Thursday, August 29, 2013

Rugelach (Barefoot Contessa)


According to Wikipedia, rugelach otherwise known as rugelakh, rugulach, rugalach, ruggalach, rogelach in plural form, rugalah and rugala (in singular form), is a Jewish pastry. Traditional rugelach are made in crescent shapes by rolling a triangle of dough around a filling. Alternatively, they can be made in forms of strudels or nut rolls with the dough rolled with filling and cut into slices before baking.

Rugelach are typically made with sour cream or cream cheese doughs. Some rugelach recipes like the one from the book, Feast by Nigella Lawson that I have came across require yeast for extra puffiness. Some contains egg in their pastry but some doesn't. Commonly, the fillings used to make rugelach include raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, chocolate, marzipan, poppy seed, or fruit preserves and can vary pretty much based on different recipes.

You might ask... why am I proposing this theme for our baking along with Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Lena, from Frozen wings? I'm not Jew and why am I baking this pastry?

As I was browsing through Ina Garten's recipes for Cook like a Star (Barefoot Contessa) event held in May 2012, I noticed this interesting Ina's Rugelach recipe. It is a highly rated recipe by Food Network and I was thinking a lot to bake these... Unfortunately, I didn't manage to bake these at that time and kept this recipe until now. When Joyce (Kitchen Flavours) was asking me to proposing a bake-along theme, I was thinking of rugelach instantly...

After making this proposal for our bake-along, many rugelach recipes have subsequently came to my attention. Some contains egg in the pastry and some uses chocolate filling (like the Nigella's one from her book,
Feast) which grabs my attention madly.

Ina? Or Nigella? Ina? Or Nigella? - this is me, crazy baking woman's thinking - LOL!

With lots of rugelach thinking, I have finally decided not to "betray" Ina. - LOL! You know what? I didn't want to ignore my chocolate craving too and have decided to use Nigella's chocolate filling on one portion of Ina's pastry. Now, I can have the best of both worlds.

This is how I baked these rugelach...

cream cheese chocolate cranberry Rugelach Barefoot Contessa
Rugelach baked with Barefoot Contessa recipe - No regrets baking these!
Making the pastry using an electric mixer
I've made two portions of pastry - one for cranberry-walnut and one for chocolate.
The two types of fillings that I used
This is how I made the cranberry-walnut ones.
So easy and amazing... Baking these is super-therapeutic!
My son's favourite: He loves these mini chocolate rugelach!
Must have one now after this shoot - these chocolate rugelach can be super addictive!
After tasting these, my son reckon that all baby-rugelach are for him :)
Munch - This mummy rugelach melt into my mouth with moist, creamy, nutty and fruity flavours!
cream cheese chocolate Rugelach Barefoot Contessa
This baby chocolate one is flakier. Yum!

I can't believe now that it is end of August 2013!!! I'm extremely happy that September and down-under Spring is arriving soon! - Yippee! 

August 2013 has been another blog-athon month for me. We had two fantastic Nigella Lawson and Egg cooking/baking themes, both were happening at the same time... I'm both surprised and not surprised to witness this August 2013 being a record-breaking month for me!!!

Geez! I'm totally amazed with these numbers! For Cook like a Star (Nigella Lawson), we have 113 posts linking with us. For Little Thumbs Up (Egg), we have 250 posts linking with Yen at Eat your heart out at this post. Even I can published the highest number of posts, 13 this month!!! Nice to know that everyone especially Joyce, Anuja and Yen have fun cooking and baking these events!!!

Can't have enough of Nigella? Me too! We are having all-stars annive
rsary for Cook like a Star at March to April 2014. This means that you can link your posts with us for these two months if you are cooking or baking any recipes from any of our previous stars including Nigella Lawson! I can't wait... Can you? 

If you can't wait, we are having Ree Drummond as our next theme for Cook like a Star, September...

Can't have enough of Little Thumbs Up? Me too! We have lots of LTU themes to come... Jorcline from Butter. Flour and Me will be the next hostess of September 2013 and her theme is PANDAN!

Are you ready for cowboy (Ree Drummond) or PANDAN cooking/baking??? I am!
Here are the recipes.
(with my modification and notes in blue)

Rugelach from the book, Barefoot Contessa Parties! by Ina Garten or here at Barefoot Contessa website

8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour 
(I used cake flour with 8% protein)

Filling (*please see below):
9 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup apricot preserves, puréed in a food processor
1 egg (or egg yolk) beaten with 1 tbsp milk, for egg wash

 *The filling that I used for 1/4 of the recipe:

18g raw caster sugar
10g light brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tbsp apricot preserves, puréed in a food processor
(I used sugar-reduced apricot jam and didn't purée it)

Cream the cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the salt, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix until just combined. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball in quarters, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hr.

I have made the pastry using half amount of the pastry recipe and divided the pastry into 2 portions.

To make the filling, combine sugar, brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, the raisins (or cranberries), and walnuts.

On a well-floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread the dough with 2 tbsp apricot preserves and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the filling. Press the filling lightly into the dough. 

Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges, cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into thirds. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. 

I have cut the pastry first and spread the dough with jam and sprinkle the filling

Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 mins (I didn't chill the pastry as it was cold wintery day when I did this).

Preheat the oven to 350°F (or 160°C fan forced).
Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine 3 tbsp granulated sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies (I didn't do that). Bake for 15-20 mins, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.

Rugelach chocolate filling adapted from the book, Feast by Nigella Lawson

250g dark chocolate
(I used 70% cocoa Callebaut chocolate callets, roughly chopped)
50g light brown sugar
50g butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 190°C (or 160°C fan forced).

Process chocolate and place these dark brown chocolate crumbs into the bowl with sugar and mix them well together. - I didn't process the chocolate and mix the roughly chopped chocolate and brown sugar together.

A portion of pastry was rolled out into a circle of about 25cm in diameter. Divide and cut the circle into 12 (or 16 to make baby rugelach) equal triangles.

Brush the circle of triangles with melted butter and then spread one-third (I used one-quarter) of the chocolate topping to cover the circle. Pull away each triangle at a time and roll each from the wide edge to the narrow edge to form a croissant-looking crescent. Repeat with the rest of then triangle.

Place rugelach on lined baking sheets and bake in preheated oven for 20 mins.

Note: Using 1/4 of the chocolate filling recipe, I have made 16 baby chocolate rugelach and baked them at 160°C fan forced for 20 mins.

This is how we love these rugelach...

Comparing: both versions of rugelach were baked at the same temperature for the same baking time. Due to its larger size and presence of apricot jam, the regular-size rugelach made with apricot jam and cranberry-walnut fillings were slightly moister than the smaller chocolate ones. The smaller ones with no jam yielded more flaky pastry than the larger ones. Despite their slight difference, both were equally delicious being able to melt into our mouth and were gone very quickly... Yum!

We reckon both pastries at this stage are sweet enough for us. For this reason, I didn't sprinkle any cinnamon sugar topping before baking and didn't brush any sugar glaze after baking. I reckon that they are good enough at this stage and don't want to sweeten them further...

Happy Baking

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Please note that the linky tool for bake-along is no longer available.


  1. Good morning Zoe, these rugelach are great! I want to try Ina Garten's next.

  2. Oh wow, Zoe, I love this.....looking at your little rugelachs just makes me wanted to try out immediately. They are great for parties - finger food. Looking at all your pics here, no doubt about it, Delicious and Yummy!!

  3. Delicious! This is a great eastern european pastry. You did a really nice job making these-


  4. Never try a rugelach before, but I like the mini version because it is fill with chocolate!

  5. Looks so good... ❤ I'm saving this recipe!

  6. Well Zoe, you sure did solve that problem! It looks like you have managed to meld the best of both quite nicely. I, for one, am delighted!!! I've never made rugelach before. I'm rather surprised at all the different recipes. For some reason I thought there was one traditional recipe. I will be checking my Jewish cookbooks because now I'm curious:) I'd love to have a few of those chocolate filled delights. Any left, lol...

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  7. Good morning Zoe,
    Your Rugelach is perfect! If only you have seen my disaster with the crescent shaped ones, you will probably "pengsan" LOL!
    The dough was so soft and difficult to handle, the second time I made this, I reduced the cream cheese and butter. Despite my "rugelach adventure" they are very delicious!
    Thanks for a challenging pick! (for me!)
    Nigella event has been great, there are so many her recipes that I have made but did not have time to post! Haha!
    Little Thumbs Up egg event is fantastic! So many egg drooling recipes to try!
    Looking forward to next month's events!

  8. Zoe, I read about Joyce's struggle with the rugelach. I guess with the cool weather you don't have that problem. Great that you did both fillings and both look fantastic!

  9. Loved the filling you used with right blend of sweetness and spices! :)Lovely post

  10. Thank you so much for commenting on my blog! BTW--rugelach is one of those foods that I have always been totally intimidated by, particularly as a gentile with lots of Jewish friends. Pretty much everyone I know buys it from the bakery, yet your homemade version looks SO flaky and delicious. I know it is weird, but around the Jewish holidays I always feel I should make something traditional to celebrate them, since I am a food blogger. Great job!

  11. Hi Zoe, I've never tried this rugelach before. Would love to keep this recipe for the CLAS anniversary. Thanks for sharing :)

  12. I actually never bake these but I tasted some and loved these so much! Ina recipes are usually so good, you made a good choice!

  13. Zoe, your rugelagh look fantastic! I make them every year at Christmas but have never tried a chocolate filling....I'm sure it would be a big hit.

  14. First time knowing this type of pastry. They looks so good n yummy with the filling.

  15. hi zoe, luckily my dough turned out good, joyce was telling me that she had a hard time managing her dough! haha..that sure was a challenge for her. i was also referred to ina garten's recipe when making these rugelach..:) with so many upcoming events and themes, zoe..any smoke coming out from your head? :D

  16. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.comAugust 30, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    Oh dear, another rugelach! Confirmed must be really super super duper yummy :)

  17. None can resist to these beauties!!

  18. Hi Zoe , I also read about Joyce struggle with the ragulash , weather here is getting cooler , I will try them in a couple of weeks I know my family will love them . Thanks for sharing :).

  19. Yummy!!! Can you ship some our way?? =)

  20. Your rugelach looks delicious! So flaky.

  21. Love your post on Rugelach! Must make some of my own soon!

  22. I am really thrilled by the support our fellow blogger friends have showed to the "egg" event. I had a really great time hosting it.

    It's so cute that you have a mummy and baby rugelach ;)

  23. Love both mummy & baby rugelach with delicious filling! hehehehehe

  24. Rugelach is so beautiful and delicious :D


  25. Zoe, i never had this and done know how it taste, but i thinks it is good enough. Hope one day i have time to try all this.

  26. SO tempting.. Looks fun baking & eating :D

  27. It's funny, I've been eating rugelach for years - I've never seen crescent shaped ones!

  28. I've been eyeing Dorie's rugelach recipe since last year but I'll try first the recipe from the America's Test Kitchen , hopefully , I'll be able to make it before the deadline :P