A Family Recipe- Rugelah

By the end of the winter, all but the most stalwart of cold-and-dark lovers have started to get tired, sad, and sniffly. Luckily for me and my free Sunday, that makes it the best time to be inside baking AND the best time to get a cookie care package.

I had a rather long list of loves who needed a bit of extra caring– not to mention a cookie monster husband– so I decided to make 5 batches of cookies. 4 of them– yes, 80%– came from Smitten Kitchen. Is there a support group for SK addicts? The other batch is a family recipe for rugelah, one that came from my mother’s childhood best friend’s grandmother. Luckily, we’re all sharers, so you, too can benefit from this delicious, tender-crisp, not-too sweet cookie recipe. Unluckily for you, my picture of it came out too awful for even me to share.

Luckily for you, now you know where to get the ultimate oatmeal raisin cookie recipe.

Unluckily for you, there are no pictures of the beautiful shortbread-ish cookies with glaceed cherries and candied orange peel.

Luckily for you, peanut butter cookies are still an option.

Erm. I could go on for a while. But instead of that, I’ll tell you that these brownie roll-out cookies were a big hit– but that even my chocolate-loving sister finished the rugelah first.



    1 package cream cheese (full-fat only)
    2 sticks butter
    3 c flour
    1/4-1/2 c water (1/4 if you make it in the food processor, 1/2 in a stand mixer. Why? It’s a mystery.)


    ~3/4 c of jam; my mom uses strawberry or apricot; I prefer raspberry
    1/2 c sugar
    1 T cinnamon- or a little more, as you like
    3/4 c walnuts, chopped fine
    3/4 c raisins
    1 egg yolk (for glazing)

    For dough:

    Beat butter and cream cheese together. Add flour, then water until it feels smooth and pliable– like a sticky pie crust dough. (Yes, the dough is sugar-free.)

    Let dough chill thoroughly in the refrigerator– at least 2 hours, but overnight is better.

    For cookies:

    Preheat your oven to 350.

    Cut the dough ball in half.  Put the half you’re not working with in the fridge. Flour a surface well, then place your dough on it and, with a heavily floured rolling pin, roll out a rectangle that’s around 1/8″ thick and 8″ on its shorter side (the length should take care of itself).

    Spread 1/2 the jam on the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border clear. The coating should be relatively thick, so if you need more, don’t be shy. These cookies are hard to make soggy.

    Mix the cinnamon and sugar together– it should be a dark sandy color– and sprinkle half of it over the jam. You should be able to see it even after the jam absorbs some,  but it doesn’t need to  be thick. Scatter over half of the walnuts and raisins.

    Beginning with the end closest to you, fold the first 3/4 inch of the dough over onto the roll. Continue to roll from there, as tight as you can, pressing down between layers to make sure no air gets caught. Press to seal at the end, then turn the roll so that the seam is facing down.

    Using a pastry brush, glaze the roll with an egg yolk, then refrigerate while you work on the other half.

    When the second log is done, put it in the refrigerator and remove the first log. Slice the log into 1″ segments, then bake on a foil-lined cookie sheet (they tend to erupt a little bit, and burnt jam is a pain to clean) for 12-14 minutes, or until the top turns a dark golden brown. By the time those are done, the second log should be cold enough to cut.

    These are best served with a glass of cold milk or hot coffee.


    2 responses to this post.

    1. Your cookies look fantastic and delicious! That’s very nice of you to make cookies for people – nothing brightens someone’s day better than fresh-baked goods 🙂 I’m sure your husband was very appreciative! Thanks for sharing your rugelah recipe! I’ve never tried making rugelah, but I think I’ll have to now 🙂


    2. thanks so much again. all the cookies were delicious and very much appreciated. the brownie roll-out cookies were my favorite!


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