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.
Need more culinary inspiration? Check out the Recipe Index with over 1500 Recipes from Around the World with lots of Vegetarian 🥕🍆🍅and Gluten Free Recipes!
Looks fantastic Mir, these cookies will be so addictive!..
they are – I think your family would love them!
I remember passing thru some patisseries in the Greenwich Village at NYC. these cookies are so well made ! hanukkah recipes are such a perfect choice this holiday season !
I have heard of Rugelach but I had no idea what they were. Not sure where I heard it too but it looks familiar! I feel like tasting on right now. 🙂
NYC has such a large Jewish population that I grew up eating it, but this home made version is better than any store bought one. You would love it I am sure.
Sam | Ahead of Thyme
Wow these cookies look incredible! I can’t wait to try them!
I am sure you will love them
Rafeeda - The Big Sweet Tooth
I remember getting a chance to try these cookies but I am not sure why I didn’t try them… love the various choice of fillings you have used… they would make an amazing contribution to any party table…
I once tried the chocolate rugelach and they were so addictive Yours looks sinful and very well made.
thanks – yes chocolate is one of the most common and popular flavors
Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
I love looking at all the different holiday foods and traditions. I am Ukrainian, and we have our version of cookies too. These sound delicious.
me too – I find it so interesting how small the world has become and we are able to discover cuisines from around the world thanks to the world wide web
Gosh these sound rather lovely! Perfect for a family get-together!
absolutely – I guarantee there wont be one left afterwards!
I have never tried one of these cookies, but I really want to now! A must try. Thanks for sharing.
I would love to hear your feedback once you try them
Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine
These look incredible! So much flavor packed in there. Just starting my Christmas baking this morning! Late start… too much to do!
yes and so customizable depending on the fillings you create so you can go crazy with them
These cookies would make a fabulous gift for the season . The filling sounds lovely . Great pick .
yes they do make a great edible gift
Rugelach rocks, i seriously want to bake this cookies very much soon, dunno why am yet to bake them at home.
once you try the home baked version – you’ll never want the store bought version again!
Rugelach has been on my to-bake list for a very very long time. May be this year I can try them. Your filling ideas sound delicious especially the Speculoos one 🙂
yes whats great about these is you can fill them with just about anything