by Susan Salzman
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rugulah-cooks.jpgI’ve made lots and lots of rugelach in my day, but this one takes the cake. I have made my grandma’s, I have made Ina’s, Martha’s and Rose’s. This one, from Cooks Illustrated is by far the best I have ever had. Better than Weby’s bakery (most Sunday mornings, when I was little, you could find me and my dad, waiting in line to buy the fresh baked egg-onion bread). My kids don’t really like raisins or dried fruit in their sweets. I altered the filling. I substituted mini chocolate chips for the raisins.

The dough was super easy to work with. Even though the recipe didn’t ask me to refrigerate the dough after rolling, I did anyways. Only for about 15 minutes. I feel it made all the difference in the world. I baked off a few to taste and then cut and flash froze the rest. Even though they look more like a pinwheel cookies, they taste like rugelach.

Make a double batch, flash freeze what you don’t bake. Once frozen, throw in a a large freezer, Ziploc bag and save for a rainy day!

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Makes lots


2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 lb. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
8 oz. cream cheese, chilled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 tablespoons sour cream

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup dried cherries
1 cup mini chocolate chips
2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup apricot preserves

Egg wash
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons milk


Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Do a quick pulse. Add the butter, cream cheese, and sour cream. Pulse until it comes together.

Turn mixture onto work surface, and press into a 9″ x 6″ log. Divide into 4 equal portions. Roll each piece into an 11×7″ rectangle. Put on baking sheet w/parchment between each dough and freeze for 30 minutes.

Mix sugar and cinnamon together. Put the other ingredients in separate bowls near by.

Remove one rectangle from the freezer. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of preserves over dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar and then add about 1/2 cup of nuts, dried cherries and chocolate over the sugar. Press down with a piece of parchment so the goodies sink into the dough.

Roll up the dough into a cylinder. Cut  off 1/4″ of each end and then cut into 1″ pieces.

Place them seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk egg yolks and milk in a small bowl. Brush top and sides of frozen cookies and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake 21-23 minutes or until they are pale golden and slightly puffy. Rotate pans back to front, half way through baking. Cool on racks and once cooled remove from the parchment.



Susan Salzman writes The Urban Baker blog to explore her dedication to good food in the hope of adding beauty to the lives of her family and friends.     


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