Tender, flaky cream cheese dough is wrapped around tart cherry jam and roasted almonds for a cookie that's like a delicious two-bite rolled-up tart.
I'll take one anytime, but I especially love to eat rugelach early in the morning when the house is still quiet, steaming mug of coffee in hand, cuddled under a blanket next to the Christmas Tree.
The cream cheese dough is super easy to work with and produces gorgeous layers of flaky pastry that's buttery and not overly sweet. Rugelach can be filled with anything you like, but I especially love them with a shmear of tart cherry jam and a sprinkle of salty roasted almonds.
It goes without saying (and yet, here I go saying it anyway) that the quality of jam is important here. My favorite is Morello Cherry Preserves. It's as delicious in these cookies as it is in Black Forest Cake.
These tasty little cookies can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 days, in the refrigerator for up to a week, and in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. Of course, this information assumes there will be some left over. 🙂
More Christmas cookie recipes:
- Chewy Vanilla Bean Brown Sugar Cookies
- White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peppermint Hot Fudge Thumbprints
- Frosted Brown Butter Citrus Shortbread Christmas Cookies
- Double Chocolate Kiss Cookies
- Malted White Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Halva Buttercream
- Christmas Funfetti Cookies
- Mini Gingersnaps with Sorghum and Brown Sugar
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #ofbatteranddough on Instagram.
For the Rugelach Dough:
- 16 tablespoons (226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon (78 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoons table salt, or 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (340 grams) cherry preserves
- 1 cup (150 grams) roasted, salted almonds
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- Turbinado sugar or sanding sugar, for sprinkling over the tops of the cookies
- Add the butter, cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla to a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed just to combine, then on high speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times, until very light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
- Add the flour and beat on low speed just until incorporated.
- Spread two pieces of plastic wrap out on the counter. Scoop one half of the dough onto each piece of plastic wrap. Shape each pile of dough into a disk that's approximately 8 inches in diameter. Wrap dough tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight.
- Lay a sheet of parchment paper that's approximately the size of a cookie sheet (half sheet pan) out on a work surface and dust the surface of the parchment with flour. Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator and set it in the center of the parchment. Dust the top lightly with flour and roll out into a rectangle that's approximately 14 inches by 10 inches and ¼ inch thick. To keep the dough from sticking, periodically, dust the surface with flour, lay another sheet of parchment paper over the top, and flip the whole thing over. Peel off the top sheet of paper, dust with more flour, and continue rolling.
- Slide the dough, still resting on the parchment, onto a cookie sheet and cover it with another piece of parchment paper. Repeat with the other half of the dough, sliding it on top of the first sheet of dough. Cover the top sheet of dough with another piece of parchment paper and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- While the dough chills, dump the almonds into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until there are no pieces larger than a pea.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the sheets of dough from the refrigerator.
- Work with one piece of dough at a time. Using a pizza wheel or pastry wheel, trim the edges of the dough so you have (mostly) straight sides. Spread half the cherry preserves over the surface of the dough and sprinkle evenly with half the chopped almonds. Cut the dough in half lengthwise so that you have two long rectangular strips of dough.
- Working with one strip of dough at a time, cut the dough vertically into rectangles that are approximately 2 inches wide. Aim for 10-12 rectangles per strip of dough. Using a spatula, separate one rectangle away from the rest of the dough and roll it up. Place the cookie seam side down on the parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Use a pastry brush to brush egg white over the tops of all the cookies. Sprinkle with turbinado or sanding sugar.
- Bake the cookies for 20 - 25 minutes, just until they are barely beginning to brown on the top. Set the baking sheet on a wire rack and let the cookies cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, and in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 40 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 135Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 127mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g