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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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berry lovely

Monday 12th of March 2012

The filling sounds delicious, and I love your plate.


Friday 9th of March 2012

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.


Wednesday 7th of March 2012

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

Jess Wakasugi

Wednesday 7th of March 2012

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!


Wednesday 7th of March 2012

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