Rugelach cookies are a super tasty treat that have gained popularity for being versatile and loved by many. The traditional Jewish dessert has flakey cream cheese dough with a sweet filling, usually consisting of nuts, raisins, and cinnamon. You can cater the recipe to your party-goers by switching up the inside mixture using chocolate, jam, Nutella, or the like.
Many people shy away when they see recipes requiring homemade dough, but no yeast is needed for these delicacies. Rugelach only needs 30 minutes to chill, during which you can get to work on your filling.
How To Make Rugelach Cookies At Home
Making anything with dough from scratch can be daunting, but don’t fret. We’re going to use a food processor to streamline the process. In fact, the food processor mixes your ingredients just enough to prevent them from getting tough, which is easy to mistakenly do by hand.
To dumb it down, we’re going to mix the dough, chill it, roll it out, spread our filling, roll them up, and bake.
That’s all. This recipe calls for a croissant-like shape, but you can roll your cookies into other pastry shapes, like logs or pinwheels, too.
- All-purpose flour – This will form the base of your dough. While measuring, spoon it into the cup rather than scooping all at once. You don’t want more flour than what is called for.
- Granulated sugar – Like in any baked good, sugar is a must. These are cookies, not crescent rolls.
- Salt – In bakery items, salt has a few functions. For starters, it wakes up the subtle flavors, improves texture, and encourages browning.
- Unsalted butter – The fat in dairy products, especially butter, adds a deep richness to our cookies. Don’t use salted butter; you can’t control the salt measurements and may end up with a salty dessert. Yuck.
- Cream cheese – This adds an extra touch of flavor when combined with the sugar and sour cream.
- Sour cream – It may seem odd to add sour cream to cookies, but in this case, it brings in a tart flavor that compliments our sweet filling beautifully.
- Ground cinnamon – Cinnamon provides a bite of spicy-sweet depth to the filling.
- Pecans – Chop these finely but not down to a powder. You want a bit of crunch!
- Raisins – Raisins add a naturally sweet but never overbearing taste.
- Brown sugar – This will sweeten up your filling in a more satisfying way than white sugar would.
- Confectioners sugar (optional) – Sprinkle on top for a more eye-catching look!
What You’ll Need
- Food processor
- Rolling pin
- Plastic wrap
- Mixing bowl
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Pizza cutter (recommended)
Tips & Tricks
- Brush the tops of your cookies with egg wash before baking to enhance the golden brown color. The ratio is one tablespoon of water to one egg. Mix in a bowl and gently brush with a basting brush over any pastry. Don’t be too heavy-handed or your cookies will be darker than you’d want.
- Don’t limit yourself to the filling type we’ve recommended. Rugelach is meant to be adapted to whatever sweets you have on hand. Throw in nutmeg, allspice, walnuts, dried fruit, pistachios, caramel, Nutella, or different jams. Some people even go the savory track and use cheese, meats, pesto, spinach, or blue cheese.
- Lightly toast your nuts to add a bit of crunch. If not, the nut will soak up the cookie’s moisture and become soft over time.
What nationality is rugelach?
The word rugelach is Yiddish for “little twist.” Rugelach is traditionally a Jewish dessert, originating from either Poland or Austria sometime in the 1700’s.
What does rugelach taste like?
Rugelach consists of buttery, flakey dough filled with a sweet homemade spread. It’s traditionally made with jams, nuts, and spices but can be filled with other delicious pantry items as well.
How long can you refrigerate rugelach dough?
Rugelach dough can be refrigerated for up to a day. If sealed tightly, you can freeze it for 2 months or so.
Is rugelach the same as babka?
Babka and rugelach are not the same things. Babka is made of challah dough and a similar sweet filling but rolled up and baked into a loaf rather than small pastries.
Rugelach Cookies should be on everyone’s list of holiday treats. They have all the buttery goodness you could ask for, and a touch of history to top it off. We hope you love this recipe as much as we do.