It’s still early, but 2015 might just be the year of the rugelach. As the New York Post puts it, “The cupcake craze is over. French macarons are fading. The humble rugelach is ready to rise in their place.”
Indeed, Manhattan’s Upper East Side will soon be home to Petite Shell, a kosher cafe devoted to rugelach, that beloved, flaky underdog of Jewish pastries. The cafe, run by by Shmilly Gruenstein, will feature handmade rugelach in flavors like Piemonte Nutella, blue cheese pear, and Bariloche’s dulce de leche.
“I wanted to encourage the warm conversations that I remember so fondly from gatherings during my childhood,” Gruenstein said in a press release.
Rugelach are hardly your bubbe’s dessert anymore. The crescent-rolled Ashkenazi pastry has undergone trendy updates in recent years like all the other Jewish culinary staples (see: this recipe for chocolate beet rugelach; purists can find a more traditional yeast rugelach recipe here). Whether the scrappy rugelach can hold its own in the cutthroat world of designer desserts, though, will be the great question of 2015.
Petite Shell opens Jan. 14 at Lexington and 85th Street in New York City.
Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.