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Rugelah - The Best Evah!

the urban baker: Rugelah - The Best Evah!

the urban baker

The Urban Baker is deliciously photographed blog about nourishing your family's soul through life in the kitchen. The recipes for fabulous savories and sweets are easily replicated and will inspire you.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Rugelah - The Best Evah!

I've made lots and lots of rugelah in my day, but this one takes the cake. I have made my grandma's, I have made Ina's, Martha's and Rose's. This one, from Cooks Illustrated is by far the best I have ever had. Better than Weby's bakery (most Sunday mornings, when I was little, you could find me and my dad, waiting in line to buy the fresh baked egg-onion bread).

My kids don't really like raisins or dried fruit in their sweets. I altered the filling. I substituted mini chocolate chips for the raisins.

The dough was super easy to work with. Even though the recipe didn't ask me to refrigerate the dough after rolling, I did anyways. Only for about 15 minutes. I feel it made all the difference in the world. I baked off a few to taste and then cut and flash froze the rest. Eventhough they look more like a pinwheel cookies, they taste like rugulah.


Makes 32 cookies. Published September 1, 1997.

If the dough gathers into a cohesive mass around the blade in the food processor workbowl, you have overprocessed it. Make sure to stop processing at the point where the mixture is separate and pebbly. If at any point during the cutting and rolling the sheet of dough softens and becomes impossible to roll, slide it onto a baking pan and freeze it until it is firm enough to handle. Once the roulades are baking in the oven, start checking them for doneness at eighteen or nineteen minutes, especially those on the top-level rack. Feel free to substitute an equal quantity of chopped pitted prunes, chopped dried apricots, dried currants, dried cherries, or dried cranberries for the raisins in the filling.


Cream Cheese and Sour Cream Dough
2 1/4cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4teaspoon table salt
1/2pound unsalted butter (2 sticks), chilled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
8ounces cream cheese chilled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2tablespoons sour cream
Fruit Filling
1cup granulated sugar
1tablespoon ground cinnamon
2/3cup apricot preserves processed briefly in food processor to break up large chunks
1cup raisins , preferably golden
2 1/4cups walnuts , chopped fine (about 2 cups)
Egg Yolk-and-Milk
2large egg yolks
2tablespoons milk


  1. 1. For the dough: Pulse flour, sugar, and salt to combine in food processor fitted with steel blade. Add butter and cream cheese pieces and sour cream; pulse until dough comes together in small, uneven pebbles the size of cottage cheese curds, about sixteen 1-second pulses. Turn mixture onto work surface, press into 9-inch-by-6-inch log, divide log into four equal portions (see illustration 1), and press each into 8-by-4-inch rectangle. Place each disk between two sheets plastic wrap; roll out to 11-inch by 7-inch rectangle. Stack dough rectangles on plate; freeze 30 minutes (or up to 1 month if stored in zipper-lock freezer bag). Meanwhile, mix sugar and cinnamon in small bowl; set aside with other filling ingredients.

  2. 2. Working with one dough rectangle, remove from freezer and spread 2 1/2 tablespoons preserves, 1/4 cup raisins, 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar, and 1/2 cup walnuts, in that order, over dough; pat down gently with fingers (illustration 3). Following illustration 5, starting from the long side, roll the dough tightly into a cylinder, taking care not to squeeze any filling out of the sides as you roll. Cut off a 1/4-inch section from each end of the cylinder and discard it. Cut the roll into 1-inch pieces. Place them seam side down on parchment paper-lined baking pans or cookie sheets (illustration 4). Freeze at least 15 minutes. (Frozen roulades, if well-wrapped, can be frozen in a zipper-lock bag up to 6 weeks.) Repeat with remaining dough rectangles.

  3. 3. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk egg yolks and milk in small bowl until smooth. Brush top and sides of frozen roulades with egg-milk mixture. Bake roulades, turning baking pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking time, until pale gold and slightly puffy, 21 to 23 minutes. Immediately sprinkle each cookie with scant teaspoon cinnamon sugar; carefully transfer hot, fragile cookies to cooling rack using thin-bladed spatula. (Can be stored in an airtight container up to 4 days.)



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