Rugelach, homemade

I’m reading through a backlog of magazines and Rugelach keeps getting its well derserved attention. Typically my houses uses both traditional and non traditional fillings. This morning, NYT cooking caught my eye with an apple butter Rugelach that has to be worth consideration. We gift more than we consume and our son comes home just to join in.

What’s your favorite way to prepare these yummy crescents? Any fav dough recipes? What’s your fav way to roll a Rugelach?

TIA, Rooster

Hope to give this a try on Sunday. I have two jars of apple butter from New Hope, PA to use. I grind the nuts into very fine pcs.


Both times used the usual Solo fillings for rolled wedges/triangles.

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I like the poppy filling.

My mom is an avid baker and also a big fan of the rugelach genre, I remember she tried several recipes and declared the one from ina garten the best- you can just swap around the filling. Looks similar to the one you linked but with more sugar and slightly different method


Thank you. Does your Mom have a favorite filling? Does she roll crescents or roll a dough log and slice rounds?

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I make rugelach once a year, after Thanksgiving when I typically have a lot of cream cheese left over from my post-Thanksgiving brunch. I have no idea whose recipe I am using, but the dough is basically cream cheese, butter, a little sugar, and flour. For fillings I just scrounge around to see whatever I have on hand–jam, apple butter, chopped nuts, chopped raisins, anything will do. It’s pretty hard to go wrong. The dough is quite forgiving. I generally freeze the unbaked cookies, then put them in ziplocs and bake them whenever I need some.


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl, mixing until well combined and fluffy (use an electric mixer if desired). Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the salt, and the vanilla. Add the flour gradually and mix until just combined.
  2. Divide the dough in quarters and make a ball out of each. Wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

After that I roll each ball out into a 10" circle, slap the filling on top, and cut each circle into 12 wedges, each of which gets rolled up into one cookie. This dough makes roughly 55 cookies (48 + the extras that you make out of the cut-off edges of the dough, which can get rolled out as many times as necessary). An egg wash and some raw sugar/cinnamon goes on, then they bake for 15-20 minutes at 350. If you freeze them, bake them frozen for 20-25 minutes.

The whole process is quite a production and takes several hours, but you only need to do it once and then you have a lot of cookies.


She makes the mini crescent like ina does to get maximum crispy edges. And for filling the walnuts and semi-sweet chocolate is her favorite, but my dad is a fan of the version she made with (homemade) apricot jam.
I usually bring them rugelach when i visit from the famous shop in my neighborhood (lee lee’s bakery), but they were closed for labor day.


I made Ina’s as well and it is fantastic. Fairly labor intensive. The apricot is classic for a reason.


Remember also using Solo prune.

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Their almond paste is pretty good. My wife sometimes uses it in a raspberry almond bar cookie…which sounds like a nice filling for rugelach too.

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Any updates/tips/new favorite recipes?

I dont shape them into indiv crescents. I make a long, filling filled log and cut into pcs like you do for cinnamon rolls.

A few weeks back I baked a batch. I tripled the dough so I would have cookies on hand. I used a jarred blackberry jam. Baked off a dozen and froze prepared but unbaked the rest. When the holidays roll around my wife, sister and SIL will bake cinnamon and walnut rugelach. They create crescents.


Talk of fresh figs had me grabbing a jar of fig preserves to make these. Hit of cardamom in these got my attention.


So it came to my attention this summer that there are different versions of rugelach - not filling, but pastry consistency.

I had previously encountered only the soft-crunchy version that’s like a really good shortcrust pastry crust rolled up with goodies. Then I came across one at Breads that was really more like a soft, rich croissant, which threw me off. I bought some made by Greens yesterday, also the soft/bready texture.

Any stories behind the different types?

I baked the soft ones at a low temp for a while today to see if I could change the texture, and it did work. (I guess I could call them semi-homemade :rofl:)


Sounds like an in house pastry choice. While the dairy in rugelach can vary a bit, what you are describing sounds to me like a length of baking choice and a specific type of pastry preference. If the dough can handle a longer bake time, that flaky crunch follows.

When my sister makes rugelach the crescents are baked golden but once room temp are still soft. The filling also plays a part in the dough staying moist. When I bake them using the roll and slice method there is more crunch.

There are a great many commercial bakers making rugelach that taste like mini danish to me and nothing like homemade rugelach.

So, I would be equally interested to learn if there are different types of traditional rugelach dough and not just a recipe adapted by the baker.

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I think the ones from Breads bakery are unusual, those are definitely like a filled croissant.
Yet another style would be the ones from Lee Lee’s bakery in harlem (definitely worth the detour, easy from the 116th B/C trains) which are sliced with a crunchy exterior but somehow softer than the smaller version sold at zabar’s if that makes sense. Over the years my mom has made it a point to try all of the rugelach possible and lee lee’s has been declared the most favorite edging out former front runner Breads bakery in a side by side comparison. (Totally different styles though)

Ever tried Whole Foods’ apricot rugelach? I liked it back in the day.

Nope sounds like I should.

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Dough needs work. I tried playing around with cookie shapes.

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