Tuesday, March 6, 2012

TWD: Rugelach

Cream cheese dough, cinnamon sugar, plump dried fruits, toasted nuts...this recipe sounded decadent, old-fashioned, and delicious! I have used this dough in other recipes and it bakes up flaky, light, and beautifully flavorful. While it is certainly the best part of the cookie, the dough seems to suffer in this somewhat clunky recipe.
I decided to follow this recipe to the letter, making homemade apricot lekvar and using almonds, hazelnuts, dried cherries, apricots, prunes, dark and golden raisins for the filling.

The jelly-roll shape of the cookies made me a little nervous, but I rolled 'em up and chilled them overnight. I tried to pinch a seal on the end of the roll to avoid the cookies opening into snail shapes as they baked. Most of them did anyway. I also found it necessary to cut the baking time down to 20 minutes to avoid burning the filling and sugar/nut coating. All in all, the rugelach recipe seemed much ado about, if not exactly nothing, than not very much. I found myself wishing I had made the adjustments my instincts told me to. These are the best looking examples:

What do you think, TWD folks? Perhaps my lekvar was too runny? My oven too hot? Did I bake them sideways? (I think so.) Check out Jessica's lovely rugelach at My Baking Heart and find the recipe with Margaret at The Urban Hiker, or on pages 235-236 of Baking with Julia.


  1. Did you double up the baking sheets as recommended in the recipe? I did not, knowing my oven tends to be slower and cooler. I just watched them closely. Mine did not burn or scorch on the bottoms, but quite a few did unfurl as yours did.

    Next time---instincts will reign! I will make a few changes as well, cutting down on the cinnamon-sugar, cutting them thinner, and baking them on the seam instead of on their sides.

    Live and learn, right? Or is it bake and learn?! ;)

    1. Bake and learn- that's perfect! I did not double up my sheets and definitely will if I make these again. I think maybe I was confused by the instruction to bake "cut side down." It seems like "seam side down" may have been more clear. Oh well...I'm still enjoying munching on these with tea!

  2. I think these are just a bit fussy. I bake mine with the cut side down. Regardless, yours are lovely!

  3. I think yours look great! I agree with Jules, this recipe was really fiddly.

  4. I was kind of having the same feeling about these cookies being much ado about nothing, but as I keep eating them, I'm starting to come around. Sigh. (That means the rest go to work tomorrow.)

  5. I baked mine by doubling the cookie sheets and using parchment paper and baked them for the full time and they came out just fine. Yours look yummy!

  6. Your rugelach look awesome! I doubled the baking sheet for the first batch, but didn't on the second because I had refrigerated the pans for 30 minutes and they were quite cold. Also my pans are really heavy (Chicago Metallic).

  7. looks delicious, well done :)

  8. These were a bit of a project.
    I didn't double my baking sheets, but I did place a Silpat under the parchment which I find has the same effect.
    Your examples look good!