We love these little rugelach. The pastry bakes up so crisp, buttery, and flaky, and it has a wonderful dairy tartness from sour cream and cream cheese — the perfect complement to the cinnamon-laced nuts and fruit in the filling. Rugelach is our favorite go-to, anytime pastry. They’re just a bite or two, so pretty — tiny, golden crescents — and right at home perched alongside our morning coffee or atop a scoop of ice cream.
They’re also fun to experiment with: We’ve brushed the dough with water in step 7, but you could swap in warm apple cider, currant jelly, or puréed fruit preserves. Our tip: If you’re the type to nibble on little sweets nonstop over the holidays, make a double batch. Rugelach will store well for several days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Servings: 12 to 18
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup cream cheese, at room temperature
⅓ cup sour cream
½ tsp salt
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries, raisins, or currants
1 Tbsp cinnamon
Water for brushing dough
Granulated sugar or coarse white sparkling sugar, to taste
Milk or cream
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse briefly to combine.
- Cut the butter and cream cheese into chunks and add to the bowl along with the sour cream. Pulse just until the dough forms chunks, and you can squeeze it together.
- Divide the dough into three equal portions. Gently press each one into a disk. Make the disks as round as possible, smoothing their edges; this will allow you to roll the disks into a perfectly round circle, making the resulting rugelach more attractive.
- Wrap the disks in plastic, and chill the dough for about 1 hour, until it's firm but not rock hard. Note: You can chill the dough overnight, but then you’ll want to set it out on the counter until it softens enough to roll out without cracking.
- To make the filling, process the sugar, walnuts, dried fruit, and cinnamon in a food processor or blender until finely chopped and well combined.
- Place one circle of dough at a time on a generously floured surface. Roll it into a 10-inch circle and brush it lightly with water.
- Use your fingers to spread about ⅓ of the filling onto the round, going all the way to the edges and gently patting the filling to help anchor it to the dough.
- Using a sharp knife, divide the dough into 12 equal wedges. Roll each one up, beginning with the wide end. Place the rolls point-side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining two pieces of dough.
- Brush the rugelach with milk or cream; and sprinkle with granulated or coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Refrigerate the rugelach while the oven is preheating.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool right on the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe source: King Arthur Flour.