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Rugelach! An Israeli Pastry! (רוגלך)

So what is this yummy looking pastry called Rugelach?

Unlike many of the other Israeli recipes I share which are of Middle-Eastern origin, Rugelach are Eastern European Jewish cookies.

They are small crescent shaped filled pastries originating in the Jewish communities of Poland. These are very popular pastries in Israel, commonly found in most cafes and bakeries.

It is also a popular treat among Jews around the western world. Fillings can include chocolate, cinnamon, nuts, poppyseeds, jam or anything you like .

The Rugelach resembles a small croissant. The croissant in its modern form did not originate earlier than the 19th century. This leads many to believe that the croissant is simply a descendant of Rugelach.

You can make your own home made rugelach pastry and I will be sharing that too but I recently came across a super easy way to create these little gems with ready made frozen puff pastry! Home made puff pastry takes time and patience. To get the the layers that create the puffiness is a process. So I was happy to try this out and it came out delicious!

These rugelach are super quick to make if you are expecting visitors you want to impress! I always keep a couple of packets of frozen puff pastry in my freezer for quick baking when unexpected guests come!

These cookies are melt in your mouth yummy, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, perfect with a cup of your favorite hot drink!

So here’s the recipe I can’t wait to share with you!

Ingredients for Rugelach pastry:

1 packet frozen puff pastry (2sheets usually come in a box)

For filling:

Chocolate spread of your choice. I like to use Hashachar Parve Chocolate Spread, it is dairy free and nut free. See my link at the bottom of the page. You can also find this in any Israeli store and I have seen it in Fresh Market.

1tablespoon of cocoa powder

3 tablespoons of powdered sugar

Oil in a spray can

For egg wash topping:

I beaten egg

1 tablespoon water

For syrup:

Equal parts of water and sugar. 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water. 1 teaspoon vanilla essence. I make extra and keep it in the fridge, it is good for a month or so. You can use half the amount if you don't want leftover syrup.

Thaw out frozen pastry preferably overnight in the refrigerator. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray working area with oil from can and roll out one of the sheets to a little thinner rectangle. (It comes in a rectangle shape)

Set aside. Repeat the same with second sheet. Give both sheets a light spray of oil.

Spread whichever chocolate mix you are using on one entire sheet. Mix powdered sugar and cocoa together in a small bowl and spread evenly over chocolate spread. This will help stop the chocolate from oozing out of the sides.

Gently lift the other rolled out sheet of pastry and place over the sheet with chocolate on it, like a sandwich. Spray lightly with oil and roll out lightly one more time. With a large knife, make triangle shapes.

Roll dough from the wide end up. I make mine about 2 ½ inches each but you can make them any size you like.

Lay rolled rugelach in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Brush each one all over with egg wash.

Place in heated oven for about 25 -30 minutes.

In the meanwhile in a small pot heat the sugar, water and vanilla essence, bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes until liquid reduces.

Rugelach are done when they are golden and when you pick one up the bottom is browned. Take out of the oven and immediately brush with sugar syrup. The pastry is unsweetened by itself so this will give them more sweetness and shine.

You will not stop at just one I warn you, they are addictive!

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