Three Doughs, Endless Possibilities: Grandma’s Rugelach

The above is actually a picture of Hungarian Yeast Rugelach, from a much earlier post. I don’t have a picture of the crescent shaped rugelach my grandmother A”H  favored. I went with roll shaped rugelach this time. If you want to see how the crescent shaped rugelach is made, you can take a look at my earlier post.

My father firmly believes in apricot rugelach, but my notes say that my grandmother used raspberry jam.  She also used to drop blobs of it all over the dough, while I am a jam spreader. Doesn’t matter. This is a classic cream cheese dough recipe for rugelach.

Grandma’s Rugelach
From my paternal grandmother, A”H.

8 ounces cream cheese (227 g. / 1 cup), cut into small pieces
8 ounces butter (227 g. / 1 cup), cut into small pieces
9 ounces flour (255 g. / 2 cups)
2 Tbl. sugar (24 g.)

For filling cookies:

Cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup sugar, 3-4 tsp. cinnamon)
finely chopped walnuts, sprinkled with lemon juice
miniature chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate
raspberry jam (or apricot jam or apricot lekvar)
golden raisins

Put cream cheese, butter, sugar and flour in a mixing bowl. Mix the butter and cream into the flour and sugar until a soft dough forms.

Divide the dough into three equal pieces. Place each portion of dough onto its own large-ish piece of parchment paper or waxed paper. Shape each portion of dough into a rough square and flatten to a 1/2″. Wrap up the dough squares in their pieces of paper, place the wrapped dough packages on a sheet pan and stick it in the refrigerator. Chill it overnight (2 hours at least, but I go with overnight because I find it less exhausting to make that way).

When you are ready to roll (literally), get out your rolling pin and line your work surface with parchment paper. Set up bowl of raisins, cinnamon sugar, jam, chopped nuts and mini chocolate chips.

Roll out one section of dough at a time. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper (waxed paper is good, too). Flour the surface to prevent sticking, as needed. You can also use my paternal grandmother’s trick of using powdered sugar to dust the work surface and prevent sticking. I have also heard of rolling out the dough over a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.

Roll each piece of dough into a 12″ circle. Use a pizza cutter to cut the circle into 16 narrow triangles. Spread the surface of the dough with a thin layer of  jam, leaving a 1/2″ border on the edges and a bare 1″ circle in the center. Be fairly stingy because excess jam will just leak out and burn when you go to bake the rugelach. Sprinkle over some nuts, cinnamon sugar, raisins and chocolate chips. Don’t pile on a lot, be discreet; excess filling will make the dough hard to roll up.

Roll up each triangle from the wide end to the point to make a crescent shape.

Place each crescent on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or nonstick foil.

Before baking the rugelach, chill them for a half hour in the refrigerator.

Bake until light gold, 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Makes 4 dozen rugelach.

Note: If you can’t handle rolling out three 12″ circles, you can divide the dough in quarters and roll out four 9″ circles. But my grandmother rolled out the larger circles. The yeast dough rugelach pictured above was made from a 15″ circle cut into 16 wedges. You get lots of flaky layers this way.

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4 Responses to “Three Doughs, Endless Possibilities: Grandma’s Rugelach”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Rugelach is my favorite cookie in the world – probably my favorite to make too, yet I have none up on my blog! Go figure! The yeast rugelach is something I’ve never tried making, but your paternal grandma’s rugelach sounds exactly like my patenal grandma’s rugelach! I need to check her recipe card, and I need to make rugelach asap!

    Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy, wonderful New Year!

    • pragmaticattic Says:

      Thanks, Lisa–wishing all the best for you and your family, too. I can’t wait to see what interesting twist you put on your grandmother’s rugelach.


  2. dorothy carpenter Says:

    my mom made the same dough BUT she flattened it out added crushed walnuts,cinnamon,sugar and rolled it up jellyroll style and made it into a circle…cut the dough every 4″ to vent and baked like the rugelach above,ssswonderful

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