Rugelach with Chocolate Fig Compote

Rugelach with Chocolate Fig Compote 1

It’s probably not very savvy of a foodie to admit this, but I’ve never tried rugelach before. Never had it, nor baked it. And quite possibly have never seen it except in pictures.

So, I think there’s some irony in here somewhere that the first time I bake it uses a recipe with more steps than my Mother’s magnificent Sunday dinners of my childhood.

This was two-day affair that used more pots, bowls and pans than I had room on my counters to hold.

G’uhness, it was, in fact, an event, people, the likes of which I haven’t experienced since I last made homemade lasagna completely from scratch (with homemade pasta and ricotta and sausage and tomato sauce).

At times, I felt like I was being karmically punished for baking so few celebratory cookies over the holidays. I’m sorry, Universe, I promise to do better this year! Just please let me get these things in the oven before April, okay?

But, if a girl is going to make rugelach for the first time, she could do far worse than doing so under the guidance of Julia Child and friends, via Baking with Julia, the cookbook Julia authored with the lovely Dorie Greenspan.

In all honesty, the process is easy. There’s just a lot of process. A lot. Here we go!

Rugelach with Chocolate Fig Compote 2

The cream cheese dough was just beautiful and came together quickly using a food processor.

Rugelach with Chocolate Fig Compote 3

Likewise, the fig compote I used as the filling — laced liberally with chocolate — was super easy, ready in 10 minutes.

It’s also amazing spooned over ice cream. Yessiree. Ice cream, figs and chocolate.

Wait, where was I? Right! Rugelach!

Rugelach with Chocolate Fig Compote 4

Just to make sure there was enough chocolate in the works, I sprinkled additional chips on top of the compote.

It was a chocolate kind of day.

I mean, days. Plural.

Tip: I’ve learned over the years that the secret to rolling up food — anything, whether desserts or burritos or wraps — is leave a good section of the final edge empty, as you see above. The filling is going squish forward as you roll (in this photo, you would be rolling right to left), and will fill in the empty area without oozing out of the seam. Word.

Tip, the Sequel: once rolled, I highly recommend chilling the filled dough, as clearly stated in the recipe’s instructions. The rolls will cut very cleanly after chilling and form perfect little rugelachs. I was too impatient, natch, and skipped the chill. Things were a little crooked and tilty.

Rugelach with Chocolate Fig Compote 5

See? Crooked and tilty. No matter — it all works out in the end.

BTW, it’s amusing to note that autocorrect on the iPad changes “rugelach” to “rug roach”. Glad I caught that before ya’ll did. 😉

Rugelach with Chocolate Fig Compote 6

They’re not picture perfect, but the peeps didn’t care — they’re really good!

(Reality check: Not sure if they’re two-days’-effort good without some kind of driving force (like a holiday celebration), but, once I got a solid night’s sleep, I had a less jaded appreciation of them.)

This post is part of Tuesdays with Dorie, an online baking group working its way through “Baking with Julia,” by Dorie Greenspan. The rugelach project is hosted this week by My Baking Heart and The Urban Hiker. You’ll find the full recipe on their sites and, no doubt, photos of perfect little rugelach. Also check out Tuesdays with Dorie to see how the other bakers’ rugelach turned out.

The rugelach recipe we baked from calls for apricot or prune levkar for the filling, but, not being a particular fan of either, I went for figs and chocolate, and I include that recipe below. If you’re making it for the rugelach, just sub it straight up for the levkar.

If you’re spooning it over vanilla ice cream, don’t bother cooling it. Chocolate fig compote + melty vanilla ice cream = A. maz. ing.

Karen xoxo


Chocolate Fig Compote

fig compote inspired by “Good to the Grain” by Kim Boyce

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

1/2 pound dried figs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
Pinch salt
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or in chip form

1. Reconstitute the figs by simmering them in water for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a plate and allow to cool. Remove the stems and chop coarsely.

2. Heat the remaining ingredients in a medium, oven-proof pan (such as a cast iron skillet) over medium-high until bubbly, stirring frequently.

3. Preheat the broiler.

4. Add the figs to the butter mixture and stir well to coat.

5. Place the pan under broiler and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir once or twice during that time to keep the figs from burning. Remove the compote to a bowl and stir in the chocolate until melted. Allow the mixture to cool to room temp before using in the rugelach.

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  1. Yours look wonderfully yummy!

  2. Love the compote – mmmm mmmm mmmm.
    Thank you for not treating us to rug roaches. That just wouldn’t be pretty. Nope, not at all.
    Your cookies came out beautifully, of course. (And yes, I absolutely believe in food karma – it always seems to KNOW how we truly feel about it…)

  3. Gosh, that compote sounds delicious! Really like the composition of some of the photos!

  4. Your photos are terrific! One of my rugelach batches wasn’t especially pretty either, but they were so good I didn’t care. Like you, I’d never made (or eaten) reguleach before, so it was definitely a new experience, and I felt that there must be some chocolate in there somewhere! Congrats on a successful first rugelach attempt!

  5. Wow. If I ever make these again (dubious, but you never know!) I think I will swipe your filling – sounds marvelous!

  6. The sound of a chocolate and fig combo sounds good enough to eat from the bowl! A little ice cream as you said, wouldn’t hurt either :) These are beautiful, Karen. xo

  7. Fig compote is genius, and these look really, really good. Rugelach is pretty labor intensive, isn’t it?

  8. The fig compote looks/sounds delicious, and combined with chocolate…wow.

  9. I think I would’ve liked this a lot more had I used a fig and chocolate combo like your delicious treats!

  10. Your fig compote sounds awesome. I love the size of your rugelach.

  11. Your photos are stunning and your rugelach is beautiful! I’m going to need to try that fig compote, it sounds delicious!

  12. Well darn, I’ve always been under the impression that rugelach were a lot less laborious than that. Hmmph, maybe if I have a quiet weekend, and enough drive, I will attempt these, because they look incredibly yummy. And also because I now have a hankerin’ for figs and chocolate.

    • I’m fairly certain it’s the nature of this particular recipe, not rugelach in general. The dough is more or less the same across recipes, but the filling can easily be simplified. My compote took 10 minutes, while the filling called for in the book took … I don’t know … I lost track. Not complex at all, but time-consuming.

  13. Love what you’ve done here with your rugelach! The chocolate fig filling is to die for!
    These were fun to make but what a sticky mess in the kitchen, not an everyday project for sure.
    I have to laugh at the auto correct, I wrote Awww for a comment on a cute photo and it turned into asses, go figure that one,lol!

  14. Thank you SOOO much for this recipe. Last season I went crazy w the dried fig purchasing (to make these wonderfully yummy walnut fig biscotti over at Martha Stewart). We make this crazy named cookies w apricots and nuts and sometimes a date nut chocolate combo.

  15. LOL…your rug roaches look delish!!! And I love the idea of using a fig compote…marvelous!

  16. I definitively prefer my rugelach with chocolate in them! We make these for Christmas every year, but with a lot less fuss. Check out Dorie’s recipe in “Baking From My Home to Yours.”

  17. I was thinking igs would be amazing, but I wasn’t sur how to pull it off. This here though looks perect. I love your creativity.

  18. Just gorgeous, Karen. Thanks so much for baking along with me this week! :)

  19. Well worth the effort, I should say.

  20. Mmmm! The fig compote looks delicious… I suspect there may be a trip to the grocery store for ice cream in the near future!

  21. I love your photos, and this entire post in general! Very well written and funny :) The fig compote sounds amazing.

  22. What a beautiful blog! And I love your tilty rugelach, they look delicious!

  23. mmm! figs & chocolate sound really good together. i might actually like that better than the raspberry and chocolate in mine … the raspberry was a tad too sweet for me, but i think the figs might be a perfect mix!

  24. Thanks for the recipe! I am going to have to try that. Your rugelach looks and sounds delicious!

  25. From a fellow TWD baker, your filling sounds wonderful! I think the chocolate addition would be so great, I wish I would have thought of that. It also looks like you got your rugelach to keep the spiral, which it seemed like many [including myself!] had a hard time with. Glad to bake with you!

  26. Your filling must be delicious! Thanks for posting the recipe.
    Your rugelach looks so yummy!
    Great blog!

  27. Hahah, funny that auto correct is. I also did chocolate and fig, but not together. And I LOVE your storage containers. Thanks for the inspiration.

  28. The filling sounds delicious, and I love your plate.

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