Rugelach are delicious crescent-shaped pastries filled with any of your favorites like sweet fruit preserves, nuts, chocolate or pretty much anything your heart could desire! Making them with the kids every year is one of our family’s favorite traditions!
I’m lucky that my husband and I get to share and celebrate two holidays in our home with our kids: Hanukkah and Christmas. Ever since my husband and I first started dating, we have enjoyed taking part in each other’s holiday traditions. Sure, my husband freaked out that first year when he came home from work late and found a huge evergreen tree adorned with ornaments and twinkling lights in his living room, but now he loves it.
When I was growing up, my family always had sugar and gingerbread cookie making parties, so when I decided to continue the tradition with my own kids, I wanted to make sure a cookie my husband loved growing up was represented as well. Rugelach isn’t exactly a cookie, it’s more of a pastry, but it certainly looks right at home on a cookie plate.
As with most of my sweet recipes, I always try to cut down on a lot of the sugar. So, instead of sprinkling a cup of sugar on the dough before adding the filling, as most traditional rugelach recipes call for, I simply fill mine with preserves and tons of chopped fruit, nuts and bittersweet chocolate (for those who really want to take them up a notch). That makes them sweet, but not too sweet.
I must have done something right because my family couldn’t keep their paws off of the first batch I made. I am not exaggerating when I say I came into the kitchen shortly after they came out of the oven, and almost all of the cookies were gone before I could even photograph them! We just used it as an excuse to make more! At this time of year, laughing and baking cookies is what the holidays are all about, no matter which one(s) you celebrate!
What You Need to Make Rugelach
- Unsalted butter
- Cream cheese
- Vanilla extract
- All purpose flour
- Egg (optional for egg wash)
- Fillings of choice: chocolate chips, walnuts, preserves, dried fruit, etc.
How to Make Rugelach
1. Make the Dough: Place the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and sugar in a food processor or standing mixer and mix until combined. Slowly add the flour, little by little until just combined.
2. Divide and Refrigerate: Divide the dough into 2 balls, wrap each with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Prep Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
4. Roll Out Dough: On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough ball into a 9 inch round and using a pizza cutter or knife, cut into 8 equal wedges (like a pizza pie).
5. Add Fillings: Before separating the wedges evenly spread the round with 2 tbsp preserves or other 1/4 cup filling of choice. Press them dough gently to adhere to the dough.
6. Roll up Rugelach: Starting with the wide end of each wedge, roll up into 16 cookies.
Bake Until Golden: Place on a baking sheet with the tip pointing down and brush with egg wash (optional). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
More Hanukkah Recipes
- Holiday Challah French Toast
- Chocolate Dipped Matzah with Sprinkles
- Challah Bread Pudding
- Potato Latkes
- Lemon Poppyseed Cookies
If you’ve never made Rugelach before, give this recipe a try and let me know what you think in the comments below! It’s a super fun activity to do with your kids this holiday season, and easier than you may think to pull off. Tag me on social media if you make these!
- food processor or mixer
- 1/4 cup preserves (apricot, strawberry, raspberry)
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1/4 cup chopped dried fruits (cranberries, raisins, apricots)
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- Place the first four ingredients in a food processor or standing mixer and mix until combined.
- Slowly add the flour, little by little until just combined.
- Divide the dough into 2 balls, wrap each with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough ball into a 9 inch round and using a pizza cutter or knife, cut into 8 equal wedges (like a pizza pie).
- Before separating the wedges evenly spread the round with 2 tbsp preserves or other 1/4 cup filling of choice. Press them dough gently to adhere to the dough.
- Starting with the wide end of each wedge, roll up into 16 cookies.
- Place on a baking sheet with the tip pointing down and brush with egg wash (optional).
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.