Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Rugelach | Jewish rolled cookie | Kukskitchen

I had many reasons to research Jewish traditions, the first reason being my favourite character - Ross - in my all-time-favourite US sit-com 'F-R-I-E-N-D-S'. The first thing I ever knew was Hanukkah (Chanukkah). Who can forget the ' Holiday Armadillo' :D. I was so addicted to 'Friends' that my dear hubby brought me their series for Christmas a few years back. Recently I found myself amidst colleagues (bosses :-) ) celebrating holidays like Hanukkah, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Time for more research! This time my search revolved around Jewish food and my eyes swiftly landed on Rugelach -  a Jewish pastry of Ashkenazic origin.


Rugelach is a crescent-shaped pastry which probably shares a common viennese origin as the French croissant. There is a custom of eating foods fried or baked in oil  for Hanukkah, to commemorate the miracle of a small flask of oil keeping the flame in the Temple alight for eight days. Traditional foods include potato pancakes (soon to feature in kuks kitchen), known as latkesin Yiddish, especially among Ashkenazi families. Sephardi, Polish and Israeli families eat jam-filled doughnuts. Despite the fact that Rugelach is not fried in oil, they are traditional on Hanukkah.


My dear D luved these the most amongst the various christmas gifts I prepared to take to work. But my favourite was chocolate and peanut butter balls of sin - recipe to follow.

A few things before you start:

- Served traditionally with tea, but great with coffee too. 

- Wrapped airtight, the cookie dough can be frozen for up to 1 month.

- I rolled out the dough in to flat disks and then put them in the fridge as I get a bit jittery rolling out short pastry. 

- The uncooked cookies can be covered and refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to 2 months; don’t defrost before baking, just add a couple of extra minutes to the baking time.

- The cookies can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months.


Here is how I made it.

Rugelach  |   Jewish rolled cookie
Makes 32 cookies


1 - Cold cream cheese - 113 g, cut into 4 pieces
     Cold unsalted butter - 113g (8 tbsp) cut into 4 pieces
     Plain flour - 1 cup
     Salt - 1/4 tsp

2 - Seedless raspberry jam - 2/3 cup
     Sugar - 2 tbsp
     Ground cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
     Chopped pecans ( or any other nuts) - 1/4 cup
     Plump, moist dried currants - 1/4 cup
     Mini chocolate chips - 2/3 cup

3 - Egg - 1 large 
     Cold water  - 1 tsp 
     Sugar - 2 tbsp


- Let the cream cheese and butter rest on the work top for 10 minutes — you want them to be slightly softened but still cool.
- Put the flour and salt in a food processor, scatter over the chunks of cream cheese and butter and pulse the machine 6 to 10 times. Then process, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, just until the dough forms large curds — don’t work it so long that it forms a ball on the blade.

- Turn the dough out, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each half into a disk, wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 day.

On the day:

- Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

- Heat the jam in a saucepan over low heat, or do this in a microwave oven, until it liquefies. 

- Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.
- Line two baking sheets/ trays with baking sheet or silicone mats. (Silicone baking mats are great for rugelach.)

- Pull one packet of dough from the refrigerator. If it is too firm to roll easily, either leave it on the counter for about 10 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pin.

- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 11- to 12-inch circle. Spoon (or brush) a thin gloss of jam over the dough, and sprinkle over half of the cinnamon sugar. Scatter over half of the nuts, half of the currants and half of the chopped chocolate. Cover the filling with a piece of wax paper and gently press the filling into the dough, then remove the paper and save it for the next batch.

- Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 wedges, or triangles. (The easiest way to do this is to cut the dough into quarters, then to cut each quarter into 4 triangles.) Starting at the base of each triangle, roll the dough up so that each cookie becomes a little crescent. Arrange the roll-ups on one baking sheet, making sure the points are tucked under the cookies, and refrigerate. Repeat with the second packet of dough, and refrigerate the cookies for at least 30 minutes before baking.

- Stir the egg and water together, and brush a bit of this glaze over each rugelach. Sprinkle the cookies with the sugar.

- Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until they are puffed and golden. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool to just warm or to room temperature.


Sherin Deepu


  1. wow Sherin this looks lovely, very unique recipe :) nice to see you back in action with a Christmas treat... Hope all is well...


  2. Thanks Priya. It has just been such a busy time at work, continues to be. I need to catch up on blogoshpere gossip. :-)

  3. Wonderful information on Jewish tradition and food....this pastry looks awesome....

  4. sherin sis looks so tempting.

  5. I can never forget the Holiday armadillo and Ross is my all time favortite dude. Thanks for discovering and sharing this recipe

  6. Such a beautiful looking cookie..very new..loved it

  7. OMG – I just came from the grocery to buy ingredients to make this and then I read your blog…your pictures are great – im more inspired than ever to make them!

  8. a unique and tempting one :)

  9. looks yummy...wish to taste it..

  10. Looks yum...love it...

  11. wow...yummmmmmy!!! Even I'm a die-hard FRIENDS fan.... :-)

  12. Those cookies looks highly irresistible, i can have some rite now.


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