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This recipe is part of Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies.



I had only been in New York a few days when I discovered Zabar's and their rugelach. Over here in Seattle we don't get much rugelach, and I'd never seen it growing up in Texas either. I've spoken with a few friends whose grandmothers had made rugelach (or had bought it regularly), but those folks were all from the East Coast originally. They were surprised when I pulled rugelach out of Cookies and Brownies, because rugelach doesn't really seem like a cookie. It's more of a little pastry, and looks like a mini cinnamon bun or a little croissant filled to the gills with cinnamon, sugar and nuts.

A few notes about this recipe:

  • Cream cheese and butter make this dough tender and give it the pastry-like quality.
  • You can fill it with anything - dates, dried fruit, nuts, spices...I even filled mine with unsweetened coconut. 
  • I didn't try freezing the dough, but I think it might hold up in the freezer well for a quick recipe later.
  • I assumed 1 c AP flour = 4.5 oz
  • I used almonds instead of walnuts, and instead of adding currants in with the nuts, I wated and sprinkled them directly on the dough. That allowed me a nut/sugar base on all of the dough circles, with variations like coconut, currants, and cherries on the individual circles. Instant variety pack!
  • 22 minutes was enough for my rugelach to turn golden brown

2+1/2 c AP flour
2 T granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
16 T unsalted butter, cold
8 oz cream cheese, cold

2 T granulated sugar
1/2 c (packed) brown sugar, lump free
1 c finely chopped walnuts
1/2 c dried currants

Food processor
2 cookie sheets, lined with parchment or foil

  1. To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
  2. Pulse a few times to mix.
  3. Cut the butter into 8 pieces and add to the flour mixture.
  4. Pulse until the butter pieces are about the size of breadcrumbs.
  5. Cut the cream cheese into 4 pieces and add to the mixture.
  6. Process until the dough begins to clump together, about 30 seconds.
  7. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and press each piece into a flat patty about 4" in diameter.
  8. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  10. To make the filling, mix together the granulated sugar, the brown sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, and currants in a medium bowl.
  11. Remove 1 piece of dough from the refrigerator.
  12. Roll between 2 pieces or wax paper into a 12-inch circle a scant 1/8" thick.
  13. Peel the top sheet of wax paper from the dough and place it on the counter or a cutting board.Cutting and rolling the dough
  14. Flip the dough over onto the paper and peel off the second sheet.
  15. Sprinkle a quarter of the filling over the dough.
  16. Roll over the filling with a rolling pin to press it gently into the dough.
  17. Cut the dough like a pie into 12 equal wedges.
  18. Roll the wide outside edge up around the filling toward the point.
  19. Place the roll, with the dough point underneath to prevent it from unrolling, on a cookie sheet.
  20. Repeat with the remaining wedges, placing cookies 1+1/2 inches apart.
  21. If at any time the dough becomes too soft to roll, return it to the refrigerator to firm up.
  22. Roll, cut, and fill the remaining pieces of dough.
  23. Bake about 25 minutes, or until light golden brown at the edges. 
  24. Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
  25. Set the baking sheets on a rack to cool. Cool the rugelach completely before storing or stacking. Rugelach are best on the day they are baked.

Makes 48 pieces

May be stored, airtight, for about 5 days

This recipe comes from Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies, and is available on Purple House Dirt with permission from the author.

Maple Nut Rugelach on Foodista


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