Sunday sweets – Rugelach

Posted on: September 20th, 2009 by admin No Comments

This weekend was Rosh Hashanah for any celebrating the Jewish faith. This is a pretty big occasion so we are making Rugelach. The word literally means “little twists” in Yiddish and has Jewish Ashkenazic (Polish) origins. In Europe the dough was made with yeast, but American Jews later came up with an equally delicious cream cheese based dough.


The dough is rolled up with sweet fillings like chocolate, raisins and nuts or preserves. Today we’ll give 3 versions, cherry, chocolate, or cinnamon.


  • 1 c butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/3 c (8oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 c flour

Filling 1 (cherry):

  • 1 3/4 c frozen sweet cherries
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • (or instead of the above use cherry preserves)
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts

Filling 2 (chocolate):

  • 1 c (about 8 oz) bittersweet chocolate, shaved
  • 1/4 c sugar

Filling 3 (cinnamon):

  • 1/4 c unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 2 tbsp milk or water

Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) and lightly grease an oven tray.

For the pastry: Beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the flour and sugar and beat until a dough forms, a couple minutes. Turn the mixture out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Cover and set aside while preparing the filling.

Filling 1: Coarsly chop frozen cherries. Mix together the sugar and cornstarch and add this and the cherries to a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and let simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, stir in the walnuts and let cool for about 30 minutes. Alternatively use cherry preserves (or any fruit preserve) spread straight onto the dough.

Filling 2: Mix together the chocolate and sugar.

Filling 3: Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Melt the butter.

On a floured surface roll the dough out into 3 circles (about 10 inches wide). Spread the dough with cherry filling (about 1/2 c per circle) leaving a little 1/2 inch border. (OR spread the dough with chocolate and sugar mix. OR spread with melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on-top). Cut the circles into 8 pie-shape pieces and roll up each little wedge, starting at the wide edge and ending at the tip.


Place the cookies tip side down about 2 inches apart on the oven tray. Brush each cookie lightly with egg-wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Makes 24 cookies

Recipe adapted from: The Jewish Holiday Baker, Random House 1997

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