An easy Rugelach recipe with cream cheese in the dough and a filling of apricots, raisins, and walnuts. You’ll love these crispy little cookies!
These tiny Jewish pastries are perfect for the holidays and well worth the effort! One bite and you will add them to your cookie Baking Day, permanently.
How to Make Rugelach
The rugelach dough comes together easily with a handheld or standing mixer. Divide it into two equal pieces and chill until firm (about 1 hour).
Next, roll out each piece of dough into a circle. Spread with jam, raisins, cinnamon, sugar, and walnuts.
Normally you chop or finely chop the walnuts for rugelach. However, I loved using finely ground walnut meal in my rugelach. It was easy to make and spread much more evenly than chopped walnuts.
Next, cut the dough into triangles and roll them up like crescents.
Brush with butter and bake until golden brown and fragrant.
Rugelach are crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and perfectly buttery without being too sweet.
How long can you keep Rugelach?
Rugelach will keep at room temperature for a few weeks or 1-2 weeks longer in the refrigerator.
To freeze rugelach dough: Freeze the discs of dough for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before proceeding with the recipe.
To freeze shaped rugelach cookies: Freeze the shaped rugelach cookies for up to 3 months. Freeze individually before combining in a freezer-safe bag. Bake straight from the freezer, adding a few minutes to the baking time if necessary.
For the Dough:
- 1/2 cup butter softened (1 stick)
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
For the Filling:
- 1/3 cup (2 ⅓ ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup apricot jam
- 1 cup (4 ounces) walnuts chopped fine, or walnut meal, see notes
- 1/2 cup (2 ½ ounces) raisins chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
For the Dough:
- In a stand up electric mixer fitted with the paddle, or a large mixing bowl with a hand-held electric mixer, beat the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until it is thoroughly combined, light, and fluffy, about 3 to 6 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beaters as necessary. Reduce the speed and slowly mix in the flour, about 30 seconds.
- On a floured working surface, turn the dough out and divide into 2 equal pieces. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 60 minutes.
For the Filling:
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon together.
To Assemble the Cookies:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place the racks at the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough into an 11-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. On each round, spread ¼ cup of jam and sprinkle ½ cup of the nuts and ¼ cup of the raisins. Then, evenly sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Cut each round into 16 even wedges using a knife or pizza cutter. beginning at the wide end, roll each wedge up into a cookie. Place each cookie on the prepared sheet ensuring the pointed end is underneath the cookie. Space the cookies about 2 inches apart.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the melted butter over the cookies and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar over the top. Bake the cookies until they have slightly puffed and are a pale gold, about 20 minutes, rotating and switching the position of the baking sheets halfway through.
- Transfer the hot cookies immediately to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before serving, about 60 minutes.