I made these by special request for a Hanukkah party. Not that they’re a specifically Hanukkah recipe, but when asked what Jewish dessert to make, this was, hands-down, the favorite. You don’t have to do an Alton Brown-esque analysis to hone in on the secret to their deliciousness. Cream cheese dough. That’s what makes these so awesome. We often had chocolate ones growing up, and used to groan when we were sidled with apricot jam ones instead, but when you make them from scratch, the filling plays second fiddle to the moist slightly sweet dough. I prefer raspberry jam, but I could imagine all sorts of combinations would be delicious.


servings: about 32 cookies


  • 1 8 oz packet of cream cheese
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup jam (raspberry, apricot or any you prefer)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350, and prep a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cream the cheese, butter and sugar together until combined, and sift in flour and salt.Combine until a dough begins to form. Shape into a ball and chill for 8-24 hours.

Divide the chilled dough into 4 balls and roll one out with a rolling pin into a rough circular shape. It doesn’t have to be exact.

Once the dough is rolled out, top with a 1/4 cup of jam. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of walnuts and 1/4 cup of raisins. Combine the last 4 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle a tablespoon across the top of the jam/nut/raisin filling. Then divide the pie evenly, cutting diagonally across until you have roughly 8 slices, much like cutting a pizza.

To finish, take a slice and roll up toward the center from the wide end to the point to form a rugelach.

Bake for approx 10-15 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the dough. This recipe should yield about 32 rugelach.