Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I want to go everywhere I haven't been, and back to everywhere I have been.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Brown Sugar and Walnut Rugelach...and The Secret Life of Bees

Brown Sugar and Walnut Rugelach: You won't believe how easy these are to make! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Don't you just hate spending money on household repairs?

It drives me bee-zerk, but it's a necessary evil of home-ownership.

So yeah, it's been a wacky few days here at the Goo Shoes house, 
and by wacky, I mean Not Good.

Brown Sugar and Walnut Rugelach: You won't believe how easy these are to make! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The other day, I heard something vibrating the wall of my closet.
I didn't think much of it, until the next day, 
when I heard it again in the medicine cabinet of our bathroom.
This time, the sound was clear -- there was no mistaking it...


The few dead yellow-jackets we've found recently around the house 
suddenly made sense.
Unbeknownst to us, bees have been busy setting up shop 
inside the walls of our house.

One thing you may not know about me is that I am terrified of bees.
The thought of yellow-jackets in my house?
I can't imagine anything worse.
Except for squirrels.
Or bats.  

Ms. Toody was about to become unglued.   

Lucky for me, Mr. Goo Shoes is an ace problem-solver. 
If there is something wrong, he will figure it out.
Within minutes, he determined where the bees were getting in. 

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Their secret life was about to be exposed.
It was time for...

 The Exterminator.
Hasta la vista, babees!

Brown Sugar and Walnut Rugelach: You won't believe how easy these are to make! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

We were still finding dead yellow-jackets all over the house, 
when we woke up yesterday to a broken hot water heater.
Ouch, now that stings.
Fortunately, we were able to replace it today.

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

It was time for a baking distraction.

Brown Sugar and Walnut Rugelach: You won't believe how easy these are to make! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

 Remember I told you about the rugelach from Israel?
They are impossible to replicate, yet that hasn't stopped me 
from trying to perfect my own rugelach-making skills.
For years, I've made my mother's recipe, 
which has a sour cream-based dough, and is rolled into crescent shapes.

I've always wanted to learn how to make the rolled kind.
When I had my family over to break the fast on Yom Kippur, I tried a new recipe.
They were really good, so, I made them again this week,
for some very special people.
I'm not going to tell you who just yet...that's a surprise.

Brown Sugar and Walnut Rugelach: You won't believe how easy these are to make! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

This dough has a cream cheese base, and is richer than my mom's rugelach.
I feel guilty saying it, but I like this version better!
And, it's is less labor-intensive,
since each cookie doesn't need to be individually rolled. 
As you know, I've got an affinity for "easy."
It's how I "roll," lol. 

Brown Sugar and Walnut Rugelach: You won't believe how easy these are to make! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

These rugelach are not difficult to make at all, 
but I've got a few tips to help guarantee your success.

I recommend regular cream cheese, not low-fat, for making the dough. 
Using low-fat cream cheese may affect the consistency, 
and the ability to roll it up into cylinders.
 It's very important for the dough to be chilled before rolling it out.
The dough is sticky, so make sure surface, rolling pin (affil. link) and hands are well-floured, and work with only one piece at a time,
leaving the other pieces in the refrigerator until needed.

Brown Sugar and Walnut Rugelach: You won't believe how easy these are to make! | Ms. Toody Goo ShoesBrown Sugar and Walnut Rugelach: You won't believe how easy these are to make! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Clean work surface thoroughly before rolling out a new piece of dough. 
It will be easier to roll.
 Keep rolled logs in refrigerator until all four are finished
so that they slice easily before baking. 

Now that you are adequately prepped, let's roll!

Brown Sugar and Walnut Rugelach: You won't believe how easy these are to make! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Yield: 48 pieces

For the Dough:
8 oz. (2 sticks) butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (I recommend regular, not low fat).
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour (plus extra for rolling out dough)

For the Filling:
3/4 cup finely ground walnuts
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon 

For the Topping:
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten, + 1 tsp water

To Make Dough:
In large mixer bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, granulated sugar, brown sugar and salt on medium speed until completely combined (about 1 minute).
Scrape down sides of mixing bowl, add vanilla and combine.
Mix in flour in four batches, on low speed, until combined.
With floured hands, shape dough into 6-inch square, wrap in plastic, and chill in refrigerator, at least one hour. 

To Make Filling:
With a fork, mix finely chopped walnuts, dark brown sugar, and cinnamon together until combined. If sugar sticks together, use fingers to separate. 

To Assemble and Bake Rugelach:
Adjust oven rack to middle position. 
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut dough into four equal pieces. Work with one piece at a time, putting remaining pieces back into refrigerator in plastic wrap, until ready to use.
Roll out dough into 12" X 8" rectangle on well-floured surface, with floured rolling pin.
Spread one quarter of the filling mixture evenly over dough (approximately 1/2 cup for each log). Use hand to press filling into the dough, so it adheres.
With long side of dough near you, roll dough tightly into log (it will be 12 inches long). 
Place log seam side down onto baking pan.
Put baking sheet with log into refrigerator while making the remaining logs.
Clean work surface thoroughly, and re-flour.
Repeat with remaining dough to make three more logs.
Arrange four logs at least one inch apart on baking pan. 
Brush logs with egg wash, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture. 
With a sharp knife, make 3/4" cuts into log (do not cut all the way through) at one-inch intervals. If dough is too soft, chill in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Bake rugelach until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes; then cool completely on rack. 
Carefully transfer cooled logs to cutting board, and slice rugelach into individual pieces.  

Brown Sugar and Walnut Rugelach: You won't believe how easy these are to make! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
 The rugelach was sitting on the counter waiting for its photo op,
when Mr. Goo Shoes was about to grab a handful.

He was literally within a second of pulling the rugelach right out from under me.

Luckily, I stopped him just in time.
"Can't I have some?"
I explained that I made it for something special, and I couldn't spare any.
He looked so forlorn, I had to let him have one.
Looks like I'll be busy as a bee, and making another batch pretty soon.

Brown Sugar and Walnut Rugelach: You won't believe how easy these are to make! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

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  1. Bees!!? Omg I hate bees too! Like totally terrified. How scary! The rugelach looks quite tasty... I'd need a baking distraction too to keep my mind off the bees!

  2. Awful! I got stung last November when a yellow jacket crawled up under my pantleg! I can walk around true bees in my garden but yellow jacket wasps terrify me! Our exterminator told us not to seal a gap between the patio and the house before he got rid of them because they would end up inside the house. Thanks for the cookie recipe. These are expensive to buy and I LOVE them!

  3. Amazing, simply amazing! I have not yet managed to roll out rugelach dough into a perfect rectangle. I probably never will. I marvel at your row of rugelach strudels, one more perfect than the next. I am in AWE!

    You meant yellow jackets or where there really bees, as in honey bees, in your wall?
    I remember a swarm of bees, thousands upon thousands, hanging like a giant living lantern from a branch of an apple tree in my parent's orchard. Turned out that they originated from a neighbor's beehive and were simply trying to form a new colony. The neighbor arrived in a protective suit, looking like an astronaut, and simply eased the escapees back into a large wooden box and carried them home.

    1. Yeah, I noticed she was referring to yellow jackets (wasps) and also bees, which are not yellow jackets. ��

    2. Thank you! Send them love! 😉🌹

    3. Most people don’t roll out a perfect rectangle. But, you can trim it perfectly.☺️

  4. You did a beautiful job on that dough! Wow-it looks wonderful and I dare not look too close or I will drool into the keyboard here. Sorry that you had a BEE problem. Hope they are gone now. Bees do not bother me-unless they are wasps...but I am okay with honey bees and bumble uncle was a bee-keeper so they don't scare me...but I know a lot of people are freaked out by them. xoDiana

  5. Oh Amy! This looks AHMAZING!! When we had our business, for years from October to December I would bake cookies...hundreds actually, and give them to our customers. One year I made something like this, and I think I used a cream cheese based dough too. I've found that if a dough is sticky, it's usually good :).

    Reading about Mr. Goo Shoes has me humming 'it's so nice to have a man around the house'. Remember that song? It's an oldie but goody.

  6. Oh my word these look unbelievably good. Just the thought of cream cheese batter with walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon, aaperfect marriage. I've never made these but I love, and I mean love all kinds of flavors. These are my favorite.

    In sorry about the mahem. Not a fan of bees. I got stung once 5 times in a row, no exaggeration. I would have to move if we ever got a mouse. Game changer for me. Horrified of mice


  7. RUGELACH!!! Alllllll the love and yes and these sure do look like "the bee's knees". Pinning these now - I must make some!

  8. I wish I could just reach right through the computer screen and grab one of those. They look delicious! I love anything with cinnamon and dough!

  9. Yikes bees in the house! Glad they are gone and I agree only worst thing would be squirrels or bats. Your recipe looks delightful and the Rugelach dough is gorgeous but I can not eat Walnuts so I'd switch to Pecans with fig and probably will try your recipe. Gotta tell you professional bakers would be impressed with your Rugelach.

  10. This sounds so delicious and amazing! Drooling over here! :)

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  11. Makes my mouth water! And what a time you've had. Hope all the buzz has quieted down and that the heater is perking along as it should!

  12. I have always used the sour cream dough for my rugelach dough and we all love it. Never made that filling but will try it. And have always made it rolled in a log, never liked making the crescents. But, have always cut it into the pieces and placing them separately on the cookie sheets. Now I see what you have done and I like it, makes sense, don't know why I didn't think of it!!!!

    The dough with the cream cheese I use to make Tassies with the same nut filling in tiny gem muffin cups. Oh, I just love baking!!!

  13. Oh Amy, I read the post and I could smell the roast rugelach :-)
    Of course, the recipe will use. I like your cakes :-)
    and step-by-step recipes are very helpful to me.
    I also had a summer adventure with bees and wasps. We had them very much.
    I greet warmly

  14. Girl, your talents are through the roof! That rugelach looks amazing! I'm quite impressed.

    We had bees in one of our walls a number of years back. It was a matter of finding their entry point and cutting them off at the pass. :) I sound like I know what I'm talking about but it was The Man who did all the work.

    As for home repairs, it seems it's always something.

  15. So sorry about the bees and hot water heater! My grandmas and aunts made delicious rugelach

  16. I hope your bee problem is solved! We had bees swarming around our front door and found they had made a nest under the concrete of the front walk! My husband plugged it up.....bye, bye bees! This recipe sounds so good. I am always scared of recipes where I have to roll dough but since I trust you that it is easy, I will have to give it a try! :-)

  17. They look delicious!

    The joys of home ownership... bee problems and hot water heater problems at the same time.

  18. Oh no Amy! I hope you get the bee problem settled! And the hot water heater? Oh boy what a week already!
    Well thanks for sharing this AWESOME recipe with us at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.
    I hope you week gets better.
    Julie xo

  19. Hi Amy, when it rains it pours. It seems everything happens at once. Hope your week ends better. Thanks for sharing the recipe. It looks so delicious. Hugs, cm

  20. This looks absolutely amazing and I need to add it to my to-do list!!
    The yellow jackets in the house? Omg I would lose my life. I am terrified wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, etc. I would have to move out. Immediately.

  21. Oh, poor you, Amy, what a thing to happen. Luckily, a nice rugelach can make up for a lot. My grandmother used to make them, hers were the best.

  22. Since I'm vegan I may have to try this with vegan butter and vegan cream cheese.....sounds delicious!

  23. I haven't made what we just called 'nut rolls' for years and years. I do remember sour cream or cream cheese in the dough makes it good....I've already saved and printed this baby out for the next baking spree here : ) No WONDER the poor guy wanted to eat some right away....I wish I had some with my coffee right now !

  24. Nasty about the bees ... and then the hot water!

    Recipe and photo's look lovely.

    All the best Jan

  25. Nasty about the bees ... and then the hot water!

    Recipe and photo's look lovely.

    All the best Jan

  26. Hey Amy,

    Your rugelach look and sound scrumptious, and the mystery people who you are making them for are very 'rugeLUCKY'! Hmm. Something tells me D and J will have amazing things to say about your tasty pastry on meeting day!

    Enjoy your goodies with the gals! Wish I could join you!


  27. That is so scary! I wonder if there is honey lining your walls now?

    But the rugelach looks melt in your mouth delicious! It still looks as if you went to a lot of trouble to make this, but oh so worth it. And your photography makes me want to bite right down on it!


  28. These rugelach are mouth-watering !!
    Rugelach are super popular here, and I must say that you dough is unique. We usually don't make it with cream-cheese.
    I'm saving your recipe, as I'd looooooooove to try your version

  29. Well Amy - your week sounds like my life since we bought this fixer upper LOL - glad everything got fixed
    and those Rugelach look INCREDIBLE - I buy them - have never made them in my life but I'm pinning just in case - they really do look mouth watering !

  30. Hi Amy,
    I just letting you know that I featured your awesome rugelach recipe at Monday's Cooking and Crafting with J & J. Thanks for sharing your projects with us.
    Julie xo

  31. Hi Amy :)

    I just went through the water heater thing and my mom went through the bee thing. Weird, huh? Glad you got them out of there.

    The rugelach looks delicious!


  32. This looks so incredible! Pinned and tweet. Thank you for being a part of our party. I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm, because we love to party with you! Happy Halloween~Lou Lou Girls

  33. Looks yummy and I remember my mom making these with poppy seed as the filling as well as prune and walnut! Also there is a big difference folks between the poor honey bee and yellow jacket please read about them and stop blaming the honey bee we need them desperately to pollenate our veggie plants. We are beekeepers in virginia!

  34. This looks amazing......what do you recommend if we have to leave out the nuts???

  35. I just made up the dough an put into fridge. I cannot wait to make the filling and get this cookie started. I have never made a cookie like this but I love these cookies. Cannot wait to taste. Mouth Watering....

  36. I have 2 questions--
    1. Is there a way to print out the recipe from your blog? I am able to save it to Pinterest (which is what I've done) but can not find any "print" button, as so many websites have.
    2. Can these be frozen a few weeks ahead of when needed? Thanks. Elana

    1. Hi I had the same question as you! I was able to highlight just the 2 pages of the recipe and print just them instead of the whole story. It worked out well. Hope this helps you!

    2. Hi Christine, yes, you can highlight just the actual recipe, and copy into a word document. I will also email you the recipe, as I did for Elana, above.

  37. There is a difference between bees and yellow jackets! You cannot use one to refer to the other, unless you are ignorant. It’s like comparing a human to an ape, same scientific family but different species.

    1. Dear Lynnette,
      Thank you so much for your comment. I'm quite aware of the difference between bees and yellow jackets. My reference of one to the other was simply for the purposes using a play on words throughout a light-hearted blog post. My sincerest apologies if I've offended you. I'm quite fond of bees, actually, and aware of their critical impact on our planet. In fact, I am so concerned about their declining population, that my husband and I recently made a donation to Save The Bees on a recent visit to a lavender farm. Perhaps that will vindicate my "ignorance."
      Best regards,

    2. Amy, I am thoroughly impressed with not only your response but your restraint as well. I am sorry that some feel the need to be rude for no apparent reason. Thank you for the recipe. Can't wait to try it!

  38. Can the rolls be prepared a day early and left in the fridge overnight, then cooked the next day?

    1. I haven't ever done that, but given that they go back into the refrigerator after each one is rolled to stay cold, I don't think that would be a problem. It might take a little longer to bake as they would be colder than if they were in the fridge just a short while. I sent an email reply to you as well, but it says No-Reply blogger, so hoping you will see this answer here.

  39. About how long can they be frozen for before they go bad? I just found some in my freezer from last Christmas.

    1. I honestly don't know the answer to that, but everything I see online says about 3 months for cookies; one site says 6 months. I'd think almost a year wouldn't still be good, and not worth taking the chance. Sorry! I know they are a lot of work to make! I tried to email you back, but you are a "No-Reply" blogger, so I hope you check back here for my answer. :)
      Amy @ Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

    2. Thank you. That's what I thought too. I'm surprised I even had any left! I make them every year, my family loves your recipe!😊

  40. Ready to put them in the oven. Hope they taste good.

  41. Hi. These look very tempting. You said they freeze well, did you mean before baking or baked. Any special tips on the method. Many thanks.

    1. They are tempting, indeed! I'm about to make a batch, myself :) I meant that they freeze well after baking. I've never tried freezing them before. The most important tips are 1) Keep the dough refrigerated until ready to use, and 2)Clean the work surface thoroughly before rolling out a new piece of dough. I don't see an email address to reply to you, so hoping you will check back here for my answer! Happy Holidays!

  42. I cannot believe I made these, and they were perfect! After reading The Storyteller, I knew I had to bake these. Your recipe was easy to follow, and it didn't specify waiting 24 hours, and I didn't have to cut out crescents (although I could). Thank you for highlighting my weekend !

  43. Can I use pillsbury pie crust to make these? I am a little intimidated making and rolling the dough?

    1. Hi Linda, I would not use pie crust. I once tried them that way, and did not like them. The consistency and flavor didn't work. It is the cream cheese and butter in this crust that makes them so delicious. The crust is easy to make and easy to roll out (just make sure surface and rolling pin are floured). You can do this!

  44. Can you freeze the dough for a week before baking and stuffing it with the nut mixture?

  45. This is the absolute BEST recipe ever! My go to.

  46. Am I the only one who doesn't know which kind of walnuts go into Rugelach? Do you use Black or English walnuts?

    1. I have only used English walnuts, so I’m not sure if black walnuts would alter the taste.

  47. Recipe from my Jewish friend only use c.cheese,butter,flour for dough.only use white sugar for filling mix and use it instead of flour for rolling out dough. Add more filling if needed. Roll out in a circle and cut pizza style. Roll up each piece Cresent style. 350 for 20 min.

  48. My mom would make something like this but it was with leftover pie dough butter cinnamon and sugar

  49. Made these last year for Christmas and they became several family members favorite cookie. Will be making both nut and chocolate this year!!!! Merry Christmas!!!!

    1. Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed. I’m about to make a batch myself!

  50. this recipe is AMAZING!! Making it again for a holiday party this year. thank you so much for posting :)


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