Apricot Rugelach from the Bakehouse

Excerpt from Ari’s Top 5 enews

Continued culinary and emotional engagement with apricots

In the way things weave together in my mind, the study of Ukrainian culture and history has given me a higher appreciation for apricots than I’ve ever had. What has always existed on the culinary periphery of my mind is now front and center. In the same way that any food we care about likely has intellectual and emotional roots which we re-access every time we eat it, when I see, think about, or eat an apricot I now think of Ukraine.

I’ve been enjoying these apricot rugelach out of hand because they taste so darned good! If you don’t know rugelach, Amy and Frank wrote in their cookbook, “Zingerman’s Bakehouse,”

Rugelach evolved the Eastern European Jewish cookie called kipfel. In the early 1950s, the name “rugelach” appeared, and now it has taken over. The word seems to come from rug (Slavic for “horn”) and lakh (a diminutive plural), thus “little horns.” … Rugelach are the most popular and well-known Jewish cookie in the United States and are definitely the most popular Jewish cookie we make at the bakery. This version … has a delicate and flaky dough (two-thirds of the dough is fat—butter and cream) encasing special fillings, sprinkled with sugar, and baked until golden brown.

I’ve been experimenting with some creative ways to embellish the excellence of the Apricot Rugelach even further of late. They’re delicious dipped into an artisan chocolate spread. It also makes a lovely small plated dessert—put a bit of the Creamery’s handmade cream cheese down on a plate, spoon on some apricot jam, and then lay the rugelach on top—and eat with a fork! Easiest of all, rugelach are perfect for picnics, camping, or carrying around your backpack even when the summer heat is as high as it’s been the last few weeks.

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