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Making an Amazing Low Carb Rugelach...
You know, this is the time of year when you should avoid taking on unnecessary stress. It seems that
everywhere you go, a new task awaits, and everyone you know needs a favor. If you're anything like me,
I'm sure you've all got more than enough tasks on your to-do list already.
So why am I writing about such a complicated little cookie?
Maybe because this is as close to strudel as I can get while still remaining somewhat faithful to my
low carb diet. Maybe it's because they're really not that difficult, once you get the hang of it.
Most especially, it's because these cookies are so delightful, I'm sure you'll love them as much as
Converting this recipe was challenging in a couple of areas. Traditionally, the filling uses apricot
jam, and I started out thinking I could just use my reduced sugar preserves. They taste good, but it
turned out that mixing up my own jam for the filling significantly reduced the carb count, so away
went the pre-made jam.
The real challenge was the dough. My first attempt used no all purpose (AP) flour, just my old
standbys, vital wheat gluten flour, oat flour, and almond flour. The taste was very good, but the
dough had no structural integrity (as my engineering friends would say); the cookies literally fell
apart. So it was back to my spreadsheet to work the numbers, and then back in the kitchen to work
I probably could have reduced the amount of AP flour even more, and added back in the vital wheat
gluten and oat flours. But the fact is, a single cup of AP flour divided among 24 cookies doesn't
do that much damage, and keeping it in yields a dough that is both elastic enough to roll and
nicely flaky when baked. I simply wasn't willing to sacrifice the texture for the savings of a
single gram of carbohydrate per cookie!
I hope you are happy with the final recipe.
Low Carb Rugelach
Makes 24 cookies.
- 1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 C all purpose flour
- 1/2 C almond flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 C Splenda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 T raisins, chopped fine
- 1/4 C walnuts, chopped fine
First, make the dough. Combine the butter, cream cheese, regular flour, almond flour,
and salt in a medium size bowl. The mixture will become both stiff and sticky; mix well
to make sure that no lumps of butter, cream cheese or flour remain. Scrape out the bowl
onto a piece of plastic wrap; wrap the dough tightly and refrigerate for at least 30
minutes before continuing.
Copyright © December 2006 Joan Hedman and Low Carb Luxury
While the dough is chilling, make the jam: measure the apricots and sugar free syrup into
a microwave-safe container, and microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes. Let the apricots
soak until they are tender, then tip the softened apricots and cooking liquid into your
food processor or blender and puree it to make a smooth jam. Set aside.
Next, reserve a tablespoon of your measured Splenda. Then chop the raisins and walnuts
into very small pieces, or the bits will tend to fall out of the cookies! Combine the
chopped raisins and walnuts, the remaining Splenda, and the cinnamon; stir well.
When the dough is well chilled, separate it into three even portions. Roll each portion
into a ball; wrap two of the balls and place them back into the refrigerator while you
assemble the cookies.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil for easier clean up.
Roll out the dough into an approximately 7-inch circle. Because this dough is made with
almond flour, it doesn't have the elasticity than a strictly AP flour dough would have,
so don't try to stretch it. You can use a rolling pin or just put it out into a circle
using your hands. Spread one third (about 2 tablespoons) of the apricot jam over the
entire surface, and then sprinkle with one-third of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Lightly
press the raisins and nuts into the jam to help them adhere.
Cut the dough into eight wedges. Then, one by one, roll each cookie up, starting from
the broad end, up to the tip. If the dough seems sticky, use your fingers to gently
lift it up from beneath as you roll it. Place each cookie on the prepared cookie sheet,
tip side down to prevent unrolling. Curve the edges around to give the cookie a
characteristic crescent shape.
Repeat this process with the remaining dough balls. It helps if you clean your hands
and your work space in between batches; bits of jam and raisins tend to make things
When all the cookies have been rolled out, combine the egg yolk and water and beat well.
Brush each cookie with the egg mixture, then sprinkle very lightly from the reserved
tablespoon of Splenda.
Bake in the center of a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes, until light golden
brown. The cookies are very fragile when warm, so allow to cool slightly on the pan
before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Approximate nutrition information per cookie:
130 calories; 11 g fat; 6.2 g carbohydrate; 0.6 g fiber; 1.6 g protein.
Variation: Prune Rugelach: Omit the raisins; substitute 1/4 C prunes for the apricots,
and replace the sugar free syrup with water. Continue as before, making prune puree
instead of apricot. Nutrition information will run about the same, since prunes are
higher in carbs than apricots, but we're leaving out the raisins.
Another New Year is just around the corner, the one time of year when it seems most
everyone is "dieting." But low carb's not a diet, it's a way of life, so my focus
will be on real food. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please write.