Apricot and Walnut Rugelach recipe is a perfect treat for the holiday season. These bite-size cookies are packed with apricot jam and chopped walnuts, and are very easy to make.
It is hard to believe that in less than two months we all will celebrate Christmas! According to Instagram pictures, everybody is already baking their favorite holiday cookies. These include chocolate chip cookies, thumbprint cookies, snickerdoodles, oatmeal cookies, and of course, rugelach.
BTW, are you already following my IG account? If not, you can check at @VeronikasKitchen.
Rugelach cookies, came to the US from Europe a long time ago. Though, it feels like it is a traditional American treat that everyone is baking during the holiday season.
I was making rugelach with my mom since I was a child and for some reason I always thought that rugelach are Polish cookies. Why did I think so? Perhaps because when we were buying them from a local store, they were prepacked with a Polish brand logo. Since then, I was sure that these cookies are from Poland, although I was slightly misinformed!
Rugelach cookies came to us originally from Israel. According to the sources, the word “rugelach” consist of two words, “róg” and “ach”. In Yiddish, the word “rog” means “corner”. While in Polish, which was influenced by Yiddish, “rog” means “horn”, that relates to the horn-like shape cookies. Ending “ach”, in Yiddish, indicates plural.
So, I wasn’t totally wrong about Polish influence on these famous treats. Although they originate from Israel, they still have a connection with the Polish language!
Different types of rugelach:
These delicious Jewish pastries are popular now all over the world, including the United States and Central and Eastern Europe. Over the years, the recipe was adopted and changed according to different regional preferences. Here, in the US, very often you will find Rugelach with more dense, cream cheese based dough, filled with jam, nuts, or chocolate. In Europe, however, they look more like croissants, with an airy and light texture and sweeter fillings.
How to make Rugelach dough:
I personally like more European version of the Rugelach that is much lighter and has airy pockets inside.
To start, we need to mix 2 cups of all-purpose flour with active dry yeast. Then cut COLD butter into pieces, and using a pastry cutter or your hands, mix the butter with the flour mixture until the crumbles are pea size. For me, it is easier and faster to use my hands. Also, I can feel the dough texture easier. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and add it to the dry ingredients. Add the rest of the flour and knead the dough until it is smooth and doesn’t stick to your hands. Divide the dough into 6 even pieces, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
It might seem a little bit complicated, but believe me, it takes not more than 10 minutes to make the dough.
- 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups apricot jam
- 2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
- In a mixing bowl sift 2 cups of flour and mix it with active dry yeast. Cut 2 sticks of cold butter in small pieces and add it to the flour. You can use a pastry cutter or your hands to mix butter with the flour and yeast until the crumbles are pea size.
- In a separate bowl mix 1 cup of sour cream, sugar, 2 egg yolks and vanilla. Add it to the dry ingredients, and mix it again.
- Add the rest of the flour and knead the dough until it is smooth and doesn’t stick to your hands.
- Divide the dough into 6 even pieces and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, line a baking sheet with a parchment paper and set aside.
- When the dough is ready, take one ball and roll it to about 2-3 mm thick. Using a pizza cutter cut it in 12 equal pieces.
- Spread 1/3 cup of apricot jam over the dough and sprinkle 1/3 cup of finely chopped walnuts. Using a pizza cutter cut it in 12 equal pieces. Roll every piece into a rugelach.
- Bake at 350°F for 18-20 min, until they have a beautiful golden color.
- When baked, take them out of the oven and let sit on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
- As an option, you can dust them with powdered sugar over the top.