Jewish Mother Approved: Lora Brody's Rugelach

When a friend kindly invited me to join him and his family for a Yom Kippur break fast, I decided that it was time to revisit rugelach. I've only tried making rugelach twice before (documented here and here), and I wasn't fully satisfied with either attempt. This time, I picked a rugelach recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum's cookbook Rose's Christmas Cookies, which she calls "without a doubt, the best rugelach I've ever tasted."  The recipe actually originates from Lora Brody's Cooking With Memories -- hence the recipe name, "Lora Brody's Rugelach."

If you make this dough in the food processor, it only takes a minute or two. You just process cream cheese and butter, incorporate sugar and vanilla, and then add flour and salt and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. You divide the dough into four portions and chill them overnight. After chilling, you roll it each portion into a circle, spread on a thin layer of apricot jam, and then sprinkle on a filling made from sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, golden raisins, and chopped walnuts. I made sure that my rolling surface was floured and didn't have any problem with the dough sticking as I cut it into triangles and rolled up each piece into the distinctive crescent shape. You chill the rolled rugelach for 30 minutes, brush them with milk, and then sprinkle them with cinnamon-sugar before baking.

I loved the way that these turned out. I thought that the sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar on top added both nice color and a boost of flavor. The pastry is outstanding. Also, I thought that the rugelach had the perfect ratio of filling to pastry (i.e. not too much filling).  I loved the various textures of the crunchy walnuts, chewy golden raisins, and tender pastry in every bite.

Even though I thought the rugelach were wonderful, I didn't think I could call them a success until I saw how they were received at the break fast.  I was thrilled that they were enjoyed by all. Most gratifying, my friend's parents loved them, and I consider that the best endorsement of them all -- Jewish mother approved!

Recipe: "Lora Brody's Rugelach," from Rose's Chrismas Cookies by Rose Levy Beranbaum, available on

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Louise said…
I've made this recipe several times and agree with absolutely everything you've said. I also think Rose's Christmas Cookie book is great. There are some Amazon reviews that give it low marks as outdated with recipes that can be found anywhere, but I think they need to try Rose's version of those recipes and they'd think differently. Plus, no one says it has to be the only cookie book one owns. :-)
Louise said…
I meant to tell you that you should perhaps stock up on canned pumpkin again. Also peanut butter. I recently read that there will be shortages of both due to bad harvests. For pumpkins, it's due to the heavy rains. For peanuts, it's just the opposite. We motorcycle ride through Lancaster County a lot and there are pumpkins all over the fields in Pennsylvania, but the news claims there is a problem.
Michael said…
As the son of the aforementioned Jewish mother, I can attest that they were wonderful