Easy Rugelach (aka Babka Bites)


Did you know that you can make rugelach from challah dough? Well, you can!

These won’t be super flaky yeast dough rugelach. For that texture, you need what is called a “laminated dough,” or a dough that has layers of butter or margarine rolled into it (like puff pastry, croissant or danish dough). The difference between these rugelach and the super-flaky kind is the difference between doughnuts and cronuts.

If you want super-flaky yeast dough rugelach, take a look at this. If you want something easy to make and trans-fat free (no margarine!) that tastes like bite-sized chocolate babka, read on.


Easy Yeast Dough Rugelach
Adapted from Carine Goren’s Sweet Secrets. By adapted, I mean that I took the lazy way out and cheated a bit (ok, a lot) in making the filling and dough. Goren’s recipe calls for a filling of cocoa, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. I substituted with a mixture of Nesquik and safflower oil or coconut oil. Instead of making the dough from Goren’s recipe, I just used some extra challah dough. I have an amazing but much more complicated recipe for Hungarian yeast rugelach that I got from another Israeli cookbook, Tzippora Kriezman’s Delights of the Jewish Kitchen. The Kriezman rugelach are super flaky-the yeast rugelach of your dreams-but a real potchke and you need to use margarine. 

20 ounces challah or babka or other sweet dough (the amount you need to make a loaf of challah, or a piece the size of a small melon)
1 cup Israeli Nesquik (or 7 Tbl. cocoa and 9 Tbl. sugar or 1 cup powdered sugar)
4-6 Tbl. oil (coconut oil adds tremendous flavor, but you can use safflower oil)
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (optional, but highly recommended)

egg glaze (1 egg, 1 Tbl. water), optional

sugar syrup (1cup sugar, 1/2 cup water), optional

Combine the Nesquik and oil to make a thick, spreadable paste. Start with the smaller amount of oil and add a little more at a time as needed, just until you get a smooth, spreadable, but still thick paste. If you add all the oil at once, the mixture can get too thin. If the mixture seems a bit thin, stir in a little more Nesquik to make it stiffer. If the mixture is still too dry after adding all the oil, add just a little bit in at a time until you have a thick, spreadable paste.

Divide the dough into four pieces (each about five ounces, or a piece the size of a baseball). Roll out each piece of dough to a 9″ circle that is about 1/8″ thick. Spread each circle of dough with the chocolate paste. Sprinkle over the chopped chocolate, if you are using it. Cut each circle into 8-12 wedges (like a pizza)  and roll up each wedge from the wide end towards the point.

Another option for rolling out the dough is to roll out two large circles. Divide the dough into two 10 ounce pieces and roll each piece into a 12″ circle. Spread each circle of dough with the chocolate paste and sprinkle with chopped chocolate. Cut each circle into 16 wedges and roll up each wedge from the wide end towards the point.

Place the rolled dough on lined baking sheets and glaze with beaten egg (1 egg, 1 Tbl. water). This step can be a bit messy and annoying and I have skipped it with very little change in the final results.

Bake straightaway (don’t let the dough rise) at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Make the sugar syrup: boil 1 cup sugar with 1/2 cup water until the sugar dissolves. Take off the heat. Brush the hot sugar syrup on the rugelach right after you pull the rugelach from the oven. This step can be skipped, too, unless you want the extra shine, moisture and sweetness that comes from the sugar glaze.

Makes 32 rugelach.

Note: If you have just a pound of challah dough to work with, you can divide the dough into three pieces and roll each piece out into a 9″ circle. Spread the circles with a mixture of 3/4 cup Nesquik (1/3 cup cocoa and 1/2 cup sugar) and 3-4 Tbl. oil. Cut each circle into 8 wedges.

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4 Responses to “Easy Rugelach (aka Babka Bites)”

  1. Mrs. S. Says:

    “Babka Bites” – Great name! 🙂

  2. Vanilla Rugelach | Pragmatic Attic Says:

    […] A whole lot of this and that . . . . « Easy Rugelach (aka Babka Bites) […]

  3. Leora Says:

    Yum, once again.

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