that the dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. This is a great way to save time on the day of baking and to ensure that your rugelach is as fresh as possible.
When it comes to storing your freshly baked rugelach, avoid stacking them on top of each other or they may become moist and lose their crispness. Instead, store them in an airtight container or cookie jar at room temperature for up to 3 days.
If you happen to have leftovers or want to make a larger batch, you can also store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat frozen rugelach, simply thaw them at room temperature and then place them in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for around 5-10 minutes depending on their size. This will bring back their freshness and crispiness making them taste just like they did when they were first baked.
Overall, this recipe is perfect for those who love to prepare food ahead of time and enjoy keeping a stash of homemade treats on hand.
Tips for Perfect Results
Now that you know how to make rugelach, it’s important to know a few tips and tricks to make the best batch possible. Here are some helpful tips for perfect results:
1. Use cold ingredients: Keep in mind that the key to a perfect rugelach dough is to use cold cream cheese, butter, and egg. If they are at room temperature, it will change the consistency of the dough and cause it to spread during baking.
2. Don’t overmix the dough: Overmixing can make the dough tough and result in a dry rugelach cookie. Mix the dough until it just comes together and then stop.
3. Chill the dough before rolling it out: After making the dough, always chill it for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out. This will make it easier to handle and prevent any shrinking during baking.
4. Use quality ingredients: Using high-quality ingredients is key when making rugelach. From the cream cheese to the raisins and walnuts, using fresh, high-quality ingredients will make all the difference in taste.
5. Experiment with fillings: Rugelach is versatile when it comes to fillings. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations like raspberry jam and chocolate chips or apricot preserves and nuts.
6. Be patient with shaping: Rolling and shaping rugelach can be time-consuming, but take your time and be gentle with the dough. It will pay off in the end with beautifully shaped cookies.
7. Bake at the right temperature: Set your oven to 350°F for optimal baking results. If your oven runs hot or cold, consider investing in an oven thermometer to ensure accuracy.
8. Cool completely before storing: Allow your rugelach cookies to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container at room temperature or freezing them for later enjoyment.
By following these tips, you’ll be sure to bake up the best batch of delicious rugelach cookies every time!
Now that you have all the information and steps for making the best rugelach, you may still have some questions that need answers. In this section, we will address common queries about the recipe ingredients and process, so you can make sure your rugelach turns out perfect every time. Let’s dive into the FAQs!
What is the difference between Israeli and American rugelach?
This recipe stays true to the Israeli way of making chocolate rugelach, where a homemade chocolate filling infused with cinnamon is used instead of the conventional mini-chocolate chips.
What is the heritage of rugelach?
The history of rugelach, a beloved Jewish dessert, can be traced back to the traditional pastries of Hungary, Austria, and Poland. The original version of this crescent-shaped treat was crafted with yeast dough and a sweet filling made from fruit jams, poppy seed paste, or nuts.
What is the difference between rugelach and schnecken?
Schnecken and rugelach are two sweet pastries with distinct fillings. Schnecken is commonly filled with cinnamon sugar and raisins but never with jam, unlike rugelach which features fillings like raspberry and apricot jam. Rugelach also has a bite-sized cookie version, unlike schnecken.
In conclusion, this real rugelach recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves delicious and homemade baked goods. With ingredients like cream cheese, walnuts, cinnamon, seedless raisins, and brown sugar, this recipe promises an explosion of flavors in every bite. Not only does it make for a great treat to enjoy with your morning coffee or tea, but it’s also perfect for sharing with family and friends.
By following the detailed instructions provided in this article and using the helpful tips and suggestions shared by Chef Ehud, you can be sure that your rugelach will turn out perfectly. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different substitutions and variations to make it your own.
So whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice in the kitchen, give this real rugelach recipe a try. Trust me; you won’t regret it!
Real Rugelach Recipe
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
Raisin Nut Filling
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup seedless raisin, coarsly chopped
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon cream or 1 tablespoon milk
- In a mixing bowl or food processor, cream the butter and cream cheese together.
- Add sugar, salt and vanilla and mix well.
- Beat in the flour, little by little. Work the dough lightly just until all the flour is incorporated. Do not knead.
- Divide the dough into 4 portions. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- Prepare the filling and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll out one of the portion of dough in a circle about 1/16 inch thick. ( About a 9 inch circle).
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the filling on entire circle of dough, lightly pressing into dough.
- With a knife or pastry wheel, cut the pastry into 8 pie-shaped wedges.
- Roll up each wedge starting from wide edge, putting point end down on foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Chill formed cookies for 20 minutes on pan.
- Beat egg and cream or milk together and brush on cookies with pastry brush, then sprinkle with some of filling mixture.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
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