Rosh Hashanah

Matcha Rugelach with Black Sesame Filling

March 19, 2016
2 Ratings
Photo by Crumbs and Nibbles
  • Makes 4 dozen cookies
Author Notes

Rugelach are a classic Jewish cookie that are traditionally filled with cinnamon sugar and raisins. In this version, I decided to mix things up and opt for a matcha powder dough with a heavenly black sesame filling, because let's face it–these two flavors were made for each other! The dough is adapted from Ina Garten's recipe, which my grandmother swears by. It contains cream cheese to give a slight tang and an amazing, tender texture. The filling is a spin on poppyseed filling, another more traditional choice for rugelach. —Crumbs and Nibbles

What You'll Need
  • For the dough:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons matcha powder
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of milk, for the egg wash
  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup ground black sesame seeds (you can do this in a coffee or spice grinder)
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  1. Start with the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy, then add in 1/4 cup sugar, salt and vanilla. Turn the mixer to low, then add in the flour along with the matcha. If the dough seems overly sticky, add in a touch of extra flour so that it's manageable (it'll firm up a bit in the fridge).
  2. Gather the dough into a ball and divide into four equal pieces. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, sugar and lemon zest. When the mixture is warm, add in the sesame seeds and cook until the mixture is thick, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, vanilla and butter, then cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely before using.
  4. When you're ready to assemble and bake the cookies, roll one of the quarters of dough out on a well-floured board until you get a 9-inch circle. Use a spoon or your hands to spread on a good amount of black sesame filling.
  5. Cut the circle into 12 wedges and roll your cookies from the edge of the wedge to the point. Place them on a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 350 F.
  6. Brush the tops of the cookies with with egg wash and sprinkle on any remaining sesame seeds. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until set and lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Liza Posas
    Liza Posas
  • Crumbs and Nibbles
    Crumbs and Nibbles
  • Erica

5 Reviews

Liza P. January 4, 2021
I had fun making these and love the color. I didn't make the filling, used ube jam instead (needed to use it up). The matcha flavor was a bit too strong, so I'll half the amount next time. Could be the type of matcha I used. Overall though it's a great recipe.
Erica March 22, 2016
I made the filling first so I could judge for myself. If you cook the filling way down to the perfect consistency - and wow, is that finger licking good, there is enough for half the dough. l made half the dough recipe and I needed to add a bit more flour than written for as the dough was too soft, but with that one minor adjustment and a good long chill ( I got impatient and stuck it in the freezer) these were pretty yummy. Mine weren't as green as yours, but I didn't use an egg wash so that might be why. You have to let them cool to get the full effect, but I think they're sophisticated and tasty. Very innovative take on a classic!
Crumbs A. March 22, 2016
Thank you so much for your kind comments! I'm going to go ahead and update the filling recipe as per your suggestion. So glad they turned out yummy for you.
Erica March 20, 2016
is there enough filling as written in the recipe for all four dough circles? Or do we need to quadruple the filling? I've been making rugelach forever and never vary from my chocolate, dried cranberry and sugar-cinnamon filling. As a devotee of black sesame seeds, this sounds amazing (and looks SO bizarre!).
Crumbs A. March 20, 2016
This recipe should make enough filling for all of the dough. When I made these, I only made one circle's worth of matcha/black sesame cookies and had quite a bit of filling left over after making a full batch of it. My grandmother has been making more traditional varieties since before I was born and these were a super fun change of pace! I love the bright green color the matcha lends.