December 14, 2009
6 Ratings
  • Serves 64 small cookies
Author Notes

Came from my New-York-born-but-Yiddish-inflected grandma, which I adapted. —deensiebat

Test Kitchen Notes

If you've ever made pizza, you can make rugelach, because all rugelach is, really, is dough rolled into a circle and spread with toppings. Pizza gets baked at this point whereas rugelach gets sliced and rolled into croissant-like shaped before going into the oven. Deensiebat's rugelach is a cinch because you can make the soft, pliant dough in a food processor, then it's just a matter of rolling it out, spreading it with apricot jam, walnuts and cinnamon sugar, and forming slices into crescents. The rugelach comes out tender and not too sweet, and while baking, some of the apricot juices seep out and caramelize on the parchment paper, giving the finished rugelach a candied edge. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Dough
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 pound cold butter, cut in Tbsp-sized cubes
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Filling
  • 1 1/3 cups apricot jam
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon-sugar (1/4 cup sugar + 2 tsp cinnamon)
  1. In a bowl or a food processor, mix together the flour, salt and sugar until combined. Add the butter, and pulse in the food processor or cut with a pastry cutter (or two knives) until it is reduced to bits that are about half the size of a pea. If using a food processor, dump the contents into a bowl at this point. Stir the vanilla into the sour cream. Using a spoon, and then your hands when needed, knead the sour cream and vanilla into the flour mixture until it is well incorporated, and the dough holds together when you squeeze it. Stop as soon as this is possible -- do not over-mix. Shape the dough into four chubby disks, cover with plastic and allow to relax in the refrigerator for at least one hour (overnight is fine too).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Take a disk of dough out of the refrigerator, and place on a floured countertop or pastry mat. Roll out to a 12" circle, trimming off the ends if needed. This dough is much softer than a traditional pastry crust, so you shouldn't need to let it warm up before rolling. Spread 1/3 cup apricot jam over the round of dough, and sprinkle with 1/3 cup nuts and 1 Tbsp cinnamon-sugar. Taking a chef's knife or pizza cutter, divide the dough evenly into 16 wedges. Starting from the wide base of each wedge, roll towards the center to form a crescent. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or silicone liner, making sure that the tip of the crescent is pinned underneath to prevent the cookie from unrolling. Bake until the filling is bubbling and the crust is just beginning to color, about 30 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool, being careful of the hot jam. Best enjoyed the day they are made (any leftovers are best kept in the freezer).
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See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Smaug
  • Ned Semoff
    Ned Semoff
  • IsabelTX
  • Niknud
  • BonEllen

20 Reviews

Smaug January 20, 2023
When making rugelach, I like to leave the center of the circle (about 3 1/2") bare of filling; when I roll them up, I brush a little water on the tip of the triangle to seal the roll. I also put most of the filling toward the broad end, where it is better contained. There's still some squeeze out, which is fine for jam filled rugelach; it kind of needs to be dealt with for chocolate fillings. Most bakers make spirals rather than crescents with chocolate.
Ned S. January 4, 2014
Instead of apricot jam I used raspberry! A new hit in my house.
IsabelTX November 12, 2013
I'd love to serve these at my Christmas party next month, and being able to make them ahead and freeze them would be a huge help. Is that a viable option? Could I roll them up, freeze them, and bake them an hour before the party? Thank you!
carla September 1, 2020
I have froze them before and baked them as needed. I wouldn't keep them more than a month or two frozen. Came out beautiful. Great to have for unexpected holiday guests. Pop them on a baking sheet and into the oven. Bake just a little longer since frozen. Your guests will be impressed.
Tsany June 11, 2013
This recipe is Greek. I have made the cookies for the last 40 years. If you prefer, use for the filling just 1 egg white, chopped pecans and sugar. Dust with powder sugar after baking.
knitnbead August 2, 2012
Have always made these with cream cheese not sour cream. Interesting, must try these. they sound great!
Leetle June 1, 2014
Me too...I always used cream cheese. And I think I'll stick with that. These didn't work too well for me. Too much butter - they really spread a lot while baking. I immediately removed them from the sheet pan to cool on a rack. Anyway, they were tasty.
Niknud September 27, 2011
Visions of my Great-Grandmother Ruth are swimming through my head. It really brings me back to being a small girl watching her rolling out the dough and assembling neat little rows of the delcious treats.
BonEllen December 26, 2009
I made these and they are so fantastic! Thank you for sharing this recipe! Similar to mom's, but so much better!! I like the approach to cover the whole circle of rolled dough with filling, and using aSilpat makes cleaning up sticky jam a snap.
Maria T. December 25, 2009
What a fabulous way to make cookies with jam. Thank you for sharing the recipe.
mrslarkin December 21, 2009
Made these yesterday. My dough couldn't come together, so i added a touch of ice water (as i would do for pie dough). I used King Arthur all-purpose flour and regular sour cream. Also, I think I used too much cinnamon-sugar, as a lot the filling seeped out during baking. In the end, I drizzled on some icing I made with Peach Schnappes and 10x to compensate for all the yummy sweetness I lost! I wonder if refrigerating the formed cookies before baking could have helped?
deensiebat December 21, 2009
Hmm I'm not sure... I haven't had those problems with this recipe. There's always a bit of seepage (parchment or siplats are most helpful), but just around the seams (as seen in the photo). You definitely have to work the sour cream into the dough, but it's always come together for me (I use regular sour cream, and most recently used Bob's Red Mill flour, which might be slightly lower protein than King Arthur). The dough is definitely a bit soft, but I suppose that is the price you pay for tender deliciousness. Glad you were able to redeem yours -- is their anything that can't be fixed by sugar and booze?
mrslarkin December 21, 2009
thanks! I still have a half-batch left, so I will make more. And I will try to restrain myself from sprinkling more than the suggested amount of the cinnamon-sugar!
mrslarkin December 17, 2009
These look deelish! Thanks for the recipe!
Jennifer A. December 15, 2009
The apricot jam is a nice twist on the recipe I know (my mother's) - and it looks so pretty! I will definitely add these to my list of cookies to bake this weekend. Thanks!
dymnyno December 14, 2009
This sound wonderful...the apricot jam must cut the overwhelming sweetness of the cookie. It is a beautiful cookie!
AntoniaJames December 14, 2009
Mmmmm. So yummy looking! I have several dozen jars of pluot and nectarine jams . . . . been looking for new ways to use it, and these seem perfect. Thank you for posting this!
Brenda S. November 15, 2022
Have you made ruggelach before. It's a pretty ambitious recipe. I think I'll try it out. If you had any tips I'd love to hear your experience.

Warmly- Brenda Moore
AntoniaJames November 17, 2022
Brenda, I have not. Rugelach have been on many ideas lists over the years, but somehow the "must have" family favorites that the recipients of my annual boxes beg me to make inevitably take priority.

I know that my younger son really likes rugelach. He and his girlfriend, who are both adventurous bakers and cooks, will be here next month for a holiday visit, so there's a good chance that making rugelach will be one of our projects! Stay tuned. ;o)
Smaug January 20, 2023
They're really not difficult, but there are kind of a lot of steps, and it can get a bit messy