Holiday Rugelach

I’ve always seen these little crescent shaped cookies, but have never actually ate one, nor have I had any desire to make them. I’ve been nearly obsessed with Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook lately and came across this recipe, and since it was right in the middle of the holiday season, I figured, why not!?

Rugelach, pronounced ru-ga-la, is a crescent shaped cookie that can be custom made according to your taste bud’s preferences. The cream cheese dough can be wrapped around raisins, currants, chocolate, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cinnamon sugar, and apricot or raspberry jam – omit or add ingredients as you desire!


The recipe in Dorie’s book included currants, mini chocolate chips, jam, cinnamon sugar, and walnuts so that’s what these have in them. I was skeptical at first; how was I supposed to roll this little piece of dough around all these ingredients, but it works! These cookies have so many different tastes, but all together, they’re perfect for the holidays 


Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

For the dough:

  • 4 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 2/3 cup raspberry jam, apricot jam or marmalade (I used apricot jam)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds) (I used walnuts)
  • 1/4 cup plump, moist dried currants
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, or 2/3 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

For the glaze

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, preferably coarse sugar

To make the dough

  1. Let the cream cheese and butter rest on counter for 10 minutes. It should be slightly softened but cool.
  2. Put the flour and salt in a food processor, scatter over the chunks of cream cheese and butter and pulse the machine for 6 to 10 times. Then process, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, just until the dough forms large curds. Do not work the dough too long that it forms a ball on the blade.
  3. Remove the dough from the food processor, divide into half, shape each half into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to a day. (Wrap airtight, the dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.)

To make the filling

  1. Heat the jam in a saucepan over low heat, or microwave until it liquefies. Mix sugar and cinnamon together.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. (Silicone baking mats are great for rugelach.)

To shape the cookies

  1. Pull one packet of dough from the refrigerator. If it is too firm to roll easily, leave it on the counter for about 10 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pin.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 11- to 12-inch circle. Spoon (or brush) a thin gloss of jam over the dough, and sprinkle over half of the cinnamon sugar.
  3. Scatter over half of the nuts, half of the chopped chocolate and half of the currants. Cover the filling with a piece of wax paper and gently press the filling into the dough, then remove the paper and save it for the next batch.
  4. Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 wedges, or trigangles. (The easiest way to do this is to cut into quarters, then cut each quarters into 4 pieces.)
  5. Starting at the base of each triangle, roll the dough up so that each triangle becomes a little crescent.
  6. Arrange the roll-ups on one baking sheet, making sure the points are tucked under the cookies, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (The cookies can be refrigerate overnight or frozen for up to 2 months; don’t defrost before baking, just add a couple of minutes to the baking time.)

Getting ready to bake

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degree F.

To glaze

  1. Stir the egg and water together. Brush a bit of the glaze over each rugelach. Sprinkle the cookies with sugar.
  2. Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until they are puffed and golden.
  3. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool to just warm or to room temperature.

Andddd this would be the aftermath… my mom wasn’t too thrilled when she saw her kitchen haha!