Ruth Oliver's American-Style Apricot Rugelach | Photography: Ben Yuster | Styling: Talia Gon Assif
Ruth Oliver's American-Style Apricot Rugelach | Photography: Ben Yuster | Styling: Talia Gon Assif
Recipe

Apricot Rugelach

The close cousin of the beloved Israeli Rugelach, these American style Rugelach are made with a cream cheese dough and filled with apricot jam

Once Rugelach immigrated to America along with Eastern European Jews, they changed – cream cheese, one of the major culinary inventions of the Land of Impossible Possibilities, became a permanent ingredient in the dough, giving it a bit more bite and prolonging the cookie’s shelf-life. This recipe is for the cream cheese rugelach, with a dried apricot and rosemary filling that takes it to the next level, but you can use any filling you like.

Rugelach end up looking like tiny crescents of dough, rolled up with different fillings. Rugelach are fairly common in Israel, where the most popular filling is chocolate, but this is a completely different animal than its American cousin. Original rugelach fillings included nut and raisins and they used to serve them for Hanukkah and Shavuot.

The rogelach originated in Ashkenazi cuisine and the origin of the word is in Yiddish. There are several versions of Rogelach’s name, one of which means “small twists”, on the other hand, some claim that the name originates from the word “rogel” which means majestic. Some claim that the origin of the name is the word “rog” in Polish, which influenced the Yiddish language, and means “horn” like the shape of the rogelach, crescents that look like an animal’s horn, baked in this way are called “rogel” in Polish and the two names are almost identical

Ingredients for Apricot Rugelach

For the dough:

  • 7 oz (200 grams) butter room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 2¾ cups (385 grams) flour sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 7 oz (200 grams) cream cheese 30%

For the filling:

  • 14.1 oz (400 grams) dried apricots cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 sprigs rosemary (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) walnuts chopped

To coat:

  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar

Instructions

Prepare the dough:

  • 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, vanilla paste, flour and salt for 2-3 minutes at medium speed until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add cheese and mix until lumps of dough begin to form. Gather into a ball by hand, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour (or overnight).

Prepare the filling:

  • 2. Cook all the ingredients in a small pot over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has the texture of a thin jam. Remove the rosemary sprigs and set the mixture aside to cool.  

Assemble and bake:

  • 3. Heat the oven to 355F (180C) degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • 4. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and roll out on a floured work surface to a thickness of 1/10 of an inch (3 mm). Divide each circle into 12 triangles (like a pizza) with a knife or pastry wheel and place a spoonful of filling on the wide part of each triangle. Roll up, from the wide side to the narrow, and bend slightly to a crescent shape.

  • 5. Arrange the crescents in the pan at 1/4-inch (1/2 cm) intervals, brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.

  • 6. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden. Keep in a sealed jar for up to 10 days.

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