Hanukkah Rugelach Recipe

Use homemade jam in this irresistible Jewish pastry.
Hanukkah Rugelach Recipe

Hanukkah Rugelach Recipe

Crisp, flaky dough houses a sweet filling in traditional rugelach.

Photo by: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo by Mick Telkamp

Crisp, flaky dough houses a sweet filling in traditional rugelach.

Yiddish for “little twists,” rugelach has its roots in the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe. With a buttery, crescent-shaped dough wrapped around sweet filling, the traditional Jewish pastry is enjoyed all year long, but is often associated with Hanukkah. As the holiday season approaches, rugelach is high on our list as cookie production begins. 

Although some recipes will call for a yeast raised dough, rugelach more commonly uses sour cream or cream cheese in a dough that is more pie crust or croissant than danish. While the quality of dough will make or break rugelach, selecting a filling can provide a personal touch that makes each batch something special.

Chocolate, nutella, nuts and marzipan fit the bill, but a combination of nuts, raisins and preserves are used most often. That’s good news for an intrepid canner, as a summer of home canning such jam favorites like strawberry, blueberry and peach leave us with plenty of options. All great choices for a sweet and silky filling, but let your pantry be your guide. We went with apricot, a preserve often associated with this traditional pastry.

Surprisingly simple, the dough takes just a few minutes to prepare. Like pie crust, the less the dough is worked, the flakier the pastry. Once the filling has been applied, the dough is sliced into triangles and rolled up like a crescent roll. The result is crisp on the outside, flaky, buttery and irresistibly gooey within. 

In the case of this bite-sized delight, the “little twist” is that you’ll always wish you’d made more.

Apricot Rugelach

Yield: 32 cookies

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup apricot jam
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • Demerara sugar, for sprinkling

Place flour, sugar and salt in food processor and pulse to combine.

Cut butter and cream cheese into cubes and add to food processor.

Pulse until dough is crumbly and begins to come together.

Divide dough into 4 balls, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

To prepare filling mix, combine walnuts, raisins, brown sugar and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse to chop

Working with one ball at a time on a lightly floured surface, roll dough into flat 9 inch discs (a pie pan can be used as a guide).

Use a spatula to spread a thin coat of apricot jam on each disc, leaving a one inch border around the edge.

Sprinkle with prepared filling mix.

Cut discs “pizza-style”, into eight wedges.

Starting at the outside edge, roll each wedge into a crescent-roll and arrange onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper about an inch apart with the end point facing down.

Whisk egg with 2 teaspoons of water and brush each cookie with wash.

Sprinkle with Demerara sugar (a eight to one mix of sugar and cinnamon may be substituted).

Bake in a 350 degree oven 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Next Up

Tips for an Easy-to-Make Hanukkah Cheese Board

Because there's no better way to say "Happy Hanukkah" than with cheese — literally.

The Best Outdoor Decorations for Hanukkah

Celebrate the Festival of Lights with eye-catching decorations that illuminate and deck out your outdoors in classic blue and white.

20 Best Hanukkah Decorations for Your Home 2022

Decorate and celebrate with gorgeous pieces you'll want to keep for years to come, from modern menorahs to heirloom challah platters.

Hanukkah Gift Idea: Colorful Cookie Mix Jar

Layer on the love this Hanukkah season with a shareable cookie mix jar that makes a tasty homemade food gift any recipient will love. Our free printable tag, complete with baking instructions, makes gifting even easier.

Hanukkah Kid's Craft: Paper Menorah

Who doesn't love a holiday handprint craft? It's the perfect way to get the kids involved and teach them about the Hanukkah season.

How to Make a Hanukkah Candy Board

Sweeten up the Hanukkah season with a color-coordinated candy board that'll satisfy sweet tooths of every age.

DIY Hanukkah Gift Wrapping Ideas

Make your Hanukkah gifts look great for eight nights straight with these ideas from HGTV Magazine. That's a wrap!

How to Make Christmas Tree Cone Cupcakes

Ice cream cones turned upside-down provide an ideal structure to assemble sweet Christmas tree cupcake toppers. Whether it's traditional greens and reds or fun, unconventional pinks and blues, any festive color palette will make these the star of the dessert table.

How to Make a Surprise Gift Box for Hanukkah

Delight your recipient with a gift box that's filled with small presents and releases a playful butterfly when opened.

Halloween Party Recipes: Witches' Teeth and Custard Cups

Full of fall flavors, these treats are scary good!

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.