the classic rugelach
from Joan Nathan, author: The Jewish Holiday Baker, Random House, 1997

Joan Nathan's knowledge, enthusiasm, and experience have made her prize-winning books on Jewish cooking a staple in every Jewish kitchen. Now, drawing upon the recipes, stories and secrets of a baker's dozen of bakers from around the world, she captures the art of Jewish baking.


from andra tunick karnofsky
Probably the most popular of American Jewish cookies, this horn-shaped treat was made in Europe with butter; cream cheese was added in this country. I love Ann's version: it has no sugar in the dough but a sprinkling on top of the finished cookie. She also uses this dough to make hamantashen.

The dough:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Confectioners' sugar
Apricot filling:
  • 1 cup thick apricot preserves
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
Chocolate filling:
  • 1 cup (about 8 ounces) shaved bittersweet chocolate, preferable imported
  • 1/4 cup sugar
Cinnamon-sugar filling:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

The dough:

Place the cream cheese and the butter in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle. Cream at a low speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and mix until a very soft dough is formed, about 2 more minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Filling and baking the rugelach:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cookie sheets with baking parchment.

Mix the ingredients for the apricot or chocolate filling and divide the dough into 4 balls. Roll the balls out into 4 circles about 1/8 inch thick and 9 inches in diameter. Spread the apricot or chocolate filling over the dough. If using the cinnamon-sugar filling, brush the melted butter on first, then the combined cinnamon and sugar.

Using a dull knife, cut each circle of dough into 16 pie-shaped pieces about 2 inches wide at the circumference. Roll up from the wide side to the center. Place the rugelach on the parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake in the oven on the middle and lower racks, switching after 12 minutes, also switching back to front. Continue baking about 13 more minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the rugelach to racks to cool. Sprinkle the apricot and chocolate rugelach with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

Yield: 64 rugelach

[hanukkah dinner home]

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