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Rugelach ~ Chocolate, Cinnamon Walnut or Jam (Parve or Dairy)

We don't have a sign reading "over a billion sold" but we have certainly made many, many rugelach. Thumbing through "The 2nd Avenue Deli Cookbook" while looking for the falafel recipe a couple weeks back, I happen upon a rugelach recipe. I realize that this is the one I use for my dough; replete with Tofutti cream cheese. My mother's handwriting in the margin notes the addition of vanilla extract. So, kudos to this great cookbook and memoir. If you don't own a copy, it's a fun book to read.

My adaptation yields over 350 cookies, made parve using Tofutti Cream Cheese. I'm going to scale it back to the original but add the vanilla extract. As far as fillings go, I always use Hero jams for the filling. The jam costs a fortune these days, even wholesale 3 buckets cost almost $400. That is 3 - 4 times what other brands might cost. I just find the flavor superior with the fabulous burst of condensed fruit intensity. For the chocolate, I love using a dark cocoa and sugar blend. And finally, the cinnamon walnut blend is our babka filling taken down further in the food processor. I'm thinking that is a Gil Mark's recipe. I need to dig around to find my original source.

There are a couple of ways to roll a rugelach. A circle cut into pie shaped wedges yields the layered crescent shape. Making one long log and cutting pieces is a faster technique and the one we use for mass production. I like lots of thin layers of dough between the filling. I like rugelach. No, I love rugelach....fabulous, over-the-top, tasty rugelach. I'm spoiled by my rugelach and won't buy anybody else's. Life is full of disappointments, why pay money for the inevitable letdown?

Kosher Status: Parve
Number of servings: 6 dozen triangles
Main Ingredient(s): Cocoa, Cheese - Tofutti Cream
Preparation Time: 00:30
Cooking Time: 00:20
Skill Level: 2 (1 Easy - 5 Hard)
Estimated POINT value:


The dough:

  • 8 ounces Tofutti cream cheese (or real cream cheese for dairy)
  • 8 ounces unsalted margarine (or unsalted butter for dairy)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



  • 3/4 cup dark cocoa
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • canola oil for brushing


  • A good quality jam that isn't too lumpy. Otherwise, food process the lumps out.

Cinnamon Walnut:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted margarine (or unsalted butter for dairy)

Crumb topping:

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup unsalted margarine (or unsalted butter for dairy)
  • beaten egg for brushing on cookies


To make the dough, put the cream cheese and margarine into the mixer bowl. Mix just until blended. Add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine making sure the dough doesn't have lumps of margarine or cream cheese.

Turn dough onto work surface and divide into 3 balls. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To make the chocolate filling, mix the cocoa and sugar together. Set aside.

To make the crumb topping, put the ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat with a hand-held mixer. Or, you can make the crumb with a pastry blender. I think a flat beater makes the topping too much like a dough. Better, if you don't have any of the above, to use your finger tips to incorporate the margarine into the flour mixture.

To make the rugelach, take a ball of dough and flatten it on the lightly floured work surface.

Roll into a very think 15" circle. If dough sticks, lift and scrape off the table while you get a little more flour onto the table. I just read that you can use powdered sugar instead of flour. Who knew?

Brush the circle with canola oil.

Sift the cocoa mixture onto the rolled dough.

Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges. I like to use a pastry wheel with a scallop edge.

Roll cookie from the wide end and then place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle the crumb topping on top.

Bake until golden brown at 350'. Depending on how large you rolled your cookies, this could be 8 - 12 minutes. Best to check during the last few minutes and judge by the color. The bottom will be lightly browned, too.

The rugelach can also be frozen unbaked and then just tossed into the oven when you need them.

To make the cinnamon walnut filling, combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until very fine. If the nuts are too large, the rugelach dough will tear as you roll them. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with crumb topping before baking.

To use jam, spread the jam directly onto the rolled dough, cut and then roll up the rugelach. Brush with egg and sprinkle with crumb topping before baking.

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leslie: this is a bit labor intensive but well worth the effort! I made 104 of these, a batch of each flavor for our Synagogues pot luck Hanukkah party this Friday night. I think they are fantastic and hope the members love them as much as I do. Thank you so much for this recipe as it allows me to make a beautiful contribution to our Pot luck supper.
leslie: Hi Leah, It took me 2 days to make these and the congregation ate them all in 1 hour. What a success! They loved them!. thank you again for this fantastic recipe. I guess I will start earlier next year and make more. Leslie
Leah: Hi Leslie, Glad that everyone enjoyed them - they'll get faster with practice :-)! Thanks for letting me know, Leah

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Hi! Thank you for stopping by to watch me, Leah, cook kosher. I've been the owner operator of my boutique catering firm in Seattle, Leah's Catering, for the past 14 years.

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