Apricot rosemary rugelach

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Rosemary apricot rugelach

Rosemary apricot rugelach

Apricot rosemary rugelach

Rosemary apricot rugelach

I have always, always been a procrastinator.

In high school, I fancied myself to be a teen prodigy (see also: misunderstood genius, centre of the universe, eldest child complex), so I was always leaving my projects up until the last possible second, racing through them, and miraculously still getting excellent grades. One of my teachers had caught on, though, and warned me that I was going to have to learn how to pace and schedule my work, or I would suffer when I got to university.

Then university came around, and I was still scribbling away in a hypercaffeinated  madwoman state at 2, then 4, then 6 in the morning of my deadline. I’d hand in my papers at the beginning of class and then proceed to sleep through the entire lesson. Once, I even visited a professor to “hash out some thesis ideas” the day before a major paper was due, and watched him grow slightly pale.

And still I was pulling it off! It was somewhat appalling, to be honest.

Now, however — as a freelancer who sets her own deadlines — the joke is at last on me. Although I’m great at sticking to external deadlines, I seem to struggle endlessly with self-imposed ones, and will procrastinate sometimes for weeks before I finally force myself to write something down.

Case in point: these apricot rosemary rugelach. I made (and photographed) them well over a month ago, but every time I began to write the actual post down, I’d somehow find something particularly fascinating on Facebook that required my immediate attention. Or Pinterest. Or an entire Bukowski novel (feel free to skip reading Women, by the way). My fingernails became suddenly very interesting to me. Christ, I even went to the gym instead of writing this!

So forgive this cop-out of a post about how difficult it sometimes is to write posts, please, because it was all in the service of delivering you these rugelach. If you’ve never had rugelach before, you’re in for a real treat. They’re basically little bite-sized cookies that taste like the best, flakiest pie dough you’ve ever consumed, plus any delicious filling your heart desires.

I’m inordinately fond of using fragrant, earthy rosemary in dessert recipes. It adds a depth to the sweetness, particularly of apricot, that I really love. I’d planned to top these off with chopped pistachio originally, but didn’t have any on hand, and used the sesame seeds in a pinch. I really quite liked them, but if you have pistachio around, I still think that would make a great pairing too. Other fantastic combinations I’ve seen floating around the web include sour cherry jam and chopped pecans, orange marmalade and dark chocolate, or straight up cinnamon sugar.

I brought these to share at a dinner party, and they were demolished. I don’t think I’ve ever received more compliments on a dessert! Hope you love them as much as I do.

Apricot rosemary rugelach

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes

Yield: ~40 bite-sized rugelach

A classic cookie that's as crisp and buttery as pie crust, but filled with sweet-savoury jam and scattered with toasted sesame. Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.


    For the dough:
  • 2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1 cup (225g) unsalted butter
  • 1 package (225g) cream cheese
  • For the filling:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger (dried, not fresh)
  • 1 Tbs clarified butter
  • 1.5 Tbs fresh rosemary, minced
  • 3/4 cup apricot jam
  • juice of half a lemon
  • For the finish:
  • 1 egg, beaten with a tablespoon of water or milk
  • 2 Tbs mixed black and white sesame seeds (or finely chopped pistachio)


    For the dough:
  1. Place flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add cream cheese, chopped into large chunks, and run machine until it’s fully dispersed into the flour. Add butter in large chunks and run machine until dough starts to clump. Set aside a large piece of cling wrap, and dump the dough onto this; pat into a large disk, and wrap up completely.
  2. Chill dough until totally firm — about 2 hours in the fridge, although you can hasten this along in the freezer for about 30 minutes. (Dough will keep in fridge for up to a week, if you don't want to make these right away.)
  3. Heat oven to 350F and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. For the filling:
  5. While the dough is chilling, in a small bowl, mix the sugar and the ginger, and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the clarified butter on medium-high until melted. Add the chopped rosemary and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the apricot jam. Add the lemon juice, and (if desired), add a little more, to taste.
  6. Assembly:
  7. Divide dough into four pieces and roll first quarter out on a floured counter into a rectangle about 12 inches wide and 8 inches long, with the wider side to you. Thinly spread the apricot filling ((about 2 to 3 tablespoons) to all but the furthest 1/4 inch from you, which seals better once rolled if bare. Sprinkle with roughly a quarter of the sugar-ginger mixture.
  8. Roll dough from the 12-inch side in front of you into as tight as a log as you can, using your fingers to lightly seal the ends onto the log. Repeat with remaining logs.
  9. Place log of filled dough in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, as the rugelach will cut more cleanly once semi-firm. Trim ends from log so they have a clean shape, and slice the log into 10 to 12 even slices. Arrange on prepared baking sheets a couple inches apart from each other.
  10. Brush tops lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown on top. Individual cookies need to cool only a few minutes on baking sheet before they can be transferred to a cooling rack, and the sooner you get them off the parchment, the easier it is to separate them from the leaked sugar filling that will have pooled on the baking sheet.
  11. Best the day they're made, but will keep for 2-3 days in a sealed container at room temperature.



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11 Responses to “Apricot rosemary rugelach”

  1. Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table May 26, 2016 at 11:09 AM #

    So I seriously think we’re soulmates and that it’s an atrocity I haven’t read your blog before today. Well, time to remedy that! I love the combination of flavours here, and I’m particularly partial to the use of black and white sesame seeds on top. Great combo!

  2. Melissa February 20, 2016 at 2:06 AM #

    I saw a photo of these that you had posted the other day and I fell in love… I love rugelach – it always stops me when I see it in a pastry shop and I think apricot and rosemary would be such a good combo. So you may have procrastinated but, this was so worth it!

    And you took me back to uni… I remember I had philosophy class on Monday nights and I would START my papers on Monday morning. They were such BS too – I barely did the readings and somehow I always got As on them. I didn’t even know what the hell I was talking about! I remember cutting one class because I didn’t get the paper done so I went to the library instead to finish it and slipped it under the profs door before the class let out at 10pm. Man… I can’t get away with that anymore!

  3. Sofia | From the Land we Live on February 19, 2016 at 4:00 PM #

    Loveeeee! I think I have all the ingredients for a weekend rugelah project. They’re so cute! The apricot + rosemary combo sounds so good…I’ll let you know if I end up making them. Have a great weekend!

  4. suki February 19, 2016 at 2:24 PM #

    I usually 🙂 dont go for apricots much 😉 but these ones look deleciious!

  5. Sean February 19, 2016 at 1:35 PM #

    Oh Alanna. I had no idea we had so much in common. Those first two paragraphs might as well have been my educational biography. Seriously, it took me three degrees to learn how to manage my work better, and even then… I still tend to procrastinate when I can get away with it. I think I just like the pressure 🙂

    These rugelach look… I mean, I can’t just say that they look good. They look positively mouth-watering. I want one, like, right now. I’ve used rosemary with raspberry and blackberry before, but never apricot, and I’ve got to say it sounds like a really amazing combination. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  6. Cassie @ Crumb Kitchen February 19, 2016 at 12:33 PM #

    Alanna, your photos are so gorgeous! I’ll admit I’ve never made rugelach but it looks scrumptious. Plus apricot and rosemary? Be still my heart! This seems like a good dessert to serve at my housewarming party coming up. (You know, pretending to be an adult and all of that.) Thanks for sharing!

  7. Janice February 19, 2016 at 10:57 AM #

    It’s funny, I make rugelach almost every year (usually around Christmas), and I always fill them with dried cranberries+walnuts+sugar+cinnamon+dash of vanilla. ALWAYS! And this year, as I was making them, I thought to myself “Gosh, I really need to switch these up a little next time!” and then you posted this recipe 😉
    I adore apricot jam. It’s such a treat and so underutilized! So next Christmas, there will be apricot jam in my rugelach! Thanks for the inspiration (as always)!
    P.S. I am a procrastinator too. Big time! It’s awful! And it’s become a habit. I used to be the girl who would do her Calculus homework the day it was assigned, and then I’d proceed to lose my answers and have to redo it the night before. That’s how much of a keener I was in college (plus I loved Cal I because I am a total nerd, let’s face it!). But then, when I hit grad school, I feel like my keen-ness fizzled because grad school was hard and demoralizing, and though I did get out of bed every day at 6-ish AM to get to the lab, I was miserable, and once I got there, I pushed off my experiments and found all kinds of distractions and excuses. Today, as a freelancer, the procrastinating is a habit, and it drives me nuts. I get a new project and I’m excited but instead of working on it right away, ahead of the deadline to finish it and get rid of it so I can move on to the next, I linger, I dwell, I do other stuff. And it’s especially bad as a freelancer because I should be working hard to bring in more cheques every month, yet somehow I can’t. I’m sorry, this is so long, but all that to say that I totally understand the procrastinating. We shoud form a support group! Seriously! I need help!

  8. Carrie February 19, 2016 at 10:31 AM #

    These look fantastic! Have tried only sweet ones before, never with herbs – can’t wait to try!

  9. Laura Brogrer February 18, 2016 at 3:16 PM #

    I am reading voraciously because I am sick in bed with the flu. I think I might just get out of bed and make these – mmmm they look scrumptious. Honestly Alanna your photography is fantastic – everything just pops off the page. And I love rosemary. Thank you!!

    • Alanna @ One Tough Cookie February 19, 2016 at 10:48 AM #

      Laura, I hope you feel better soon! Haha, I think these are best enjoyed when you’re in ship-shape! But thank you so much for your kind words! 🙂