Sour Cherry Rugelach

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Sour Cherry Rugelach

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Published prior to 2008

A rugelach is a crescent-shaped cookie with filling, traditionally baked for Jewish holidays, Chanukah and Shabbat in particular. Originally brought over from Eastern Europe, rugelach is now baked as a dessert treat anytime; it's even sold on the Internet.

Traditional fillings include raisins, apples, and nuts; a quick search of the Web vendors revealed a wide variety of fillings: peanut butter-chocolate, apple strudel, apricot-almond and cranberry-walnut. While the filling types vary, rugelach's "staple" is its cream cheese dough.

The name rugelach has evolved into many spelling variations: roggles, ruggles, rogulah, and rugula (which is Latin for "small fold.") The Yiddish translation for these cookies is "little twists." Whatever you call them, they're tasty, bite-sized treats.

1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, light or regular (not nonfat)
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups (11 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

3/4 cup (2 1/2 ounces) dried sour cherries
2/3 cup (2 3/4 ounces) toasted walnuts
3/4 cup (5 1/2 ounces) sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, beaten with 2 teaspoons water
granulated, sanding or pearl sugar

Dough: Beat the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer until light. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until fluffy. Mix in the flour. Gather the dough into a ball and knead it until it's smooth and the flour is incorporated.

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, roll each piece into a ball, then flatten them into disks, and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour or longer.

Filling: Finely dice the cherries and walnuts. Add the remaining filling ingredients, and blend well. (If you have a food processor, all you have to do is put all the ingredients together in the bowl and pulse a few times.) Set the mixture aside.

Assembly: Work with one piece of dough at a time, leaving the other pieces in the refrigerator. Unwrap the disk and roll it into an 8-inch round. Place 3 tablespoons of filling onto the dough and spread -- leaving a space in the center uncovered, about 1 inch in diameter. Use a sharp knife or a pizza wheel to cut the circle into eight equal wedges. Starting at the wide (outside) edge of each wedge, roll it towards its narrow edge, like you would a crescent roll. Place the rolled wedges, tip down, on a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet.

Note: Did you wonder why you were leaving a space in the center not covered by filling? Here's why: as you roll a wedge, the filling will tend to spread to the narrow edge or point, filling in that blank spot a bit. Even if it oozes out a little you'll be placing the cookie point-down on the baking sheet, so it won't really matter.)

Curve each cookie into a crescent shape. Repeat this process with the remaining dough disks.

Topping and Baking: Brush each cookie with some of the beaten egg mixture, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake the rugelach in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 minutes, or until they're golden brown. Remove them from the pans, and cool on a wire rack. Store the rugelach airtight for 1 week, or freeze them for 2 months. (The only way we seem to be able to keep these around for very long is to put them in tins and wrap the tins in several layers of plastic wrap and aluminum foil -- making it too much of a chore to get out "just one.") Yield: 64 cookies.

Nutrition information per serving (1 piece, 21g): 90 cal, 6g fat, 1g protein, 5g complex carbohydrates, 4g sugar, 17mg cholesterol, 56mg sodium, 27mg potassium, 53RE vitamin A, 9mg calcium, 16mg phosphorus.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XII, No. 1, Holiday 2000 issue.


  • star rating 11/27/2014
  • psegor from KAF Community
  • I love the tart cherries in contrast with the rich pastry Wonderful recipe.