Rugelach (Filled Cream Cheese Cookies)

"I cannot imagine holiday-time without rugelach around. They are the most addictive, filled cookie ever! I usually make 2-3 times the recipe (inviting a friend over for coffee, chat and helpful rolling), then freeze and bake as needed. You will have none left by the end of the holidays, trust me. The bake time is approximate - it could be slightly more or slightly less, depending on how big you make the rugelach."
Rugelach (Filled Cream Cheese Cookies) created by Jonathan Melendez
Ready In:
1hr 12mins
40-48 approximately


  • Dough

  • 12 lb unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Topping

  • 12 cup butter, melted
  • 14 cup sugar (during the holidays, I use one of those coloured sugars)
  • Nut Filling

  • 12 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 12 cups finely chopped nuts (I like to use walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Jam Filling

  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup jam (I like to use apricot, peach, strawberry or raspberry)
  • Chocolate Filling

  • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, combined with
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Date Filling

  • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature combined with
  • 34 finely chopped dates, and
  • 12 teaspoon cinnamon


  • In a mixing bowl or food processor, cream the butter and cream cheese together.
  • Add the pinch of salt and sugar.
  • Beat in the flour, a little at a time.
  • Knead the dough lightly until all the flour is incorporated.
  • Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • Prepare one of the fillings by combining the ingredients (except the 1/4 cup sugar for the topping) and set aside.
  • Flour the surface you will be rolling out the pastry on very generously.
  • This is a delicate dough and is apt to stick.
  • Roll out one of the portions of dough into a 10 inch in diameter circle.
  • With a knife or pastry wheel, cut the pastry into 10-12 pie-shaped wedges (depending on how large or small you want the rugelach to be- I go for smaller).
  • If the dough is sticky, dust it with a little flour.
  • Sprinkle or spread a little of the filling of your choice on each little wedge.
  • Beginning at the wide edge, roll the dough up toward the point, as you would make a crescent roll or a croissant, turning the ends in slightly to achieve the crescent.
  • Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush with melted butter and sprinkle with a tiny bit of the topping sugar (this step can also be done just before baking and ensure that the sugar is not knocked off in the freezer).
  • Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
  • At this point, I pop the cookie sheet directly into my freezer and freeze the rugelach individually.
  • When frozen, I pack them into ziploc bags to use at whim over the holidays (and not just) so they can be freshly-baked for any occasion.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden, brushing with melted butter after 15 minutes if desired.

Join The Conversation

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  1. JCarson
    Is the bake time still 20-25 minutes at 350 if baked after preparing? i.e. never frozen
  2. Helene R.
    This was my mother’s s recipe. I made them. They were fabulous. I was more successful with the jams and nuts or raisins, than the chocolate. The dough was fantastic. I think if you used crescent rolls it would taste as good, and save so much time. I loved this recipe
  3. Keith C.
    After freezing, do you let thaw before baking or pop them in the oven directly from the freezer?
  4. jeannenovak
    What is icing sugar; is this confectionary sugar?
  5. Jonathan Melendez
    Rugelach (Filled Cream Cheese Cookies) Created by Jonathan Melendez



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