Rugelach Talk

I’m feeling deflated at the moment.  Christmas is over and in two days I’ll be 40.

The good news is that life is going to be better because I have one of these dough mats.

Dough Mat

Looks like a good year for pie, but to finish out this year I used it for making rugelach dough.

Last year I tried two good rugelach recipes, Ina Garten’s, which uses softened butter, and Dorie Greenspan’s, which uses cold butter processed in the food processor. Of the two, I liked Dorie’s the best because it was really flaky and less sweet (there’s enough sugar in the filling so that the dough doesn’t need extra sweetener). But Ina’s was easier.

This year I tried King Arthur’s Rugelach which is similar to Dorie’s but uses sour cream in the dough. It was flakier than Ina’s, not quite as flakey as Dorie’s, but easier to work with and with a good flavor from sour cream.

In the past I’ve always used a combination of apricot preserves, pecans, currants and chopped up or “mini” chocolate chips, and that’s what I used for yesterday’s batch, but today I’m going to make a second batch of KA’s using their filling.  After that I’m going shopping for a treadmill.  Sigh.


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  1. says

    Oh, thanks! I am been wanting to make rugelach and now I will try Dorie’s recipe. I like not too sweet and flaky cookies. Happy early birthday! Don’t worry, 40 is the new 30’s…haha and I have been there for a few years now! Enjoy your holidays!

  2. says

    Lisa, good luck with your rugelach. I never realized just how good it was until last year. Thanks for the birthday wish.

    Fallon, my husband bought it at Sur la Table.

  3. Louise says

    I’m thinking I’m going to use Dorie Greenspan’s recipe this week. I’ve had the recipe set aside for months. The mat is something I’ve had for years which I just never use, but that’s probably just me. 🙁 Don’t worry about turning 40, Anna. That’s a great decade. I turned 62 on the 18th, and I’m not sure how I suddenly got old enough to collect Social Security.

  4. Ginny says

    You know, Christmas isn’t actually over. It officially runs until next Sunday which is Epiphany. I always take comfort in that. My thighs? Not so much 🙂

    Happy birthday! My friends who are in their forties say it is the best time of their lives 🙂

  5. says

    Mary, thanks!

    Louise, what I like about the mat is how it sticks to the surface of the granite and stays down.

    Ginny, maybe it’s the friends I’ve cultivated, but over 40 people I know seem happier and more youthful than some people in their twenties. Or maybe I just see things differently now that I’m older. I definitely liked the thirties better than the twenties, so I believe it does get better. Now if our bodies would just age backwards that would be perfect.

    Mark, thanks. You should have seen my first batch. Ha.

  6. beth says

    Not to worry Sugar, 40 is the new 30. Look at all that you have accomplished in your first 40 years! May you continue to have happiness and success in the decade ahead. Happy Birthday.


  7. Karen says

    Beautiful rugelach! I make them a lot, and have surprised myself with the revelation that I actually prefer them without chocolate. Don’t tell anyone!
    Good luck with 40, I think the anticipation is worse than the real thing, having crossed that line 5 years ago.

  8. says

    It will be a wonderful birthday, Anna. Age is something we carry in our heads and really does not define who we are. You’ve never looked better or been more successful. Have a wonderful day. Have you ever tried Maida Heatter’s recipe for rugelach? Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  9. Jenn says

    I’ve used the KA recipe with great success – it’s the closet I ever came to duplicating my bubbie’s recipe. She yells at me for this, but can’t deny it tastes great – try using apple butter as a filling…omh good!

    Happy Birthday!!!

  10. Lori H. says

    Happy Pre-Birthday Anna! I’m sure it will be wonderful!! From a blog fan, you sure have mastered an impressive amount of recipes pre-40!!! Sharing all of your trials with your readers certainly is a fun journey that I know many of us enjoy! Keep them coming and enjoying your life!!

  11. says

    Enjoy your birthday and don’t worry about ‘the number’. It is what it is and there is lots of good life ahead.
    I’ve always wondered if I’d like a pie mat. I’ve never had one! About the Rugelach. I’ve never had any I liked so I’ve never been inspired to make it, I’m glad for you that you’ve found recipes you like!

  12. says

    The 40’s are great! (One year down, nine to go.) 😉
    I’ve only ever made Dorie’s rugelach and LOVE it, but like you a treadmill is a must with rugelach around. I’m the only one around here who likes it and I eat too much when it’s here.

  13. Gloria says

    Happy early birthday…Oh if I could only be 40 again….! My best health was in my 40s-it’s not old and it is all relative! Like my husband always says, it’s your attitude, not your age, that defines you.
    On to rugelach…I have only one recipe I use and it has cream cheese in the dough. I wish I could buy good rugelach in Minnesota-haven’t found any better than home made…but too lazy to make them!!

  14. says

    Aww, Merry late Christmas and happy early birthday!! 🙂
    I love rugelach! I made it a while back with chocolate chips, nuts, and cinnamon for filling. Sooo good 🙂
    Hope you have a great birthday!

  15. says

    i’ve never attempted making rugelach, and i really want to try! they are so tasty and not your average choco chip cookies. dorie greenspan’s recipe sounds super yum… maybe i will try it later this week 🙂

  16. says

    Ok, I’ll weigh in on the 40th birthday thing too. These “big 0” (30, 40, 50, etc.) birthdays are a reminder of getting older, time is passing, etc. Honestly, there can be a sting in that. But….like everyone else is saying, once that sting is over, the 40’s are great!!

  17. C L says

    I have always wanted to make rugelach. However, rolling dough and I are not a good combo. I don’t think I ever got all of the dough off my counter the last time I tried. LOL 😉 Perhaps it will go better this time, eh? 😉

  18. Jennifer says

    I’ll be joining you in the 40’s next year! Maybe I’ll buy myself one of those mats for my birthday, LOL. Looks useful.
    I’ve never made rugelach but have long had dorie’s recipe bookmarked. I received a lovely stand mixer from my family for Christmas, so I think making rugelach would be a great way to break it in!

  19. says

    These look tasty. I’ve made Ina’s before and have enjoyed them. I got Dorie’s Baking cookbook for Christmas, so I may just have to give her recipe a try.

  20. Jennifer says

    Okay, jokes on my as Dorie’s rugelach uses the food processor, rather than a mixer! Anyway, I made it last night and had a hard time getting my dough to come together. I used 4.5 ounces for the cup of flour, and maybe I should have used just 4 ounces. Or maybe it was just one of those things…

  21. says

    It’s a rugelach revolution! The pics turned out great, Anna. I hang my head in shame– I haven’t made mine yet. But now that you’ve tested all three, I’m going to go with the happy medium. Watch out King Arthur. And happy birthday, lady! I hope it was a great one and that you got the cake of your dreams :-).

  22. Linda says

    Happy belated birthday, Anna. Life is just beginning for you at 40. I have baked Ina Garten’s recipe for ruglach. I had never seen one or tasted one and loved it. I am very interestd in the Old World foodways which have influenced our cooking.

  23. Lana says

    I have wanted to make Ina Garten’s rugelach for many yrs. i finally got to it after watching her taped show ‘Friday Night’ and she makes it appear so easy. But, for me it’s a catastrophe! I follow the directions to the letter and it’s always the same- thedough is way too soft. I have tried refrigerated the dough for one-hour, then two, then freezing them and it’s always the same. The dough is way too soft! I even added an extra cup of flour- awful! I’ve gone so far as cool the ingredients; same thing again. The dough is so soft I can’t even roll them. It’s so frustrating. Not to mention the cost of all the butter and creme cheese going down the drain. I’m determined to do this the right way. I live in a temperate climate- it’s cold here now. And it has nothing to do with the oven. i just can’t get the dough to roll, it’s so soft. Help somebody please! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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