Pumpkin Rugelach

The weather over the last few days is exactly what I love about living in Florida.  The humidity has left behind cool breezes ranging in temperatures from the mid 80s in the day to mid 60s at night.  My first Halloween here was when I feel in love with this climate.  When we were living up North the possibility of snow on Halloween was not uncommon.  Bundling the kids in winter coats totally covering their costumes; unless they were wearing masks or tiaras it was hard to see what the kids were dressed up as!

That first year on Halloween the evening was cool.  The kids were dressed in costumes and as we walked through the neighborhood people were sitting out in their driveway, not behind closed doors keeping warm, but sitting in chairs with family and friends passing out candy!  Home and after home was decorated.  It was so welcoming and fun!  Some of the families were grilling dinner enjoying a whole night of celebration.  I remember we walked and walked for hours!   Definitely accummulating more candy than my kids needed!

I do miss those days when I had little ones to walk through the neighborhood.  Halloween and all those pumpkins will always be dear to me!  And anyway I can slip in pumpkin to a recipe, you know I will!  Rugulach is always on my Chistmas Cookie tray so I thought I could easily swap out the sweet preserves with pumpkin.  As I don’t like overly sweet desserts, I only added 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to the pumpkin puree.  For a sweeter taste, increasing the tablespoon to two would sweeten it up more. 

As I make note at the end of the recipe, freezing half of the unbaked cookies to bake for another day allows me to be “party” ready for entertaining in the next month.  Pumpkin for me ends at Thanksgiving.  I give it my all for the months of October and November and then it’s over until next year!!

Pumpkin Rugelach

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa, Parties! Cookbook

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 9 tablespoons

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose white flour

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1 cup pecans,  finely chopped

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash  In a large mixing bowl, cream the cheese and butter with the paddle attachment until light.  Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, salt and vanilla.  Add the flour and mix  until combined.  Dump the dough out onto a well floured board and roll into a  ball. Cut the ball in quarters, wrap each piece in pastic and refrigerate for  one hour, or overnight.

To make the filling, combine 6  tablespoons of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon  cinnamon, the dried cranberries and pecans.  In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, tablespoon of brown sugar and cinnamon together and  refrigerate until needed.

On a well-floured board, roll each  ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread the dough with 2 tablespoons pumpkin  puree mix and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the filling.

Press the filling lightly into the dough. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges—cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into thirds. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with Slipat or parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon  cinnamon and  sprinkle on the cookies. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Note:  I baked half of the batch and froze the rest on a cookie sheet.  When completely frozen put  the unbaked cookies in a container and save for another time.  Do not defrost and bake for 2o minutes.  Can be frozen up to 2 months.  Great idea for holiday cookies all ready to go!

42 thoughts on “Pumpkin Rugelach

  1. I’ve never seen or heard of rugelach before. This looks so delicious and I like that you don’t make these overly sweet. The nuts look so tasty rolled in there too. Yum! And as much as I dislike Halloween, I know I’ll miss it with the kids someday. 😉 Your stories always have a way of adjusting my perspective – in a good way. 🙂

  2. These look great and your post makes the process easy to follow. I especially like that you can freeze some for later baking. The holidays mean unexpected guests and, with these in your freezer, you can say “Welcome,” to them and mean it. 🙂

  3. You are so amazing. I so wish we could plan that move back North to beautiful Avon. I am making the seven deadly zin pasta for halloween party. I will be sure to let you know the reviews. I have no doubts they will be awesome…

  4. Ooooh, amazing! I have never made rugelach – only eaten the store-bought kind – but this looks do-able! Sweet pumkin recipes are done by Thanksgiving around here, but I do roasted chunks all winter long…

    We lived in Oklahoma when my kids were small – Halloween could be 80 degrees, or it could be snowing! It may be colder up here, but at least it’s more predictable…

    1. Pumpkins just don’t last long in the heat here. Carving a pumpkin and placing it outside would turn bad quickly!!! I’ll switch to roasting acorn and butternut squash after November, I love the nuttiness roasting brings out!

  5. What a fabulous twist (so to speak) on traditional cinnamon rolls. So many wonderful ingredients and flavours going on in here – I’m loving the pumpkin and chopped pecans swirled in with the cinnamon sugar. What a delightful looking roll. I hope you continue to enjoy fall weather in Florida! 🙂

  6. I also hate overly sweet desserts and pumpkin is already such a sweet vegetable! I have already heard about rugelach, but have never seen them nor tasted. Thank you for putting a particularly appealing “face” on the vaguely known dish name! You are so lucky to have a warm Autumn.

  7. YUM! And I love the idea of freezing some ahead of time for the holidays (or office parties–I never have time to make anything for them during the week, but if I had some of these ready to go? Hmm…genius.)

  8. Halloween just isn’t as exciting anymore. I can’t wait until I have kids and can take them trick-or-treating, since I’m obviously way too old for that now. Anyways, these sound fabulous! Such a great flavor combo.

  9. I’ve always wanted to make rugelach but after reading how you used pumpkin puree, I may just have to try this recipe. I should start baking next few week’s and freeze them for the holidays so I’m not overwhelm baking them all in one day.
    I love this time of year, it brings the kid out in me. Tonight my kids and I are ghosting our neighbors, where you leave a Halloween poem with a bag full of candy, ring door bell and run and hide! I never realized that Halloween can be so much fun when you have little kids, I know I’m going to miss it when they get older! Thanks for sharing your Halloween memmories!

  10. These were so good! I was a bit unsure of the dough at first but turned out perfect (I tend to work in grams so converted it all and was worried I miscalculated).

    The only change I would make next time would be to double (or even triple) the pumpkin mixture. It wasn’t nearly enough. I had made my own pumpkin purée and added more to the filling, did not add more sugar or cinnamon as was in a hurry but they still tasted amazing.

    I only cut the circles into eight pieces as you did in your pictures and didn’t follow the instructions to cut it into 12, I think that would have made them too small.

    Froze half the batch just as you did and can’t wait to serve them up during the holidays. Thanks for this one!

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