Finally! A Low FODMAP Gluten-Free Rugelach
There are three kinds of recipes that a recipe developer encounters: ones that work seamlessly almost immediately, ones that need a few re-dos and then ones that show you again and again that they are just not going to work. This Low FODMAP Gluten-Free Rugelach was a whole new beast. Well, it was really falling within the last category but there was no way I was going to give up and not bring the FODMAP world a rugelach recipe! It was going to have to be gluten-free and lactose-free; this was uncharted rugelach territory.
Traditional rugelach dough is made with cream cheese and very luckily for us FODMAPers, we have access to lactose-free cream cheese (we use Green Valley Organics brand), however, it does not act like regular cream cheese in cooking or baking. Developing this dough challenged me like few other recipes ever have. I was after that flaky cream cheese dough quality that is the hallmark of classic rugelach dough. I finally got there, and I am thrilled to finally be able to bring this recipe to you, but it nearly drove me insane.
First the dough just fell apart, which was partially due to the GF aspect and partially the lactose-free cream cheese. Version #2 was too dry. Version #3 was too moist. Then it lacked elasticity and flakiness, which are near to impossible to get in the same dough anyway, but I was determined. Then the classic amount of milk topping to hold the cinnamon-sugar was over-wetting and gumming up the dough underneath. Robin will tell you she has possibly never seen me so frustrated.
Friends and neighbors around the Test Kitchen were happily eating “seconds”, but I soldiered on. It’s what I do, for all of you, and if I am honest, for me, too. I am not always as altruistic as I might seem LOL. Just tell me I can’t do something in the realm of baking and watch out. But, hey, we all end up benefitting, right? Robin knows me so well; she knows how to handle me. She lets me fight my own (dough) demons.
Cinnamon Raisin Rugelach & Variations
Once I got the dough recipe down (re-do #6, by the way) I wanted to maximize the options and I present two here: classic Cinnamon Raisin Rugelach and a decadent Chocolate Raspberry Pecan Rugelach. I often make both with one batch of dough, in which case halve the filling amounts. As I always recommend with recipes using chocolate – use the best you can afford. You can use chips, but I much prefer and recommend that you use a high quality bulk chocolate that you chop up yourself.
How to Make Perfect Rugelach
Here’s the caveat with this recipe. Please follow the directions exactly. For instance, if you use a different flour blend, the recipe will give you very different results. I strongly recommend that you try it with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour. Also, I was not happy with the results when I made the dough with flour blends that do not contain xanthan gum, nor did the recipe work well without the added xanthan gum. Your results and opinion might vary, but if you pay attention to all my details you will be rewarded with rugelach that is indistinguishable from that from the corner deli or Jewish bakery.
Low FODMAP Gluten-Free Rugelach
Our Low FODMAP Gluten-Free Rugelach takes some attention to detail to make but you will be rewarded with flaky Jewish-bakery style rugelach to rival any classic recipe.
Makes 24 rugelach; serving size 1 rugelach
Rugelach Cream Cheese Dough:
- 2 1/4 cups (326 g) low FODMAP, gluten-free all-purpose flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 226 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup (99 g) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces (225 g) Green Valley Organics lactose-free cream cheese, chilled
Raisin Walnut Filling (enough for full batch of dough):
- 1 cup (166 g) raisins
- 3/4 cup (75 g) toasted walnut halves, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup (99 g) sugar
- 1/2 cup (107g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 7 tablespoons (99 g) orange marmalade, such as Smucker's Natural Fruit Spread
Chocolate Raspberry Pecan Filling (enough for full batch of dough):
- 6 ounces (170 g) finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (preferably 60% to 65% cacao mass) or miniature semisweet chocolate morsels
- 3/4 cup (75 g) toasted pecan halves, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup (50 g) sugar
- 1/2 cup (54 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 7 tablespoons (99 g) raspberry jam, Smucker's Natural Fruit Spread
- 2 tablespoons cup lactose-free whole milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- For the Dough: Whisk together the flour, xanthan gum and salt in a medium bowl to aerate and combine; set aside.
- In standing mixer's bowl, beat butter with flat paddle until light and creamy on high speed, approximately 3 minutes. Add sugar gradually and continue beating until fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add cream cheese and gently beat on medium speed just until it is combined. (You can make this with a hand-held electric mixer but the dough is heavy and mixing times will be longer).
- Add dry mixture in 2 to 3 batches, beating briefly between each addition, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat until just combined.
- Divide dough in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap, shaping into a flat, round disc. Refrigerate at least two hours, or overnight.
- For the Fillings: For the Cinnamon Raisin, toss the raisins, walnuts, sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl; set aside. For the Chocolate Raspberry Pecan, toss the chocolate, pecans, sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl; set aside.
- For Assembly: Line two baking sheet pans with parchment paper and coat paper with nonstick spray. Roll out each piece of dough between lightly floured parchment paper into a large circle, approximately 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick. Spread half of the marmalade or raspberry jam over each disc thinly and evenly using a small offset spatula. Scatter half the dry filling of your choice evenly all over dough.
- Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter (my choice), divide each circle into 12 wedge-shaped pieces (like cutting a pie). Starting at the broad, outer edge, roll each piece up and place 2-inches (5 cm) apart on prepared pans with center point underneath each rugelach to help it hold its shape. Gently coax each rugelach into a crescent shape, if desired. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
- Make the Topping: While the rugelach is chilling, pour milk into a small bowl and combine sugar and cinnamon in a separate small bowl; set aside.
- Position racks in upper and lower are of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Brush rugelach very lightly with milk and top with a sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar.
- Bake for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans front to back, and upper to lower halfway through. The rugelach should be puffed and very lightly golden brown. These bottoms burn easily, so be careful not to over bake, but some of the marmalade and sugar mixture will ooze out of the rugelach and caramelize and you do want that! Remove from oven, place baking sheets on rack and let cookies cool on pan.
- These are best eaten the day they are made, but may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- You can make the chocolate variation without any nuts, but the filling doesn’t hold together quite as well. The finished rugelach will look a little messier, but still be very tasty.