Baking Brunch Dessert Hanukkah Winter

Raspberry Apricot Rugelach Bars




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a stack of rugelach bars with sparkling sugar

Raspberry Apricot Rugelach Bars ~ this slab rugelach recipe is the traditional buttery, cream cheese pastry you know and love, without the fiddly parts. (I’ve filled it with tart jam and toasted pecans.)  Go ahead, cut yourself a big piece!

a stack of jam rugelach bars

Classic rugelach pastry baked up in easy bar form…it’s brilliant.

I think the above photo says it all…the texture, the sweet tart jam filling, the little crunch from the sparkling sugar…why do I even bother with words at all??

a stack of rugelach bars with sparkling sugar

Rugelach (pronounced RUG-guh-luck)

Rugelach is a favorite Jewish pastry that has roots in Central and Eastern Europe.  The little crescent shaped pastries are made with a distinctive cream cheese dough, and are filled with a variety of fillings that can range from chocolate (even Nutella!) to nuts, and jam.  Rugelach can be made with a yeasted or non yeasted dough like I’ve used in my easy bars.

Instead of slicing and rolling the dough into crescents, I’ve left it in one flat piece.  This makes the whole process a little quicker, and I think the bars are more fun to eat.  Pile them high on a plate and watch them disappear.

rugelach bars on a blue plate

spreading jam on rugelach bars pastry

How to make rugelach bars

Making these rugelach bars is a lot like making a slab pie

  • Make a pastry dough and roll out two rectangles.   You can do this freeform, or use a rectangle baking pan as a template.  Feel free to patch the dough where needed.
  • Lay the bottom piece on a parchment lined baking sheet or pan and top with your filling.  This can be jam, nuts, chocolate, or any combination you like.  I used jam and toasted pecans.
  • Place the second sheet of pastry on top and roll or crimp the edges to seal.
  • Brush the top with beaten egg or cream, and sprinkle with sparkling sugar before baking.

layering rugelach bars with jam and nuts

When the pastry slab has baked, let it cool and then slice into bars or squares.  You can trim off any uneven edges if you’re fussy, but some people think those crisp ragged ends are the best part.

slicing a slab of rugelach bars

The result is little squares that have a crisp flaky crust and a thin filling of tart jam and toasty nuts.  They’re perfect with coffee or tea.

close up of the texture of rugelach jam bars

Other jam filled treats from the blog ~

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a stack of rugelach bars with sparkling sugar
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4.75 from 16 votes

Apricot Raspberry Rugelach Bars

Raspberry Apricot Rugelach Bars might just be the genius baking hack of 2019...with this recipe you get a slab of flakey jam filled rugelach pastry without all the fiddly cutting and rolling.  
Course Dessert
Cuisine Jewish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
chilling 3 hours
Yield 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • 8 ounces whipped cream cheese
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberry apricot jam, or jam of your choice

glaze

  • 1 egg yolk beaten with a tablespoon of water
  • sparkling sugar

Instructions

  • Put the butter and cream cheese in a food processor (you can also do this in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) and pulse until the two are combined. The mixture will be chunky and you will still have small lumps of butter.
  • Add the flour and salt, and pulse/process just until the dough comes together. There will still be small lumps of butter in the dough.
  • On a lightly floured surface bring the dough together with your hands. Divide into two equal parts and shape each part into a flat rectangle shaped dish. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Put one piece of dough on parchment paper and roll out to a rectangle the size of your pan, or about 9x12 inches. Don't worry about getting the dough perfectly shaped, you can patch it together.
  • Spread the jam in an even layer across the dough, leaving an inch free space all the way around. Sprinkle the walnuts evenly over the jam.
  • Lift the parchment paper with dough into your baking pan, or onto a baking sheet.
  • Roll out the second piece of dough to the same size and gently lay over the top of the first. Patch the dough as necessary to cover the whole suface. Crimp or roll the edges together so they're secure.
  • Brush the surface of the dough with the egg yolk wash. Sprinkle liberally with sparkling sugar.
  • Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.
  • Let cool before cutting into squares or bars.

Notes

Note that the butter and cream cheese are cold for this recipe, not room temperature.

rugelach bars pin

 

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15 Comments

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    Please rate this recipe!




  • Reply
    Leeann tremblay
    May 27, 2020 at 12:10 am

    5 stars
    Delicious. Perfect crust.

  • Reply
    2sistersrecipes
    December 31, 2019 at 6:33 am

    5 stars
    These bars look amazing!! And the cream cheese in the pastry makes them the best! Happy New Year Sue!

  • Reply
    joan nass
    December 30, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    This looks so delicious, and easy. I read all the comments so I wouldn’t duplicate.
    Can you use honey and nuts instead of jams? I have this delicious Elderberry Honey.
    Wishing you and your family a very Healthy, Happy New Year. (looking forward to you r answer).

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 30, 2019 at 4:33 pm

      Yes, you can use honey and nuts, that would be delicious. Happy New Year to you too Joan 🙂

  • Reply
    Alene
    December 30, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Hi! And happy New Year! Not to be nitpicky, but rugelach is pronounced with a guttural sound at the end of the word, not a k sound. Clear the back of your throat out loud, and that’s the sound. Attractive, not so much. Lol! Also, I have to be gluten free and actually have a recipe for gluten free rugelach! I know they are a royal pain to make as it was not my mother’s favorite task. So your idea is fabulous! I am going to use your technique with the gluten free dough. You have saved me from staring guiltily at that recipe and never making it.

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 30, 2019 at 3:55 pm

      I was aiming for a common English pronunciation, but you’re right about the guttural sound…which I can never do!

  • Reply
    Anita
    December 30, 2019 at 11:13 am

    5 stars
    This is genius! I love rugelach, but making individual rugelach is rather time consuming, at least so much more so than your bar-form approach! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  • Reply
    SHANIKA
    December 30, 2019 at 10:53 am

    5 stars
    These Bars look so amazing! I love how easy they are to make! Looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    December 30, 2019 at 10:23 am

    5 stars
    I absolutely NEED to make this recipe — because — no fiddly parts! I’ve actually made rugulach before and it’s a project. This looks every bit as delish, but easier. A total win!

  • Reply
    Erika
    December 30, 2019 at 9:07 am

    5 stars
    These bars look amazing, and the best part is I already have all the ingredients on hand. I can’t wait to try these!

  • Reply
    Toni
    December 30, 2019 at 9:06 am

    5 stars
    These are really great treats! I love it!

  • Reply
    Mo
    December 30, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Look delish! Sue, did you use tubs of whipped cream cheese or, bricks of cream cheese which you have whipped up in your mixer? What brand is your raspberry/ apricot jam? Have never seen that combination.

    Looking forward to making this rugelach! Thank you for your great recipes!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 30, 2019 at 8:38 am

      I used a tub of whipped cream cheese, but you can use regular, that’s fine. I actually mixed apricot and raspberry from Stonewall Kitchen, one of my favorite brands. They actually make a raspberry apricot jam, but if you can’t find it, mixing works!

  • Reply
    Judy
    December 30, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Hi, thank you for this! We are very tempted to try it, it does seem as if it would be easier, especially for people with limited mobility in their hands to do the manipulation of the delicate rugelach crescents.

    However, we’re curious as to your proportions and ingredients. Why do you use less butter than in Ina Garten’s recipe? Why whipped instead of solid cream cheese? Why cold instead of room temperature ingredients? Also, how do you do chocolate, and what do you think of other preserves like cherry or blueberry or lingonberry? Thank you.

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 30, 2019 at 8:36 am

      This recipe makes a nice flakey pastry, and I use the whipped cream cheese just because it’s easier to incorporate. You could use regular if you prefer. The ingredients are cold, just like you would use for pie crust, because that results in the flakey texture as it bakes. If you want to use chocolate you can chop it finely before sprinkling over the dough. You could also use mini chocolate chips. And as for the other preserves, I think any of them would be amazing…I can’t think of a flavor that wouldn’t work!