This is my favorite recipe for rugelach pastry dough. It is so incredibly easy to come together and it’s so tasty and rich and buttery and flaky not chewy or doughy like some other ones I have had.
I’m going to keep this super brief you guys as I have been super sick since Tuesday - some sort of weird virus and some weird rash on my face. The worst part is I haven’t been able to stay home or even visit the doctor. It’s the busiest work week at the orthodontic office that I work at as a temp as it’s the last week before it closes for holidays, so everyone and their mother is booked in for appointments and we are a little short staffed to-boot. So I have been medicating and applying cortisone cream to my face and working through it all (thank goodness for medical masks). My husband think I’m crazy but I can’t leave my poor boss in a bind. Anyways I am slowly on the mend and writing this tonight on the couch as opposed to last night when I had my fill of bone broth and oil of oregano before crashing super early. So this post had to get done tonight as soon, cookies will be obliterated from Instagram come the first day of January. Insert very big eye roll!
Ok let’s talk these rugelach. I was trying to find a recipe to use my homemade quince paste in and one of my lovely followers suggested Ottolenghi’s rugelach recipe that uses quince paste. I was game but I was a bit nervous. I thought making them would be way more complicated. Bottom line, they totally are not and the filling is absolutely delicious. You must make them and you can definitely can use another jam with them too but I loved them with the quince paste which is so fragrant and wonderful.
Making the quince paste is really easy and just takes a little patience if you can get your hands on some quince. If not just use store bought quince paste or jam. If you have the opportunity to make this membrillo (quince paste) you will be super happy about it! It yields quite a bit and you can make a few batches of these rugelach plus enjoy it as so many in Spain do with manchego cheese and some vino. You will be addicted to the combination of sweet floral with the buttery salt cheese. I’m making my mouth water as I type and that says a lot from someone who can partially breath through her nose right now and doesn’t have much appetite.
That’s all I can hack tonight guys! Do make these you will love yourself for making them and your family will too. Do leave me a comment or tag me if you do. Bye for now.
For the pastry
- 1¼ cups/160 g all-purpose flour
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- finely grated zest of 1 small orange (¾ tsp)
- ½ tsp of pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup plus 1 tbsp/125 g unsalted butter, fridge-cold, cut roughly into 1-inch/3-cm cubes
- 4½ oz/125 g cream cheese, fridge-cold
For the filling
- ⅓ cup/40 g walnut halves
- ½ packed cup plus 1 tbsp/100 g light brown sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp of ground cardamom (optional)
- 5¼ oz/150 g store-bought quince paste (membrillo) or homemade recipe below
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- A dash or orange bitters (optional)
For the egg wash
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ½ tbsp demerara sugar
- To make the pastry, place the flour, salt, baking powder, orange zest and vanilla extract in a food processor and pulse for about 15 seconds to combine.
- Add the butter and pulse for a few seconds more, until the mixture has the texture of breadcrumbs.
- Add the cream cheese and process just until the dough comes together in a ball; do not overprocess or the pastry will be tough.
- Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for a few seconds, just to bring it together.
- Divide the pastry in two, cover each half loosely in plastic wrap, then press to flatten into disks.
- Transfer to the fridge for 1 hour to rest.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- To make the filling, spread the walnuts out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 5 minutes or you can toast them stove top in a dry pan over medium heat tossing often.
- Remove from the oven or pan and set aside to cool, then chop finely and place in a small bowl with the brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Mix together and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the quince paste and orange juice and orange bitters if using to form a smooth paste. (If your quince paste is very firm, warm it gently over low heat to soften [or heat for 10 seconds in a microwave], until the texture is thick like jam but spreadable, then set aside to cool before using).
- Take one of the pieces of dough from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured work surface to form a 9½-inch/24-cm circle, about ⅛ inch/3 mm thick.
- Use a small spatula or the back of a spoon to spread half of the quince paste evenly over the surface and then sprinkle with half of the sugar-nut mixture.
- Using a sharp knife or a pizza wheel, if you have one, cut the dough as though you are slicing a cake into twelve equal triangles. The best way to get even-sized triangles is to cut it first into quarters, then each quarter into thirds.
- One at a time, roll each wedge quite tightly, starting from the wide outside edge and working toward the point of the triangle, so that the filling is enclosed.
- Place them on the lined baking sheets, seam side down, spaced about 1 inch/3 cm apart.
- Repeat the rolling process with the remaining disk of dough and filling, then chill the rugelachs in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400°F
- When ready to bake, lightly brush the tops of the rugelachs with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the demerara sugar.
- Bake for 20–25 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until golden brown all over.
- Don’t worry if some of the filling oozes out; this will add a lovely toffee taste to the edges of the cookies.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest on the sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- 3 pounds quince, washed, peeled, cored, roughly chopped
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 1-2 strips (½ inch by 2 inches each) of lemon zest (only the yellow peel, no white pith)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- About 4 cups of granulated sugar, exact amount will be determined during cooking
- Place quince in a large pot or dutch oven and add enough water to completely cover.
- Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until a paring knife can be inserted into middle of quince pieces with no resistance, about 45 minutes.
- Drain quince and transfer to a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
- Process until completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Transfer quince purée into now empty dutch oven.
- Stir in sugar and lemon juice, and vanilla extract if using.
- Bring to boil over medium heat.
- Reduce heat to low as soon at it comes to a boil and cook until paste has thickened and turned an orange-pink color, about 1½- 2 hours depending on the quince.
- Then preheat oven to 150°F.
- Line a 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Pour quince paste into pan, smoothing out top with the back of a spoon.
- Transfer quince paste to oven and cook for 1½ hours.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Store quince paste in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Rugelach recipe adapted from Ottolenghi and Williams Sonoma and paste recipe adapted from Serious Eats