I love traditional rugelach. I’ve always shied away from making it myself, because it seems so labor intensive. So when I came across the idea for Rugelach Bars, I was hopeful.
They turned out even better than I expected, with the perfect amount of filling and a nice flaky crust.
I filled mine with a mixture of pecans, dried cherries and chocolate and it was a great combination of flavors, but you could certainly make substitutions with other nuts and dried fruit.
You do want to make sure your dough is well chilled, or it can be a bit sticky when you go to roll it out.
Of course, if the dough is too cold it’s hard to roll…..just use some muscle, or if you need to work with the dough a bit softer, make sure your surfaces and rolling pin are well floured and you’ll be fine.
You do need to roll the dough fairly thin, but yes, it is enough to make a 9×13 pan. These Rugelach Bars will definitely have a regular place on my Christmas cookie platter.
- 1 cup pecans
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus 3 tablespoons melted for filling
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 finely chopped dried cherries
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 tablespoons sanding sugar, or granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool.
- In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup cold butter and the cream cheese with an electric mixer on low speed until the cream cheese is broken down but butter is still chunky.
- Add the flour and salt, and mix on low speed until dough is crumbly and just beginning to hold together, about 20 seconds. There should still be some small pieces of butter visible.
- Divide dough into two equal parts. Form each part into a flattened rectangle, and wrap in plastic wrap. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 3-4 hours.
- Finely chop toasted pecans. Add to a medium bowl along with 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, chopped dried cherries, mini chocolate chips, orange zest, corn syrup, and melted butter. Stir to coat everything well.
- Beat egg yolk with the water, and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Generously flour half of the dough and place it between two pieces of waxed paper; roll into a rectangle the size of the baking pan.
- Line baking pan with dough. If needed, trim the edges of the dough to fit the pan. Spread evenly with pecan mixture.
- Roll remaining dough into a rectangle the size of the baking pan; place on top of the filling. Trim edges of dough again, if needed.
- Brush the top of dough with egg yolk mixture, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden, 30-35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into bars to serve.
Who Dished It Up First: Rugelach Bars adapted from Martha Stewart.