Kosher Apricot Walnut Rugelach Recipe
What is Rugelach?
The pastry is delightfully simple to make. It's a combination of butter, cream cheese and flour. This author has found that this dough combination is one of the easiest to work with and one of the most delicious.
This recipe if you're cooking kosher, falls into the dairy category. However, there are many variations of rugelach that can be made pareve, meaning not made from dairy ingredients.
The cookies are traditionally rolled and then bent a bit to resemble a croissant.
Ingredients for Apricot Walnut Rugelach
- 8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3 ounces chilled nonfat cream cheese, cut into pieces
- 1 cup unbleached flour, more for kneading
- 1 cup organic walnuts, chopped
- 4 ounces poached dried apricots, chopped
- 1/2 cup sugar, powdered sugar or sugar substitute
- 1 teaspoon ground Saigon or Ceylon cinnamon
- Dash almond extract
- Dash Grand Marnier, optional
How to Make Apricot Walnut Rugelach
- Using food processor, blend together butter, cream cheese and flour by poulsing until the dough clings to the blade.
- Turn out the dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead into a smooth ball. Divide into 2 balls, dust with a little flour and flatten out. Wrap each ball in wax paper or cling wrap; wrap again in foil. Insert into plastic bag and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
- When ready to prepare cookies, remove dough from fridge and let warm until room temperature and dough can be worked.
- Make filling. Combine walnuts, apricots, spices, sugar and extract. Set aside.
- Use one ball of dough at a time. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets (2) with parchment paper. Roll out ball to a circle that's about 16 inches in diameter. Sprinkle half of the walnut and apricot mixture on the circle.
- Cut the circle into 16 wedges. Starting at the wide edge (outer edge of circle) roll like a crescent roll towards the pointed tip. You may bend it slightly like a croissant--place on baking sheet.
- Repeat process with other ball of dough and filling mixture of walnuts and apricots. Place in preheated oven in the upper third and bake for 20 minutes or until light brown. Cool on a wire rack.
- Note: These freeze very well. Place in airtight container or freezer bag. Separate layers with wax or parchment paper.
- Do ahead tips: Make dough the day before--thaw out about an hour before you're ready to make the cookies. Make the filling the day before. Store in an airtight container at room temp until ready to use.
- Note: Vary the size of the circle and number of wedges to match larger or smaller cookies. I cut mine into 8 because I cut my dough into 4 balls rather than 2.
Tips for Making Rugelach
- These freeze like a dream. Store in an airtight container or freezer bag. Separate layers with wax paper or parchment paper.
- Use a pizza cutter to cut into wedges.
- Vary the size of the circle depending on whether you want bite-size rugelach or bigger cookies.
- Bake on parchment paper for no sticking and easy cleanup. Reuse the parchment paper for multiple batches.
Make Ahead Tips for Making Rugelach
- Make dough the day before; cover with plastic wrap or place in a zip-lock bag. Thaw for about 1 hour before using.
- Make filling the day before. Store in an airtight container until ready to assemble.
There are many great recipes available for rugelach or improvise and make your own.
- Some people like using powdered sugar instead of regular sugar because it makes the cookies melt in your mouth light in consistency
- Try the chocolate and walnut version in Helen Nash's New Kosher Cuisine
- Add different spices or a dash of liqueur for a different taste
- Many recipes call for preserves or jams instead of dried fruits which makes a creamier rugelach
- Try different nuts instead of walnuts for a different taste
- Substitute nut butters for the jam or preserves in other recipes
- Different dried fruits allow more choices as to flavors and colors for rugelach
- Make a more savory rugelach by adding things like blue cheese or goat cheese
- Make extras and have on hand for any time of year
- Red and green rugelach are excellent choices for Christmas
- Make them for Hanukkah or other Jewish holidays--enjoy either dairy or pareve versions
- The sky's the limit in terms of types of rugelach--by recipe or your own creation
STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO MAKING RUGELACH
Coarsely chop walnuts.
Blend stewed apricots together with cinnamon until chunky puree forms.
The mixture does not have to be smooth.
Roll out the dough to circle of desired size.
Smear apricot puree thinly on entire circle. Top with chopped walnuts.
Cut dough into wedges.
Roll up each wedge starting at wide end.
Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool and enjoy!
Additional Notes on Rugelach
As you might note in the video, the recipe there used a much sweeter filling, including brown sugar, raisins and apricot jam.
They also brushed the rolled rugelach with melted butter before baking and sprinkled them with a cinnamon sugar mixture.
The recipe above is a lower calorie and more basic rugelah recipe, designed to be not quite as sweet. Vary the recipe above according to your own tastebuds. Enjoy!