Rugelach are bite-sized Jewish crescent pastries that are believed to have originated in the 18th Century from Eastern European Jewish culture. Rugelach are easy to make and so delicious that it’s difficult to stop at just one! These baked treats are available all year round, but are especially popular during Hanukkah celebrations.
Traditionally, the dough for rugelach is made with sour cream, while some bakers prefer recipes that use cream cheese in the dough. Whichever taste preference you may enjoy, if you are a vegan, are allergic to milk, are lactose intolerant or observe Kosher dietary rules, there are alternative ingredients that allow you to indulge in this classic dessert. Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream or Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese are wonderful substitutes for their dairy-based counterparts in traditional rugelach recipes. Dairy free margarine substitutes can also be used in the place of butter or margarine.
Start by making the moist and flaky dough following your favourite recipe, and then place it in the fridge for the dough to chill.
While you’re waiting for the dough, you can make your favourite rugelach filling. In fact, you could make more than one kind of filling! Combinations of raisins, chopped walnuts, cinnamon, sugar, poppy seeds or fruit preserves are all delicious options.
Once the dough is properly chilled, most bakers typically roll it into a circular shape, similar to pizza dough. For the next step, some bakers prefer to cut the dough into triangles and then spooning the filling individually onto each before rolling. Others prefer to spread the filling over the dough before cutting it. Whichever method of choice you prefer, a pizza cutter works well for cutting the circle of dough into even triangles.
Spread your filling over the dough, leaving space around the edges to allow room to begin rolling your crescents. Try not to spread the filling so thickly that it will overflow the edges of the triangles when they are baking.
Bake as directed on parchment lined paper. Be sure to make extra for kitchen sampling so you’ll have lots to share with others!