Simple classic rugelach cookies made with only a handful of ingredients. The perfect snack for your guests, or yourself.
The widely available rugelach in Israel these days is commonly made with a yeast or croissant-like dough, but a classic recipe contains no yeast and its dough is simple and cookie-like. It’s wonderfully flakey and crumbly and very, very dangerous if you are left alone with it.
Let’s go over the ingredients.
Sugar. Classic rugelach doesn’t contain any sugar, but you know me… I use 3 tablespoons of sugar in my recipe, which I find to be the perfect amount. Without any sugar the cookies were a bit flavorless in my opinion, but you can leave it out if you prefer.
Cream cheese. The recipes I’m used to and that my family has been making all these years contain sour cream, and rugelach made with cream cheese is the more American version of it. I tried both versions and preferred the cream cheese one slightly better in regard to taste, so that’s what I used for this recipe.
For the filling, you can use any spread you like. Nutella is the easy way to go and tastes absolutely amazing, but you can use fruit preserves, chocolate spread, halvah spread, a cinnamon-sugar-nut mixture, etc.
- 2 cups (280 g/10 oz) all-purpose flour
- 200 g/7 oz unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 200 g/7 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup Nutella or other filling (preserves, cinnamon-sugar, etc.)
- Powdered sugar, to sprinkle on top (optional)
- Process flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor for a few seconds until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture becomes crumbly and resembles coarse meal, about 15 pulses. Add cream cheese and keep pulsing until the dough starts to clump together, about 10-15 seconds. Turn dough to a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. Flatten ball slightly with your hands to form a thick disc, then wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour until firm.
- Preheat oven to 350F/175C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut dough into three pieces. While working with the first piece of dough, place the other pieces in the fridge. Roll dough to an 8*12-inch (20*30 cm) rectangle. Spread dough with the filling and, starting with the longer edge, roll up to form a log. Transfer log to prepared baking sheet. Using a knife, make ¾-inch-deep cuts at 1-inch/2.5cm intervals crosswise in dough, but not all the way through, allowing the slices to stay connected (this yields 12-15 pieces for each log). If dough is too soft to cut, let it chill in the fridge for a few minutes before cutting. Proceed with the other two pieces of dough in the same manner. Place all three logs on the same baking sheet.
- Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and while still warm, cut slices all the way through. Allow cookies to cool completely.
- Sift powdered sugar on top and serve.
- Cookies will keep for up to a week at room temperature in an airtight container. They can also be frozen for 1-2 months.