Rugelach are crescent-shaped cookies, traditionally served for Hanukkah, but the rich cream cheese dough and variety of possible fillings make this a delicious any-holiday cookie recipe.
I found this recipe in Ina Garten’s, Barefoot Contessa Parties!, and decided to bake a gluten-free version and compare it with the regular version. The gluten-free dough is a bit harder to work with, lacking gluten, which gives it that nice elasticity. The GF version wasn’t as pretty, since it tended to crack while rolling into crescents. But when the family did a taste test, with both cookies side-by-side, no one could tell the difference! I use Jeanne, from The Art of Gluten-Free Baking‘s flour blend. I used the bottom of my 9″ springform pan for a visual, trimmed the overhanging bits and patched where needed. Spread the circle with jam and filling, lightly press filling into dough. I used the bottom of a measuring cup. Cut circle into 12 pieces, starting from the biggest end, roll wedge toward center, tucking under point.
I hope you enjoy the rugelach cookie recipe!
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 8 ounces unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar plus 9 tablespoons
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour or Gluten Free flour mix
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon divided
- 1 cup walnuts finely chopped
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves pureed in a food processor
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash
Cream the cheese and the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, salt and vanilla. With 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 into quarters, roll each into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To make filling, combine 6 tablespoons sugar, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and walnuts in a small bowl.
On a well-floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread the dough with 2 tablespoons of apricot preserves and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the filling. Press filling lightly into the dough.
Cut circle into 12 equal wedges. Starting with wide edge, roll up each wedge.
Place cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. Chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush each cookie with egg wash. Combine the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.
You can freeze the cookies, unbaked, well wrapped. Defrost for 15 minutes on a cookie sheet before baking.