Pumpkin Rugelach with Sage and Walnuts

By • January 4, 2012 • 41 Comments

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Author Notes: My hearty little sage plant was the sole survivor of the long hot Texas summer. I'm constantly looking for ways to use the sage, and the idea for this savory rugelach struck me at 4:30 in the morning, when baby Henry woke up and needed a cuddle. In the morning, I googled "savory rugelach" and saw that the all-powerful Dorie Greenspan had blogged about this very idea years ago. This recipe was built using her tips for good rugelach, my filling, and a dough recipe I got when I married into my husband's family.

Note: If you have no patience for finely chopping the walnuts, you can pulse them in the food processor until they're tiny little nibs, and then use the food processor to make the dough.
arielleclementine

Food52 Review: WHO : arielleclementine lives in Austin, TX
WHAT : A wonderful surprise -- savory rugelach.
HOW : A tender, classic cream cheese dough is spread with a walnut-and-sage studded pumpkin filling that bursts with umami.
WHY WE LOVE IT : A little rich, and a lot addictive, these nibbly treats will be the star of your next cocktail party.
A&M

Makes 32 small rugelach

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, chopped finely
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon aleppo or chile flakes
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree (or squash or sweet potato puree)
  • 2 healthy pinches kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • flaky sea salt or finely shredded parmesan, for sprinkling
  1. Prepare the dough. Cut the butter and cream cheese into tablespoon-sized pats and let soften for 10-15 minutes. Pulse the flour and salt in the food processor, and then add the semi-softened butter and cream cheese and pulse several times, until the mixture has formed large crumbly chunks (this can also be done very easily with a pastry knife, if you've got a sleeping baby and don't want to use the food processor). Gather the dough together into two large balls, flatten into disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours or up to overnight.
  2. While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmery. Toss in the chopped shallots, sage, and aleppo and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree and cook for 5 minutes more, to help evaporate some of the water in the pumpkin. Season with two healthy pinches of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove from the heat to cool down (the filling should not be hot when you spread it on the dough).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the dough has chilled, roll each disk into a 12" circle on a well-floured board. Make sure you flour the underside of the dough often, so that it doesn't stick. Spread half of the cooled pumpkin filling onto each disk, and then distribute half of the finely chopped walnuts over each disk. Using a bench scraper (or knife, or pizza cutter), cut the dough into 16 triangles. Roll up each triangle, starting from the base, to form a crescent, and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Beat the egg with a teaspoon of water and brush lightly onto the rugelach. Top each rugelach with flaky sea salt or finely grated parmesan (I prefer the sea salt, my husband prefers parmesan, so I make half of each kind). Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm, if possible.
Jump to Comments (41)

Comments (41) Questions (1)

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10 months ago suzy moore

Made these for a cocktail party last night. I didn't use the Parmesan cheese, but wish I had. Using sea salt made them a bit salty, which is saying something for me -- I like things very salty. I found that rolling the dough out between my silicone mat and a sheet of plastic wrap made it easier to deal with, though I did still require the aid of an offset spatula to inch the crescents up off the mat while rolling them up. I thought they could have used a little more in the nut department, too. Next time!

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11 months ago Sue Anne Kirkham

I am delighted to find this web site, and plan to make these for a gourmet friend's birthday. Does anyone have any experience with freezing them? I'd like to bake, freeze, and mail them, to keep them fresh for the recipient 500 miles away.

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11 months ago Erica

If I didn't use this exact recipe last year (but I think I did…) then I came close and WAS playing with savory pumpkin rugelach that were definitely good for a first try. So now I'm wondering, what does anyone think about adding some pumpkin butter or cooked/pureed pumpkin to the rugelach dough? Helping it get a little orangey? I know I'd have to adjust the cream cheese and flour to keep the integrity of the melt in your mouth dough. Then one could mix nuts and sage and maybe some goat cheese? maybe one egg so it would cook firm? What does anyone think? I really like the idea of savory...sage and nuts…. the orange on the outside…..

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over 1 year ago vivavo

I love the dough! This has been a hit for Thanksgiving and New Years appetizers...everyone is always very curious what is in the filling! It is the perfect layer of flavors.

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over 1 year ago phyllis segura

I've been making lots of savory rugs...with salmon, pestos and tapenades...adding some special ingreds to the dough too. More cream cheese as well.

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almost 2 years ago reggieyum

I just made some sweet rugelach as I do every holiday season, but put half of the dough in the freezer for a later batch. The perfect opportunity to try this seemingly tasty bite for New Year's Eve. Thanks for thinking out of the usual rugelach box.

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almost 2 years ago barb48

Is this the typical dough to make the traditional ruggelach, with nuts and cinnamon? What would be a chocolate version of this?

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almost 2 years ago DrGaellon

Yes, flour, butter, cream cheese and a pinch of salt is the basic rugelach dough. You might also add a bit of sugar for a sweet cookie. You can find Joan Nathan's recipe for chocolate rugelach at http://bit.ly/W9qgTi

Stringio

over 2 years ago Melanie,Sodini

This recipe is amazing. The only thing I would change is that after you chill the dough,
roll it out and make a rectangle. Then fold it up like a letter in thirds and then re chill. This gives it flakey layers. Otherwise, this recipe was a big hit. I will make it over and over.

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over 2 years ago Joyce Piper

These look heavenly, I will definitely be attempting to make these. Thank you for the beautiful recipe.

Henrykiss

over 2 years ago arielleclementine

thank you so much! i hope you love them

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over 2 years ago Angela

this was a big hit at cooking club today (theme: hors d'oeuvres)! going to use up the rest of the pumpkin and make more to freeze! :)

Henrykiss

over 2 years ago arielleclementine

oh yay! thanks for trying them, and for sharing your sweet comment!

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over 2 years ago deanna1001

I love the savory twist! Congrats!

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over 2 years ago cheese1227

Lovely recipe. Congrats on the win!

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over 2 years ago Sagegreen

Congrats, ariellle!

Henrykiss

over 2 years ago arielleclementine

thank you so much, everyone! i am over the moon!!

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over 2 years ago creamtea

Congratulations on your win!

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over 2 years ago Midge

Congrats!

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

Congrats -- these look divine!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

yip! congrats ac.

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over 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

HURRAH! Congratulations!!!

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yay! Congrats! This is such a great recipe!

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

YAY!! Much deserved win, this is a brilliant recipe!!

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over 2 years ago stevea66

I make these at Christmas with just cinnamon sugar and chopped walnuts for filling. Deliciouse!

Henrykiss

over 2 years ago arielleclementine

that's how i first tried them too! my aunt-in-law's recipe has you brush the dough with egg white, then sprinkle on brown sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts. simple and delicious!

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over 2 years ago creamtea

congratulations on becoming a finalist. these sound so good!

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over 2 years ago Waverly

These sound incredible. Congrats!

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over 2 years ago Midge

Oh wow, these sound amazing. Congratulations arielleclementine!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Congratulations, AC! I love the idea of a savory rugelach.

Henrykiss

over 2 years ago arielleclementine

oh man oh man!!! thanks so much everyone! what an honor!!!

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over 2 years ago Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

These looks scrumptious! Congratulations!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yahooo!!!!! Congrats AC!

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations on being a finalist these sound amazing!

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congrats arielle!!! These sound absolutely stupendous! Man, I wish I could eat walnuts. Any thoughts on a non walnut or almond substitution for them? Maybe pine nuts would work.

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over 2 years ago Bevi

Congrats on being a finalist! These sound yummy!

Henrykiss

over 2 years ago arielleclementine

thanks, friends!

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

These sound delicious. I love the whisper of heat to contrast the earthy sage and walnuts and the sweet pumpkin. Yum!

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

These sound delicious. I love the whisper of heat to contrast the earthy sage and walnuts and the sweet pumpkin. Yum!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

yummmmmm!!!!

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over 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

The sound so good! Have never made Rugelach before, it may be time to start. Give Henry a cuddle for me!!!