Suzanne’s Sweets raspberry rugelach. All photos by Melody Lan.
KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE™. She has scoured the country for rugelach like Monty Python in search of the Grail.
A Duet Of Rugelach
Contrasting Styles From Suzanne’s Sweets And
CAPSULE REPORT: In our never-ending search for great rugelach, we have found another two, very different in style. Suzanne’s Sweets makes classic-style rugelach, like Grandma would have made—except Grandma never made all these “modern” flavors. Chocolate Gourmet makes rugelach the way a fine patissier would make them: true to their origins, but crafted in the manner of a fine artisan cookie.
After wandering for years in the desert of our home town, unable to find a sufficient supply of truly great rugelach in our local stores, our larders are suddenly filled with the wonderful pastry cookies. They have fallen, like manna from heaven—in this case, in boxes delivered by U.P.S. and Federal Express. Unlike our ancestors, we live in the age of e-commerce, where you need no longer go to the store—in fact, the cost of two-day delivery is more than offset by the price of gasoline and the value of our time.
We have found some pretty great rugelach* in other towns and we order them regularly. They arrive just as fresh as the ones we pluck off of our local shelves. Here, we look at two companies whose recipes take opposing, yet equally delicious, points-of-view on rugelach.
*Since rugelach was made in perhaps a dozen European countries by bakers who spoke a dozen different languages, it has been variously spelled rugelah, rugalah, rugelach, rugalach, rugulah, ruggelach and ruggalach. We use the spelling that the manufacturer chooses.
Suzanne’s Sweets Rugelach
Suzanne Fromm’s rugelach more closely resemble the original recipe, which were chopped nuts sweetened with cinnamon and sugar, usually in a cream cheese pastry dough. Over the years, the filling was enhanced with raisins or jam; today one can find every variation including key lime marmalade.
Suzanne sticks to the classics—Apricot, Strawberry, Raspberry and Chocolate—with a bow to modernity in monthly specials like White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, and dark chocolate-dipped rugelach. The basic fruit flavors combine chopped nuts and jam and are not sweet—she uses a minimum of jam, just enough to moisten the nuts. This style will be much preferred by people who don’t like their pastries sweet. By the same token, the minimum amount of jam makes it difficult to determine whether one is having Apricot, Strawberry or Raspberry.
The Chocolate rugelach, on the other hand (photo at left), is sweet and very chocolatey—the Jewish version of pain au chocolat. Ms. Fromm is generous with the chocolate morsels: we felt as if we were enjoying our pastry and a chocolate bar too (a good feeling!).
Chocolate Gourmet Rugalach
Mary Winslow of Chocolate Gourmet makes a line of Damn Good Cookies, including some damn good rugelach. When you open the box, the scent of butter wafts out (click here for our review of Mary’s cookies). Mary is a top pastry chef: her specialty is wedding cakes, and she is trained to make everything from scratch. As a result, she makes her own conserve to fill the rugalach, rather than purchasing a good commercial jam. The result is quite different from any other rugalach we’ve seen.
You can see the difference in the photo at the right, in both the shape of the pastry and its filling. Chock full of plump cherries (or apricots), raisins and nuts, there is much less rolled dough. It’s more about the conserve. The result is a sweeter, fruitier rugalach with the Cherry and Apricot flavors; for those who like hazelnut, there are plenty to go nuts about.
Apricot, Chocolate, Strawberry and
- 1-Pound Bag
- 1-Pound Gift Tin
- Chocolate Rugelach
- Gift baskets and “Rugelach
of the Month Club” available
Purchase online at SuzannesSweets.com
Suzanne’s Sweets Apricot Rugelach.
Rugalach Assortment in Save Your Appetite Apricot, Cherished Cherry and Hold My Hand Hazelnut
- Gift Box
12 Pieces - $20.00
24 Pieces - $35.00
Purchase online at Chocolate Gourmet.com.
Shipping and taxes additional. Prices and flavor availability are verified at publication but are subject to change.
Chocolate Gourmet’s Save Your Appetite Apricot (top) and Cherished Cherry Rugelach.