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Rugelach with pecan and raisin filling

Rugelach with pecan and raisin filling

Rugelach is a pastry from my childhood, something my mom used to make when I was little. This cookie-looking pastry filled with ground raisins and nuts was one of my favorite dessert snacks back then. Fast forward 15 years, and here I am trying to reproduce this childhood treat and, given the constraints of my busy life, I am using store-bought puff pastry without actually making my own pastry dough. And, I have to admit, the rugelach made out of store-bought puff pastry came out just fine, if not outstanding.

How to make rugelach

How to make rugelach

Rolling the pastry made me think about the origins of the word “rugelach”. Rugelach is a traditional Jewish pastry with origins from Eastern Europe, and “rog” means “horn” in both Russian and Polish. The second part of the word is just a diminutive suffix, so rugelach means “little horns” so to speak. The Russian word for rugelach is “rogaliki” which also means “little horns”.

Rugelach with pecan and raisin filling

Rugelach with pecan and raisin filling

The beauty of rugelach is that you can use an endless number of fillings, from nuts and fruits to chocolate and jams. The rugelach, the way I remember it from my childhood, usually has raisins and nuts as a filling. In this recipe I am using pecans, raisins and cherry fruit spread for a filling. Fruit spread not only adds a flavor, it mainly acts as a binding agent, holding together ground nuts and raisins. I chose a fruit spread (vs. jelly or preserves) because it has a very smooth but dense texture which is perfect for use as a filling in pastry: it will not run out of the pastry while baking.

And here is the recipe.

Rugelach with pecan and raisin filling

Prep time: 60 min

Makes a dozen of rugelach pastries

Ingredients:

  • 1 puff pastry sheet (Pepperidge Farm brand)
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup any dark and not very runny fruit spread, I used black cherry spreadable fruit
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (for sprinkling)

1) Preheat oven to 400.

2) Put raisins, pecans, and fruit spread in the food processor, process until finely ground.

3) Roll out pastry sheet on a floured surface. Using a round plate, make a round shape on a pastry sheet and trim around that shape. What you have now is a circle. Divide circle in 8 triangles as shown in my photos below. Fill each triangle with the filling, making sure not to put any filling on the very tip of the triangle. Starting at the wide base of each triangle, roll each pastry triangle towards the tip to form a rugelach shape.

You can also use trimmed out parts of puff pastry and fill them with the pecan-raisin filling.

4) Transfer rugelach on a foil-lined baking sheet.

5) To make egg wash, in a small bowl, whisk an egg until smooth. Using brush, brush egg wash over rugelach, then sprinkle with sugar over the top.

6) Bake for 20 minutes until pastry puffs up and becomes golden brown.

How to make rugelach

How to make rugelach

How to make rugelach

How to make rugelach

How to make rugelach

How to make rugelach

How to make rugelach

How to make rugelach

How to make rugelach

How to make rugelach

How to make rugelach

How to make rugelach

How to make rugelach

Rugelach with pecan and raisin filling

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{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Monique February 28, 2013, 2:51 pm

    Great tutorial..So much work to share all this..Thanks so much..they look over the top delicious.

  • Denise Browning@From Brazil To You March 1, 2013, 6:36 am

    I love how easy and quick to make these twists filled with goodness are…Great idea, Julia! I’ll have to share them with my pinterest followers…Wishing you a relaxing weekend. xx

  • Barb March 1, 2013, 6:44 am

    These look so delicious! and what amazing photography!

  • Ashley March 1, 2013, 2:23 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try making rugelach but have never gotten around to it… these look delicious! Giving me some motivation to just do it : )

  • B. March 2, 2013, 2:09 am

    Hmmmm…. Look so good and so easy.

  • Hannah March 2, 2013, 6:40 pm

    I’ve never seen rugelach made with puff pastry before, but I do love how quick and easy it makes these classic treats. I’d sure make them more often if I didn’t have to make, chill, and roll out that dough! No shame in shortcuts that really work. :)

  • Liz March 2, 2013, 7:20 pm

    Beautifully done! I like the puff pastry shortcut…it worked perfectly :)

  • Debs @ The Spanish Wok March 3, 2013, 2:39 am

    Oh my these look and sound so delicious.

    I’m not a baker, but these seem to be so easy and I’d love them for breakfast or anytime of day. Thanks for sharing.

  • Marina of Let the Baking Begin! March 3, 2013, 4:26 am

    Every time I see these cookies, I tell myself that I need to make them)) they look so good!
    Btw, do you always use this (tri-fold) brand of pastry dough? I have found that this one does not rise as well as the smaller squares and started using those; even though for the past 6 years I used only the ones you show on the picture.

  • Jill March 3, 2013, 12:13 pm

    My father loved these little treats too! He’d always bring them home from the bakery. I never tried to make my own. I must try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  • Acacia March 3, 2013, 2:13 pm

    These look amazing and I have never eaten them before! I will have to try them on a frosty morning :)

  • Gina March 4, 2013, 11:26 am

    Never tried making them with store bought puff pastry, great idea. These look great, wishing I had one right now.
    -Gina-

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