This is the Best Rugelach Recipe! These simple crescent-shaped cookies are such a fun addition to your holiday cookie platters. They look fancy, but they’re really easy to make, with a simple four-ingredient pastry dough and a traditional raisin, nut, and cinnamon sugar filling. Every bite is filled with flaky pastry and a burst of rich, sweet flavor.
What is Rugelach
Rugelach (pronounced rug-a-lah) is a traditional Jewish pastry that originated in Poland. The word “Rugelach” actually means “little twists,” which is fitting for this pastry because it is rolled or twisted up into a crescent shape before baking.
You can often find Rugelach in Jewish bakeries any time of year, but they’re especially popular in other cultures during the Winter Holiday season and can often be found on holiday cookie platters.
These pastry cookies can be made with a variety of different fillings, including chocolate, fruit preserves like raspberry and apricot jam, marzipan, or a cinnamon, sugar, raisin, and nut mixture. They are also normally glazed and sprinkled with coarse sugar.
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What Does Rugelach Taste Like?
Rugelach cookies taste like a flaky, buttery pastry with a sweet filling. There is no sugar in the cookie’s pastry dough, so they are not overly sweet, so the flavors of the filling really shine.
At my house, whenever we make a pie, we take the pieces of pie crust dough that get cut off the edges, roll them flat, sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar, and bake them on a sheet pan as “pie crust cookies.” The first time I tasted Rugelach, I was immediately reminded of our pie crust cookies! Rugelach cookies are like small, crescent-shaped pies, and they are delicious!
What Ingredients are in Rugelach?
The recipe is two parts; a simple rugelach dough is made with flour, butter, cream cheese, and egg yolk. Then sugar, cinnamon, nut, and raisin filling are added, and the little crescents are placed on baking sheets with parchment and baked to a golden brown.
All ingredients should be easily found in your grocery store. If you can’t locate coarse decorating sugar, then try your local craft store, as they should carry it, or see the *affiliate link above for Amazon.
For the Dough
Cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
Cold cream cheese, cut into chunks
For the Filling
For the Glaze
Coarse decorating sugar
How to Make Rugelach
First, you start with an easy cream cheese dough that is made simply in a food processor with only four ingredients.
First, prepare the pastry dough. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a large food processor with its metal blade attachment. Pulse a few times to mix.
Add the cubed cream cheese, cubed butter, and egg yolk. Pulse in the food processor until the mixture is crumbly. Be careful not to overmix the dough!
Pour the crumbly dough mixture out onto a lightly floured surface. Work the dough with your hands until it comes together into a ball.
Divide the dough into four equal portions. Then flatten each round of dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to 3 days.
When you are ready to bake the Rugelach, take out one disk of dough at a time and place it on a lightly floured surface. Let it rest for a few minutes at room temperature (but don’t let it warm up too much) to make it easier to work with.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling by placing the brown sugar, white sugar, raisins, walnuts, and cinnamon into the bowl of a food processor with the metal blade attachment. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. Set aside until ready to use.
With a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 10-inch circle, approximately 1/8 inch thick. Pour 1/2 cup of the filling over the dough and press the filling down with flat hands so that it sticks to the dough. Alternatively, you can spread it out and press down using an offset spatula, but I prefer being hands-on.
Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 roughly equal wedges. Roll each triangle, starting at the wide end, up into a crescent shape and place them point down onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Brush lightly with an egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Repeat until you have two sheet pans with 24 Rugelach on each.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then bake for approximately 25 minutes until lightly golden brown along the edges. Cool on a wire rack. Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. These also freeze beautifully!
These buttery, flaky cookies taste amazing and look so fancy! You’re going to have so much fun making them and even more fun eating them. Enjoy!
More Holiday Cookies to Enjoy!!
Want more wonderful baking for the holidays? Here are some of our new favorites.
Chocolate Caramel Cookie Cups – These three-ingredient Chocolate Caramel Cookie Cups are the shortcut cookie treat you need! They are so easy to make, but with three layers of crispy sugar cookie, gooey caramel, and dark chocolate, it’s a showstopping decadent dessert.
Linzer Reindeer Cookies – These cute little Reindeer Linzer Cookies are the perfect cookie for any holiday treat platter. With their happy faces poking through the cookie, they will not only be fun to eat but also fun to make.
Candy Cane Cookies – These delicious Candy Cane Cookies are soft and pepperminty and make the perfect Christmas treat for the holidays. Flavored with classic peppermint and shaped with an adorable red and white twist, this recipe is a must-try!
Pin it HERE!!
Pin it HERE!!
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 1 package (8 oz) cold cream cheese, cut into chunks
- 1 egg yolk
For the Filling
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
For the Glaze
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon cold water
- 2 tablespoons coarse decorating sugar
- Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a large food processor with its metal blade attachment. Pulse a few times to mix. Add the cubed butter, cubed cream cheese, and egg yolk. Pulse just until the mixture is crumbly, being careful not to overmix.
- Pour the crumbly dough mixture onto a lightly floured surface. Work the dough with your hands until it forms a ball. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, then flatten each portion into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours (and up to three days).
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Take one disk of dough out of the fridge at a time and place on a lightly floured surface. Let it rest for a few minutes at room temperature to make it easier to work with, but don't let it warm up too much.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling by placing the brown sugar, white sugar, raisins, walnuts, and cinnamon into the bowl of a food processor with the metal blade attachment. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. Set aside.
- With a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 10-inch circle, approximately 1/8 inch thick. Pour 1/2 cup of the filling over the dough and press the filling down with flat hands so that it sticks to the dough.
- Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 roughly equal wedges. Roll each triangle, starting at the wide end, into a crescent shape. Place them point-side down onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until you have 24 Rugelach on each baking sheet.
- Whisk together the egg and teaspoon of cold water for the glaze. Brush each cookie lightly with the egg wash, then sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes or until they begin to turn lightly golden brown. Cool on a cookie rack. Store in an airtight container for up to three days.
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Wilton White Sparkling Sugar, 8 oz.
Baking Sheet with Cooling Rack Set(2 Pans+2 Racks) 16'', Terlulu Stainless Steel Baking Pan with Wire Rack, Heavy Jelly Roll Sheet Pan&Bacon Rack for Oven Cooking, Cookie Sheet, 16 x 12.1 x 1.1 Inch
Katbite Parchment Paper Roll 15 inch x164 ft 205 SQ FT & 12 inch x 164ft Heavy Duty Parchment Paper for Baking
Nutrition Information:Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 95Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 16mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 1g
Recipe calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. If you need nutritional calculations for medical reasons, please use a source that you trust.