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You don’t have to be a baking whiz to bake up a batch of these easy Rugelach with just 3 ingredients!
what is Rugelach?
Rugelach is a traditional Jewish pastry that originated in Eastern Europe. They are generally made from a flaky, buttery pastry dough that’s rolled out and filled with a sweet filling. Fillings can range from jams and preserves to chocolate and nuts.
I will start by saying that I am not Jewish but I’ve had my fill of Jewish foods throughout my life. Starting in elementary school several of the students in my grade, which only had 38 kids in it, were Jewish.
This means that we talked about Jewish holidays and tasted different Jewish foods at school. This continued on through my life and I ended up rooming with a friend from high school who was Jewish. She would bring different types of food to school and we would celebrate and enjoy the food.
I don’t have many Jewish foods on my blog and this year I wanted to make something for Hanukkah. It’s one of the most well known and celebrated Jewish holidays so I thought it would be a good one to start with.
What is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah, or Chanukah, is a Jewish holiday that is celebrated for eight days and nights. It usually falls in December, although the exact date varies from year to year. Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights.
I found a super easy recipe for Rugelach which is a filled pastry that reminds me of a cookie and thought that would be a fun one to start with. It reminds me of my favorite Polish Cream Cheese Cookies because of the jam filling in the middle.
- refrigerated pie crust (you can also use a homemade pie crust but I was looking for a quick and easy recipe)
- blue and white coarse sugar (You can color white coarse sugar blue or just buy blue and white sugar sprinkles)
- fruit jam (You can use your favorite flavor of jam; we went with apricot)
To make the Rugelach I first sprinkled the blue and white sugar on a cutting board. Then I rolled out the pie crust on top of the sugar and pressed it in. This will make the outside of the pastry have blue and white sparkles.
Once the pie crust is rolled out it’s time to spread the jam on it. Be careful not to get too crazy with the jam because it will spill out of the pastry if it’s too full. The three tablespoons recommended is the perfect amount.
What Kind of Jam should I use?
I used apricot jam which is one of the traditional filling flavors. Other popular jam flavors include raspberry, fig, or black currant. If you want to get a little crazy you can add a bit of chopped walnuts or a pinch of cinnamon along with the jam.
Once the jam is spread over the pie crust you will use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 16 triangles. I found it easiest to use a pizza cutter because it was quick and less messy.
The starting at the big end roll up the pie dough. It will make a tight little jam filled roll. You will be able to see the sugar on the outside and some of the jam as well.
What Can I do with the leftover jam?
You can do a variety of things with the leftover jam. Save it to use on toast or English Muffins. Another way to use it is to mix it into your cottage cheese or yogurt in the mornings. I personally love this recipe for Sesame Pork with Sweet and Sour Sauce which uses quite a bit of apricot jam. You could also use it to make a salad dressing.
Once the rugelach are rolled up put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You want to line your baking pan because some of the jam will spill out and it will stick to your pan if you don’t have parchment or a silpat on it.
More Recipes with Jam:
- Strawberry Jam Scones
- Brown Sugar Cake with Peach Jam Filling
- Strawberry Jam Filled Vanilla Muffins
- Easy Strawberry Scooter Crunch Cake
- Blackberry Lavender Cake filled with Blackberry Jam
One the cookies come out of the oven you will need to remove them right away so that they don’t stick to the pan. Place them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
If you don’t think there is enough blue or white sugar on top of the cookies you can give them a quick swipe with melted better. Then quickly sprinkle more sugar on top to make those cookies sparkle.
I love how delicate these cookies are. The jam has a bright flavor compared to the buttery pastry. The sugar makes it sparkle.
- 1 refrigerated pie crust
- 3 Tablespoons jam
- white and blue coarse sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Sprinkle a work surface with white and blue sugar.
- Unroll the pie crust on top of the colored sugar and press down to get the sugar to stick.
- Spread the jam over top of the pie crust.
- Cut the pie crust into 16 wedges.
- Starting at the longer end, roll the pastry up and arrange on the baking sheet, pointy tip side down.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
- Remove from baking sheet and place on a wire rack.
Recipe from Food Network