Almond and Date Rugelach Recipe

Flaky and sweet, this traditional Jewish pastry takes a bit of time, but the results are worth it.
Almond and Date Rugelach Recipe

Makes about 50
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 6 hours

Ingredients

for the dough:
1 ¼ cups|200 ml whole milk, heated to 115°F
3 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
3 ⅓ cups|450 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¼ cup|45 grams granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 large egg yolks

for the filling:
2 cups packed|500 grams pitted, dried dates
2 cups|200 grams sliced almonds
½ cup|80 grams light brown sugar
6 tablespoons|120 grams honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt

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Directions

  1. Make the dough: Combine the milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment and let sit for about 10 minutes, or until it begins to foam.
  2. Add the flour, sugar, salt, and egg yolks and mix on low speed for about 3 minutes or until the ingredients come together. Knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface for about 3 minutes, until the dough is a smooth, soft ball. Wrap the dough loosely in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Heat the oven to 350°F. Bring 2 cups|473 ml water to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the dates in a small bowl and let soak for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Toast the almonds in the oven until light golden brown in color and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Transfer the hot almonds to a food processor. Add the brown sugar, honey, and salt. Blend for about 3 to 5 minutes, intermittently scraping down the sides of the bowl until it forms a thick paste. Strain the warm dates and add them to the food processor. Blend until they form a smooth paste. Set aside.
  5. Make the syrup: Add the sugar and orange peel to a small saucepan filled with ¾ cup|177 ml water and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour the syrup into a heatproof container and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Let cool completely in the refrigerator, then strain removing the orange peel. Set aside.
  6. Make the rugelach: Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Press into a square with your hands, then cut it in half. Work with one half at a time, wrapping the other half in plastic and keeping it chilled in the refrigerator.
  7. Roll your rectangle of dough to 7-by-18-inches with a rolling pin, keeping the sides very straight and even. With the shorter side facing you, spread ½ cup of the filling onto the bottom ⅔ of the dough, spreading all the way to the edges. Like a letter, fold the top third of dough down, then the bottom third onto the middle. Wrap the folded dough in plastic and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Repeat this process one more time (it’s okay if the filling oozes out of the ends of the dough). Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest in the refrigerator for another 20 minutes.
  8. Place the refrigerated dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out once more to an 8-by- 20-inch rectangle. Cut the dough in half lengthwise.
  9. Cut each strip into 2-inch rectangles and then cut each rectangle in-half on the diagonal to create two triangles. Roll the triangles up from the widest end to the point, tucking the point under your roll-up. Place the rugelach on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing them at least 1 inch apart. Cover the tray loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm area. Let the pastries rise until they almost double in size.

  1. Heat the oven to 325°F. Uncover the rugelach. Whisk together the egg yolks and water. Gently brush the surface of the rugelach with the egg wash. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the rugelach are a deep golden brown. While still warm, generously brush the rugelach with the chilled orange syrup. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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