Saturday, January 22, 2011

gluten free rugelach

My first encounter with rugelach was back in the 90s when I worked at a Barnes & Noble Cafe. Authentic, no; delicious, yes. The internet tells me that you can built them like a crescent roll, but I have always preferred the rolled-into-a-log and sliced type.

For this recipe, I modified two different gf versions and fuddled with the fillings. (Apricot is my hand's down-favorite, but I didn't have any on hand.) Cinnamon +sugar+walnuts is the classic; I did a version with almonds here. Prune is another standard; I mixed dried prunes with lingonberry jam to stretch the 10 I had into enough for these treats.

The results... far exceeded my expectations. The edges are crispy, the centers are soft, toothsome and the fillings stayed in side and did not ooze out all over the pan! The vanilla extract is not necessary, but was noticeably awesome with the cinnamon sugar version. I will be adding these to the "so good I could serve them to other humans and not have to disclose they are gluten free, but will, with joy and elation" list.

Gluten Free Rugelach
yields 20-24 cookies
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
2 tbsp arrowroot starch (or corn starch)
2 tsp xanthan gum
4 oz. cream cheese (half a package)
1 stick unsalted butter (8 tbsp)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg or 2 tbsp milk or cream for brushing tops
1 tbsp sugar for sprinkling

Prune Filling
10 prunes, chopped
2 tbsp lingonberry jam (use what you have folks)

Almond Filling
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp chopped almonds

1. In a food processor, combine the dry ingredients and pulse.
2. Cut the butter and cream cheese into chunks and one at a time, add them to the dry mixture, pulsing a few times between each chunk.
3. The dough is going to look weird and like it will never come together. It will, just wait and keep pulsing.
4. When it starts for form clumps, add in the vanilla extract, if you so choose. Keep pulsing till it forms a ball.
5. Remove the dough from the processor. Work it with your hands until it comes together. Separate it into two balls and refrigerate for 10-30 minutes.
Here is where you can mix up your fillings.
6. Roll out the dough, one ball at a time, until the dough is about 1/6" thick. Using parchment is key here, it will help in step 8.
7. Spread out the filling, leaving 3/4" of blank dough around the edges.
8. Slowly roll the dough on itself, keeping the roll as tight as possible. The parchment paper is super key here because the dough is really soft.
9. Repeat with second ball of dough and filling.
10. Place the rolls into the freezer for 10-20 minutes. This is key so you can slice the dough without squishing everything flat and spewing the middles out everywhere.
11. Remove the dough from the freezer and slice into 1" cookies.
12. With either a beaten egg, milk or cream, brush the tops of the cookies. Sprinkle with sugar or left over cinnamon sugar mixture.
13. Bake at 375F for 25-40 minutes (this is going to depend on how big your cookies are and how even your oven is). You are looking for browned tops and browned edges. The cookies will rise slightly and appear flaky on the top.
14. Cool and enjoy [with coffee].


  1. Thanks!
    Maybe I will create a batch for your visit...

  2. Oh yum! These really look delicious.