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!
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??
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.
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.
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.
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.
Other jam filled treats from the blog ~
- Tangerine Shortbread Tart with Fresh Rosemary
- Peanut Butter and Boysenberry Jam Bars
- Classic Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe
- Blackberry Pecan Crumble Bars
- Sour Cherry Almond Bars
Apricot Raspberry Rugelach Bars
- 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
- 1 egg yolk beaten with a tablespoon of water
- sparkling sugar
- 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 and variations