Apple Honey Rugelach
Celebrate a sweet new year with apple honey rugelach! Tender cream cheese pastry crescents, filled with apples and honey- perfect for Rosh Hashanah!
Good morning my friend! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are starting this new week feeling refreshed. I know I am!
We celebrated my mom’s birthday this weekend with a redux of this cake. Wow! I hadn’t had it in a couple of years, and I just wanted to test it out again to see if it was as good as I remembered. It was even better, lol! I wish I had had the time to snap some updated pics, but I was pulled in too many different directions. I’ve got a couple more trips coming up this week that I had to prepare for. But the cake was just lovely, and so was the time we spent with mom. If you know a vanilla-caramel-cashew lover, you should definitely make them this cake!
Now we are coming up on Rosh Hashanah, which is my favorite of all the Jewish holidays. I love it because it’s happy, and you don’t have to deny yourself of anything! Yom Kippur is the day of atonement, so it tends to be somber. Plus they have to fast all day long. Nothing enjoyable about that. And Passover is nice, but you can’t have anything leavened or even made with flour, for that matter. Rosh Hashanah is the one major Jewish holiday that’s just about celebrating and eating all the things you love the most. Especially apples and honey!
I knew nothing about Jewish culture until I met my husband, but now that we’ve been together for almost 15 years, I feel like I have a pretty decent understanding of the holidays and the food. I have learned that Rosh Hashana is the celebration of a new year. The hope is that the year will be sweet, and that is why apples and honey are so significant- they represent a sweet and happy year that we all look forward to.
My husband’s family is Ashkenazi, as opposed to Sephardic. There are two main types of Jewish cultures, Ashkenazi (which is Eastern European) and Sephardic (which descend from Spain, Northern Africa, and the Middle East). The cuisines are vastly different from one another. As I’m sure you can imagine!
Ashkenazi food is more or less what you’d find at a Jewish deli. Things like smoked fish, bagels, brisket, matzoh ball soup, and stuff like that. As for desserts, one of my favorites is rugelach. It’s kind of like a cookie, kind of like a croissant. The pastry itself is really simple. It’s rich and tender, and made with cream cheese, which is another favorite in Jewish cuisine.
You can fill rugelach with just about anything. I’ve seen it a lot with dried apricot, cinnamon/brown sugar, raspberry, even chocolate! But for today’s recipe, I chose to do an apple honey rugelach, because it’s so significant for this holiday.
It consists of grated apple, walnuts, honey, cinnamon, and a little red wine. Technically, this filling is a take on charoset. Charoset symbolizes the mortar the Israelites used when they were enslaved in ancient Egypt. There is a lot of symbolism in Judaism!
Forming the apple honey rugelach is actually a lot easier than it looks. Just roll out the cream cheese pastry in a big, flat circle and top it with a thin layer of filling. Then, cut the circle into wedges and roll them up, crescent-style. I have a cool little gif of how it all goes down here.
After that, they bake up to tender, golden perfection! I’ve garnished them with a mixture of sparkling sugar, cinnamon, and finely chopped walnuts. It gives a fantastic crunch!
If you’re looking for a great dessert recipe to serve or bring to Rosh Hashana dinner, I hope you’ll give these apple honey rugelach a try! L’Shanah Tovah!
More great apple recipes, for Rosh Hashanah or any fall occasion!
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Apple Honey Rugelach
For the cream cheese dough
- 1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks), softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, (1 block), softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the apple honey (charoset) filling
- 2 apples,, peeled, cored, and coarsely grated
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the topping
- 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup sparkling sugar, (granulated sugar can be substituted)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 egg, , beaten with 1 tablespoon water
To make the cream cheese dough:
- Place the butter, cream cheese, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until fluffy. Stir in the flour and salt on low speed until combined. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour.
To make the apple honey (charoset) filling:
- Place the apples, walnuts, red wine, honey, flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl and stir to combine.
To form the rugelach:
- Dust the work surface with flour and use a rolling pin to roll one of the dough balls to a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Top the circle with 1/4 of the charoset mixture, spreading it into a thin, even layer. Cut the circle into 8 large triangles. Starting at the large end of a triangle, roll the dough and filling, tucking the point under. Bend into a crescent shape and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Refrigerate the pastries for 30 minutes.
To top and bake the rugelach:
- Place the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the rugelach with egg wash and sprinkle with the walnut topping. Bake the rugelach for 26 to 34 minutes, or until golden brown.
Happy to have found this recipe. I will be making these rugelach for Rosh Hashana with my grandchildren, but will omit the walnuts as nuts are not permitted to be eaten during the New Year by Ashkenazi Jews.
Wow, that is news to me! My husband’s family is Ashkenazi but I don’t think they even knew that. Thanks for letting us know! Hope you enjoy the rugelach!
Hi! If preparing this dish for children, with which liquidvdo you sugest to replace the red wine? Apple juice maybe? Thanks, Branka
That would work, Branka! Or you could just leave the wine out entirely. Good luck and I hope you enjoy!
I followed the directions and had the right ingredients, but my dough was a little squishy and sticky, not like pizza dough or such. The apple mixture made it worse and they were falling apart when rolling them. What did I do wrong? I used a spatula to help roll and I mostly got them to the cookie sheets. We’ll see how they bake! ?
I honestly don’t think you did anything wrong, Brooose. The dough is soft, and since there isn’t any yeast it won’t be stretchy like a pizza dough. You just want to make sure your work surface is dusted with flour so they don’t stick. As for the filling spilling out as they roll, that’s just their nature. You *will* lose a little filling in that process. But I’m sure they will bake up delicious! Hope you enjoy 🙂
I enjoyed the website ,will be come back for more .can the rugelach be frozen?making for Christmas .
I’m so glad Charlene! Thank you. Yes, you can absolutely freeze the rugelach. Hope you enjoy!
These look amazing, Allie! The filling sounds delicious, too!
Thanks Sabrina! Loved the filling 🙂 Hope your week is off to a great start!
Hi!!! I just made these today for Jewish New Year and they came out great! We had friends pop by and they really enjoyed them too! The dough came together SO incredibly easy. It was perfect. I loved that the recipe was done in 3 main steps and you had time to do other things between the steps. While the dough was in the fridge, I did other things while I waited. After I formed the crescents, I did a few other things. A really easy recipe. I crushed my walnuts with the sharp end my apple corer instead of pulling out the food processor to rush them. Worked like a charm. Also, I had a hard time grating my apple, so I sliced the apple as thin as I could into match-sticks, and then chopped it. Super easy. I didn’t have enough walnuts left over for the topping, so i just used the cinamon/sugar mixture, but that was fine. I think I need to work some on making mine look a bit nicer shape-wise,…but rustic works! I really love the recipe and will definitely make them again. I’ve already shared your recipe with a friend. Thank you so much for making my New Year sweet!
I’m so thrilled to hear that you liked the recipe! Isn’t the dough easy? Forming is the hardest part, but really kind of fun! Thanks so much for the great feedback and Happy New Year!
Yes! The dough is super easy! Have you made it without the wine?
You can definitely leave out the wine- and if you do then there’s no need for the flour either. Thanks for the great question!
I absolutely LOVE rugelach and this apple honey flavor?? It sounds just perfect Allie!
I love rugelach too! Especially when they’re freshly made and so tender and delish Thank you so much Ashley!
They look absolutely amazing! Cannot wait to try! Your pictures are beyond incredible!
Thank you so much Jessica! I’m so happy you like them; that is so nice to hear!
These look absolutely amazing and stunning photos Allie! Your post was very interesting as I don’t know a lot about Jewish holidays.
Oh I’m so glad you thought so! I have definitely enjoyed learning too, over the years. Thanks so much Malinda!
And rugelach is yummy.
The cake is betond delicious.
So happy you like it!
What an interesting post! These pastries must be perfect with a cup of tea/coffee! Yummy!
Thanks Julia! I especially love them with tea. So happy you enjoyed the post; thanks for the sweet comment!
These look delicious and festive! I’m excited to try a nut-free version (allergies) for Rosh Hashanah next week.
I’m so glad you like them! I hope you enjoy and have a happy new year!