Last Updated on November 13, 2019 by Chef Mireille
Rugelach Recipe – Jewish Filled Cookies are wonderful cookies with a soft pastry shell that can be filled with anything from nuts to preserves to spices.
As we are in the middle of Hanukkah, I am presenting a few Jewish recipes this week. I’ve already presented a kugel and today, its rugelach.
Rugelach are one of the most popular cookies in New York City, with its large Jewish population. These Jewish cookies are found at supermarkets and bakeries alike all year, but are especially popular during Jewish holiday seasons like Passover, Rosh Hoshanah and Hanukkah. However, the version we make in America varies from the European and Israeli versions. We always have to be different right – look at how we invented the imperial system of measurement 🙂
The European and Israeli versions actually have a yeasted dough, which yields a light and flaky croissant like shell. The American version is more dense with its almost biscuit like pastry (American biscuit – not European biscuit which is really a cookie). I am not usually a fan of store bought rugelach as the pastry has a tendency to be quite dry.
Who knows how long it’s been on the supermarket shelf? However traditional Jewish bakeries on the lower east side of Manhattan bake up fresh and soft rugelach that I will occasionally indulge in. This homemade version is soft and tender. You won’t be able to resist gobbling them all up! Just make sure you share so they can be gone in 2 days. Afterwards, they do begin to dry.
These stuffed cookies can be filled with almost anything, but the most popular are apricot or prune preserves, chocolate and cinnamon. I went a little out of the box with some unique fillings I hope you enjoy. With leftover cranberry sauce, I used that as one of my fillings. See below for the other fillings I have suggested.
These are a great holiday gift, as all edible gifts are. Take a look at some other cookie recipes that make fabulous edible gifts at this time of year.
- Orange Nutmeg Cookies
- Chinese Walnut Cookies
- Almond Shortbread
- Torticas de Moron – Cuban Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies
- Nutella Quinoa Cookies
- Uppakra – Swedish Butter Cookies
- Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
- Paprenjaci – Croatian Spice Cookies
- Pumpkin Hamentaschen
- Basic Sugar Cookies
- Fiorentini – Italian Gluten Free Chocolate Cookies
How to make Rugelach
You can be as creative or as traditional as you like with the fillings!
Now are you ready to make your own Rugelach?
Rugelach – Jewish Filled Cookies
- 1 cup softened butter softened
- 8 oz. cream cheese softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar plus extra for dusting
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup speculoos
- 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ cup pistacchios finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ cup peanut crumble
- Using the paddle attachment on a food processor, mix the butter and cream cheese until creamy and well blended.
- Add vanilla extract, salt and sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Add flour and mix until dough comes together.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Place parchment paper and spray 3 cookie sheets with non stick spray.
- Divide chilled dough into 4 equal sized portions.
- Dust a work surface with powdered sugar.
- For each portion, roll into a rectangle about 15” x 6”. Sprinkle or brush desired filling on top.
- For Filling #1, brush cranberry sauce on top of rolled out pastry.
- For Filling #2, combine speculoos and milk. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Spread on rolled out pastry.
- For Filling #3, brush butter on top of rolled out pastry.
- Sprinkle brown sugar on top
- Toss nuts with cardamom. Sprinkle nuts on top and press into pastry.
- For Filling #4, brush butter on top of rolled out pastry.
- Sprinkle peanut crumble on top and press into pastry.
- Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut pastry into 1” strips. Roll up each strip and place on cookie sheet.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
- Cool for a few minutes before removing from cookie sheet.