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Kosher Apricot Walnut Rugelach Recipe

Updated on December 14, 2012
Light and crispy from the oven walnut and apricot rugelach.
Light and crispy from the oven walnut and apricot rugelach. | Source

What is Rugelach?

Rugelach (pronounced ru-ga-la) is a cookie or dessert usually associated with Jewish cooking. However, it's a delicious treat that can be enjoyed by anyone any time of the year.

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.

Cast your vote for Kosher Apricot Walnut Rugelach

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

  1. Using food processor, blend together butter, cream cheese and flour by poulsing until the dough clings to the blade.
  2. 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.
  3. When ready to prepare cookies, remove dough from fridge and let warm until room temperature and dough can be worked.
  4. Make filling. Combine walnuts, apricots, spices, sugar and extract. Set aside.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Note: These freeze very well. Place in airtight container or freezer bag. Separate layers with wax or parchment paper.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Rugelach Variations

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



Coarsely chop walnuts.

Start with fresh organic walnuts--chop.
Start with fresh organic walnuts--chop. | Source


Blend stewed apricots together with cinnamon until chunky puree forms.

Combine steamed apricots and cinnamon.
Combine steamed apricots and cinnamon. | Source

The mixture does not have to be smooth.

Puree to a nice chopped mixture.
Puree to a nice chopped mixture. | Source


Roll out the dough to circle of desired size.

Roll out dough to a nice even circle.
Roll out dough to a nice even circle. | Source


Smear apricot puree thinly on entire circle. Top with chopped walnuts.

Place filling on dough.
Place filling on dough. | Source


Cut dough into wedges.

Cut into wedges.
Cut into wedges. | Source


Roll up each wedge starting at wide end.

Roll up starting at wide end.
Roll up starting at wide end. | Source


Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Place on baking sheet.
Place on baking sheet. | Source


Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

Delicious--not too sweet and not too tart.
Delicious--not too sweet and not too tart. | Source

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!


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    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      5 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, Tracy~

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 

      5 years ago from Virginia, USA

      Great info, directions and photos! I can't wait to try these out.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      6 years ago from Washington

      Glad you liked, Virginia~ It really is an easy recipe and I liked doing it a little less on the sugary side to be honest. Thanks so much for stopping by and offering input~!

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 

      6 years ago from United States

      Yum--I'm going to make some of these for Christmas. I've made a sort of tart out of this type of dough but this looks a lot easier. I love the many variations you have done. I also love the layout of this Hub. It is easy to read with the most important part first, but adding lots of additional information. I like the green divider line. I want to make something like that to add to my hubs. Voted up and pinned!

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      6 years ago from Washington

      Ha ha y'all--and I was also born a princess in another life---rather doubt THAT one as I have too high of a work ethic~ Thanks for stopping by and they were voted 2 paws up by Griffin--thankfully he only got a little piece....the guy is just hopeless~ I call him my taste tester.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      6 years ago

      These little treats look so dainty. I bet they taste great, too. Once again, I have to pin your recipe! And yep, I agree with Lela. You must have been born Jewish in your previous life!

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      6 years ago from Washington

      I think you nailed it, Lela--I must have been Jewish somewhere along the line, eh? I liked these because they were less sweet than some I've tasted in the past and couldn't figure out why I didn't like them~ I was thinking though, having just made some apps I was trying for the holidays with apricots, walnuts and blue cheese...savory ones would be awesome as well...back to the drawing..I mean cutting board~

      I bet you could make these Carol....the cream cheese dough is a snap to roll out and is always perfect--I use a cream cheese dough for my tarts as well because it's foolproof unlike regular pie doughs~

    • Austinstar profile image


      6 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      One of my favorite desserts! Apricot and walnut sounds like the perfect combo. I usually go for the cinnamon flavor at my local grocer. I would never have the patience to wait 5 hours or more for the dough to chill.

      Happy Hanukkah! (Obviously, you were Jewish in one of your lifetimes :-)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Your instructions are excellent,,even a non baker as I am could easily follow. These look so good ..and I am so tempted. I am voting up and pinning...

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      6 years ago from Washington

      Thanks BJ for stopping by--my family didn't know what I was concocting in the laboratory...I mean kitchen...and as usual they have to be my guinea pigs. They gave me 2 thumbs up - and I had to hide them from my ever ready taste tester, Griffin as he was all over the place trying to fetch a piece~ Chocolate would be magnificent as well--will have to make that for my family one of these rugelach days~

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      Your instructions are mahvelous, Audrey, and your photos good enough to eat. Really! I have had chocolate rugelachs before but never apricot walnut. That is a very elegant combination, m'luv. Thank you.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      6 years ago from Washington

      Thanks for stopping by, Scribenet and glad I did it up right~ They really are marvelously delicious little cookies..I had to freeze some to keep from eating them all.

    • Scribenet profile image


      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have made variations of this and it was a favorite of my late husband. These are great instructions and good photos...makes my mouth water!

      These definitely are elegant and very tasty for Christmas cookie platters! I will bookmark because these will be made again..thanks for reminding me since I am looking for cookie recipes as I write!


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