Vallery Lomas’ Pecan Pie Rugelach

updated Jan 21, 2021
christmas
Pecan Pie Rugelach

This clever twist on the classic cookie is bursting with cinnamon and brown sugar-sweetened pecans.

Makes48 rugelach

Prep25 minutes

Cook50 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

This recipe is part of our Quarantine Cookies package, featuring 16 of our favorite bakers and their best cookie for 2020. Check out all the amazing cookies here, and sign up here to receive one cookie recipe per day, for 20 days, straight to your inbox.

I don’t have any stories of making rugelach in the kitchen with my grandmother. My first batch of rugelach — a crescent-shaped, filled pastry with Polish and Jewish origins — was made straight from a cookbook. I was hooked after rolling up the triangles of dough filled with everything from apricots to chocolate, and hope you’ll be hooked too after trying this recipe. These rugelach are the easy-to-make cookie recipe you need this holiday season. The dough is somewhere between a flaky pie dough and a cookie, and the filling is reminiscent of pecan pie, the holiday perennial favorite. 

If you’ve made pie dough, this recipe uses a similar method of cutting the fat into the flour. If you don’t have a food processor, a pastry blender or stand mixer would work great. In addition to butter, most rugelach recipes also use cream cheese. Cream cheese is helpful because it keeps the dough nice and flaky, and makes it harder to overwork it. The cream cheese also makes this dough easier to roll out, and easier to handle. But still pay close attention to the cues in the recipe — the dough is ready when a handful of it clumps together. 

These rugelach are best for snacking at home with a cup of coffee during Zoom calls, and also for shipping to loved ones who we can’t be near — they stay fresh for weeks! You can also customize this recipe by using a variety of ingredients for the filling. Try mini chocolate chips, Nutella, sliced almonds, or jam. Store these in an airtight container at room temperature.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Tester’s Note

Amidst sugary frosted cut-out cookies and giant gingerbread men, these not-too-sweet, two-bite rugelach are a much-welcomed treat. Plus, they’re fun to make: you get to cut the dough into pizza-like slices and roll them up into their cutie-pie shape. If you’re having trouble getting the filling to stick, brush a little softened or melted butter onto each triangle before sprinkling on the pecans. Baking the cookies on parchment paper will also save you from sticky baking sheets. —Grace Elkus, Deputy Food Director

Pecan Pie Rugelach

This clever twist on the classic cookie is bursting with cinnamon and brown sugar-sweetened pecans.

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 50 minutes

Makes 48 rugelach

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks

    (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter

  • 8 ounces

    cold cream cheese

  • 2 cups

    all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1/3 cup

    sour cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 cup

    finely chopped pecans

  • 1/2 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1 tablespoon

    water

Instructions

  1. Cut 2 sticks cold unsalted butter and 8 ounces cold cream cheese into 1-inch squares and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup sour cream, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Pulse until crumbles form and the dough sticks together when pinched.

  2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gather into one mass. Divide into 4 pieces (about 7 ounces each), and shape each into a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until the dough is firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

  3. When ready to assemble the rugelach, finely chop until you have 1 cup pecans. Place in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and stir to combine. Whisk 1 large egg and 1 tablespoon water together in a small bowl.

  4. Unwrap 1 dough disc and place on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out into a 9-inch round. Sprinkle a quarter of the brown sugar-pecan mixture evenly over the dough. Use the rolling pin or your hands to gently press the mixture into the dough.

  5. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the round into 12 wedges. Roll each wedge up from the wide end to the tip. Place seam-side down on one half of a baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Lightly brush the rugelach with the egg wash.

  6. Repeat rolling, filling, and brushing the remaining dough discs, filling up 2 baking sheets (24 rugelach per baking sheet). Refrigerate 20 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF.

  7. Bake one sheet at a time until light golden-brown, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer the rugelach to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.