by | Dec 10, 2021 | Breads, buns & biscuits

There has been a debate over its origin, but one thing is for sure, rugelach is a light and flaky, crescent-shaped Jewish pastry usually made for Hanukkah and To BiShvat. While some insist that rugelach comes from Poland, others argue that it has Hungarian roots, rugelach’s homeland may be somewhere in Central Europe, where Hungarian kifli, Austrian kipfel and Polish rogal served as an inspiration for this pastry. Rugelach conquered many countries and became popular among American and European Jews, and also in Israel.

Rugelach was originally made with a rich yeast dough and filled with fruit jams, poppy seed paste or nuts. But when Ashkenazi Jews resettled in America, bakers quickly came up with a short cut for the complex yeast dough and rugelach began to be made with a cream cheese pastry, and that version spread worldwide.

Rugelach’s dough contains butter, cream cheese, flour, sugar and salt, it can be made by hand or in a stand mixer, or in a food processor. The filling ingredients are flexible, they leave a lot of room for creativity. Combining any fruit jam and toasted nuts (walnuts, pecans, almond slivers, hazelnuts, macadamias, or cashews) is always a winning strategy, while nutella, almost any chocolate and caramel can improve the experience.

I took the following rugelach recipe from Street Kitchen, in this case the cookies are filled with plum butter, toasted walnuts and dark chocolate. Feel free to modify the list of filling ingredients according to your preferences and possibilities.

Rugelach with plum butter, chocolate and toasted walnuts – photo:
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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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