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Bonnie’s Rugelach Recipe

Bonnie’s Rugelach Recipe

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Prepare the pastry: Cut the butter into the flour until crumbly. This can be done in a food processor, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a pastry blender. Cut the cream cheese into the mixture until the dough just comes together. Divide the dough into four balls, flatten each to approximately a 4-inch round, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
  2. Prepare the filling: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, nuts, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before rolling. Roll each ball into a 10- to 11-inch circle, lightly flouring your work surface if necessary. The circles do not have to be perfect—if they aren’t as good as you would like them, do not re-roll, as in my experience, it never gets better. But you will get better at rolling out the dough with practice.
  4. Spread each circle with about 2 tablespoons of jam and sprinkle with one-quarter of the brown sugar mixture. Cut each circle into 12 wedges, as if you were cutting a pizza, or 16 if you want them smaller. Roll up each wedge from the outside/wide edge to the middle.
  5. Place rolled cookies on the lined baking sheets. The unbaked, unglazed cookies can be frozen flat on the baking sheets, then transferred to resealable plastic bags once frozen, or you can freeze the cookies once baked. If baking from frozen, they may take a few minutes longer to cook.
  6. To glaze, brush each cookie with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until browned. Cool for about 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. If a lot of jam and sugar has oozed out, trim it off with scissors when cool. These cookies freeze well.
  8. BONNIE'S NOTE: If you are like me and think that more is better and always overstuff things, resist the temptation to do that here. Any extra jam or brown sugar will just ooze out of the rugelach when they bake and could burn.
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Bonnie’s Rugelach Recipe

5 / 5. 2

Triangles of buttery cookie dough topped with jam, spiced sugared nuts, and rolled up crescent-style…

  • clock icon
    40-45 MIN
  • 48 SERVINGS
Bonnie's Rugelach Recipe.

One bite and you’ll understand why everyone loves BONNIE’S RUGELACH RECIPE.

A few months back, I received a copy of DON’T WORRY, JUST COOK, a fab cookbook authored by my friends Bonnie Stern and Anna Rupert. Flipping through, I realized it was loaded with recipes I just had to try. One in particular caught my eye: BONNIE’S RUGELACH RECIPE.

A copy of DON'T WORRY, JUST COOK, by Bonnie Stern and Anna Rupert.

I’m going to go through my experience in making the recipe, but to begin, here are some of the highlights:

  • Rugelach are dainty, crescent-shaped cookies filled with jam, brown sugar, and spiced nuts.
  • These cookies are a filled baked confection originating in the Jewish communities of Poland, where they were often exchanged during Jewish holidays.
  • The dough used to craft them is wonderfully flaky and made with both butter and cream cheese.
  • The cookies are filled with jam, cinnamon, brown sugar, and chopped nuts.
  • The yield on this recipe is 48 cookies, so there’s some serious scrumptiousness on the way.

Here are a few tips and tricks I learned making BONNIE’S RUGELACH RECIPE:

Here are the ingredients needed to make rugelach cookies.

INGREDIENTS

One of the things about this recipe that first caught my eye is how few ingredients are needed to make it. Note: the dough for the cookies is made with flour, butter, and cream cheese, not a speck of salt or granulated sugar in sight. This three-ingredient dough has such a rich taste and is super flaky, proving that superior recipes don’t need a ton of ingredients, just the right ones. For best results, we suggest using organic ingredients if possible. You will taste a difference.

The cookie dough assembled in the canister of a food processor.

COOKIE DOUGH

We made this rugelach recipe exactly as written in Bonnie’s cookbook. However, right before making the dough, she gave us two options for the process. You can either cut the cold unsalted butter and cold cream cheese into the flour and create the dough by hand, or make it using a food processor. We opted for the food processor, being careful not to over-process. This method worked perfectly and you can watch this VIDEO as a guide. The dough is forgiving and easy to work with.

Four discs of the rugelach cookie dough wrapped and ready to be chilled.

One important finishing step for the cookie dough is to evenly quarter the dough into discs before refrigerating it for a few hours or overnight. This sets the stage for four rounds of cookie baking, allowing you to bake them off all at once, or save some discs of dough in the freezer to bake at a later date. This reminds me of our ALL-BUTTER PIE CRUST; I always have two discs in my freezer to whip up a pie on short notice. I envision keeping a few discs of this cookie dough in the freezer too because you never know when someone asks, “Got any cookies?”

All of the components for the cookie recipe sitting to the side of the pastry board.

COOKIE MAKING

Making the rugelachs is easy. For best results, we suggest having your tools and the ingredients for the filling ready at your workstation before you start. So, have your canister of flour, rolling pin, jam, cinnamon, nuts, and sanding sugar measured, and make sure your egg is at room temperature. It may be my type-A personality in overdrive, but it will make sense as you go along, how it helps the process of assembling these cookies happen without incident.

A disc of dough rolled out into a 10-inch circle.

ROLLING OUT THE DOUGH

Getting the dough rolled out to a 10-inch circle shouldn’t be difficult. Sprinkle a bit of flour on your work surface or pastry board, flour your rolling pin, and get to it. It’s important to have a lightly floured surface to easily roll the disc out to an even, thin layer, about ⅛-inch thick. That said, practice does make perfect, and remember that three more discs are waiting in the wings. You’ll be a rugelach-making pro in no time.

Bowls of brown sugar, apricot jam, chopped pecans and cinnamon.

FILLING

The filling for these cookies is a classic combination of jam, spice, and nuts. I’m still thanking my lucky stars I hid a jar of my homemade APRICOT JAM after making some last August. Using homemade fruit jam or apricot preserves is always tastier than store-bought, giving the cookies tons of flavor. Don’t have apricot jam? Try the recipe using homemade strawberry, raspberry, or rhubarb jam, or follow Bonnie’s dear friend Yotam Ottolenghi‘s lead and use quince jam instead. I know what all you bakers out there are thinking… Nutella and chocolate chips, right? You get the idea.

The circle of cookie dough with apricot jam and sprinkled sugar and nut mixture.

Filling the dough is easy to accomplish. The first step is to toss the light or golden brown sugar together with the toasted pecans and ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Some people add chopped walnuts and raisins into the mix too, so feel free to tweak the filling to taste. Then simply spread the jam on the rolled disc of dough and add a sprinkling of the cinnamon-sugar-nut mixture. Easy! 

A baking tray filled with rugelach, ready for the oven.

CRESCENT ROLLS

Rolling up the cookies isn’t difficult either, although we do have two suggestions on the process. Although you can cut each circle into equal wedges using a sharp knife, we discovered a pizza cutter worked better in making clean, straight cuts. Additionally, we pulled each wedge out a bit from the round of dough before rolling each cookie. This kept each rugelach neat and tidy before rolling them up into little crescents that look like little twists.

A bowl of sanding sugar and an egg which are both used on the top of the cookies.

TOPPING

Take your time and carefully brush each cookie with the lightly beaten egg. Note: it’s not just the egg yolk, right? Lightly whisk the yolk and white together. No need to have excess egg wash spilling down the cookie and pooling on the parchment-lined baking sheet.

One of thhe rugelach before being baked.

Instead, add the egg wash evenly over the top and sides of each crescent before sprinkling them with sparkling sanding sugar.

A baking tray of rugelach, freshly baked from the oven.

BAKE

We baked the cookies just as Bonnie directed, in a 350ºF oven for 20 – 25 minutes, total time. Because the cottage oven is somewhat wonky, we rotated the baking tray at halftime. Also worth mentioning, I baked off the cookies one sheet at a time.

Baked rugelach cooling on a wire rack.

Here’s an interesting pro tip: cookies can also be shaped and then frozen raw on the baking trays, and then stored in airtight containers. You can bake the cookies directly from frozen, the only difference being they’ll take a few minutes longer to cook. Woot! 

Bonnie Stern's Rugelach Recipe.

ENJOY THIS RULELACH RECIPE!

Once the cookies are baked, the direction is to leave them to cool on the trays before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely. We waited until they were just cool enough to handle before we lifted them from the baking tray. Moving the rugelach to the wire racks while they’re still warm stops any of the melted filling from clinging and hardening to the cookies.

Bonnie Rugelach cookies, assembled in a cello bag alongside her book, Don't Worry, Just Cook.

Don’t forget, this cookie recipe and the cookies themselves are meant to be shared. Package up rugelach in attractive cookie boxes or cello bags and give them out to those you love as gifts. They’ll love you for it!

Bonnie's Rugelach Recipe.

These cookies are so tasty, we suggest you PIN the recipe to a favourite dessert, baking or cookie board on PINTEREST or BOOKMARK this tab for easy access. SHARE it with friends so they can make them too. We’d also appreciate seeing pics of all the scrumptious baking you’re making these days. Use #weekendatthecottage when you post those pics on Facebook and Instagram. Thanks!

Hope you enjoy BONNIE’S RUGELACH RECIPE!

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Bonnie’s Rugelach Recipe

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Bonnie’s Rugelach Recipe

Ingredients

  • For the pastry:
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into even-sized chunks
  • 8 ounces full-fat, brick-style cream cheese, cold, cut into even-sized chunks
  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup finely chopped roasted pecans
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup best-quality apricot jam
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup sanding sugar (course or sparkling sugar)

Directions

  1. Prepare the pastry: Cut the butter into the flour until crumbly. This can be done in a food processor, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a pastry blender. Cut the cream cheese into the mixture until the dough just comes together. Divide the dough into four balls, flatten each to approximately a 4-inch round, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
  2. Prepare the filling: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, nuts, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before rolling. Roll each ball into a 10- to 11-inch circle, lightly flouring your work surface if necessary. The circles do not have to be perfect—if they aren’t as good as you would like them, do not re-roll, as in my experience, it never gets better. But you will get better at rolling out the dough with practice.
  4. Spread each circle with about 2 tablespoons of jam and sprinkle with one-quarter of the brown sugar mixture. Cut each circle into 12 wedges, as if you were cutting a pizza, or 16 if you want them smaller. Roll up each wedge from the outside/wide edge to the middle.
  5. Place rolled cookies on the lined baking sheets. The unbaked, unglazed cookies can be frozen flat on the baking sheets, then transferred to resealable plastic bags once frozen, or you can freeze the cookies once baked. If baking from frozen, they may take a few minutes longer to cook.
  6. To glaze, brush each cookie with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until browned. Cool for about 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. If a lot of jam and sugar has oozed out, trim it off with scissors when cool. These cookies freeze well.
  8. BONNIE'S NOTE: If you are like me and think that more is better and always overstuff things, resist the temptation to do that here. Any extra jam or brown sugar will just ooze out of the rugelach when they bake and could burn.

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