Rugelach Cookies are delicious pastry-like cookies that are as fun to make as they are to eat. A flakey and slightly chewy dough wrapped around a sweet nutty filling and topped with crunchy coarse sugar or a sprinkle of powdered sugar if you like.
What is Rugelach?
Rugelach are bite-sized pastries made with butter and cream cheese dough wrapped around sweet fillings of various kinds. The dough is rolled and cut into triangles, spread with filling and each cookie is rolled up in the style of a mini crescent roll.
These tasty pastries trace their origins to eastern European Jewish cuisine and are standard fare in Jewish bakeries all over the world.
How to Make Rugelach
Easy rugelach dough is a rich mixture of flour and fat. Here’s how to make this rugelach recipe:
- Prepare the dough and while it is chilling, mix up the nut filling.
- Roll dough into circles about the thickness and diameter of a pie crust.
- Spread dough with jam and nut filling and cut into wedges.
- Roll each wedge toward the pointed side.
- Top with course sugar and bake until slightly browned.
As you can see, there are multiple steps but they aren’t difficult and these pretty treats are easy to make!
To Prep Ahead
Rugelach can be made ahead. These are the 3 best ways I like to store them:
- Assemble before baking You can assemble the cookies and freeze for baking later. Freeze on a cookie sheet and then transfer to freezer bags when hardened. Thaw on a cookie sheet at room temperature before baking.
- Freeze Dough Or, you can freeze only the dough for later use. Just roll it out, layered between two sheets of wax paper. Then roll it up, wrap in plastic, and store in a freezer bag. It will keep up to six months.
- Freeze Baked Cookies Bake cookies as directed below and cool completely. Freeze in an air tight container up to 4 months.
Other Delicious Rugelach Fillings
You don’t have to limit your options to my walnut and pecan filling. All kinds of yummy fillings work equally well in rugalach. Here are some popular ones:
- Poppyseed pastry filling
- Fruit preserves like apricot, fig or raspberry
- Apple with cinnamon and sugar
- Brown sugar-cinnamon streusel
- Chocolate chips
Delicious Pastry Dessert
- Apple Dumplings – melt-in-your-mouth tender
- Baklava Cheesecake – intensely and irresistibly flavored!
- Easy Sopapilla Cheesecake – rich and creamy dessert!
- Cranberry Brie Bites – just 4 simple ingredients
- Apple Cheese Danish Bars – luscious treat!
- ½ cup butter softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tablespoon cream
- ¼ cup raspberry jam or apricot
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- ¼ cup walnuts ground coarsely ground
- ¼ cup pecans coarsely ground
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup raisins or currants finely chopped , optional
- Combine butter, cream cheese, vanilla and salt with a mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add sugar.
- Turn mixer to low and add flour just until combined.
- Divide dough in half and refrigerate 1 hour.
- Combine filling ingredients in a small bowl.
- Remove one half of the dough from the fridge and roll into a 10" circle.
- Spread the dough with the preserves and sprinkle ½ of the filling over top.
- Cut the circle into 12 even wedges. Starting at the wide edge, roll each wedge crescent roll style.
- Whisk together egg and cream. Brush over each cookie and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Place on a prepared pan.
- Repeat with remaining dough and chill 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake cookies 28-30 minutes or until lightly browned.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)