Dec 3, 2010

Walnut & Cinnamon Rugelach. You Know, For Hanukkah

I’m not Jewish. Not even 1%. I’m a shiksa. But I am 100% curious and lately, Jewish cuisine has intrigued me. One of my December goals was to make a Jewish recipe, and last night I knocked that item off my list. The funny thing is, Thursday was the first day of Hanukkah.

In typical baking fashion, I schlepped my laptop and black baby (DSLR) to the kitchen and promptly put on Pandora. Well if you remember my football cookie baking post, I last played Christmas music. So yes, people, I began making Jewish treats while listening to Christmas music. Meshuga! Guess who hates me? This lady.
FRAN!!! I almost always watch the Golden Girls before bed, but during the holiday season, the show is replaced with holiday crap. Kill me. I have been resorting to my second favorite show, The Nanny. Just be glad you’re not my boyfriend.

A simple googling of “Hanukkah desserts” led me to a very simple Jewish dessert: Rugelach. The Yiddish word translates to “little twists.” Traditionally, they are formed by rolling a triangle of dough into a crescent shape around filling. Fillings may include chocolate, nuts, spices, or fruit preserves.

Walnut and Cinnamon Rugelach from Delish

Cottage-Cheese Dough
  • 1 container(s) (8 ounces) cottage cheese
  • 1 cup(s) (2 sticks) margarine or butter
  • 2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
Walnut Filling
  • 3/4 cup(s) packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup(s) walnuts, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon(s) margarine or butter, melted
  • 1 large egg yolk
  1. Prepare Cottage-Cheese Dough: In food processor with knife blade attached, blend cottage cheese, margarine or butter, and flour just until combined and dough begins to come away from side of bowl. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces; flatten each into a disk. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Prepare Walnut Filling: In medium bowl, combine brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line large cookie sheet with foil; grease foil.
  4. On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll 1 piece of dough into 12-inch round. Brush dough with some melted margarine or butter. Spread dough with one-third filling; gently press onto dough. With pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut dough into 16 equal wedges. Starting at curved edge, roll up each wedge, jelly-roll fashion. Place rugelach on cookie sheet, point side down, about 1/2 inch apart.
  5. In cup, beat egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; use to brush top of each rugelach. Bake rugelach 20 to 22 minutes, until golden. Immediately remove rugelach to wire rack to cool.
  6. Repeat with remaining dough, melted margarine or butter, filling, and yolk mixture. Store rugelach in tightly covered container up to 1 week.
Pictures of the process:
Dough rolled out into a “perfect” circle: DSC_1434Cut into 12 slices then brushed with butter. Clearly I have no concept of evenness. DSC_1435Walnut filling pressed onto dough. DSC_1436Rolled up and ready to bake. DSC_1443Two slices that got lost in the battle and became balls. Oy vey!DSC_1438After baking, I noshed on a couple with my favorite peppermint tea. They were really light, crispy, and sweet. You just can’t go wrong with brown sugar and butter. DSC_1466These Jews would be really proud.

And Amanda just called me Jewstina.

Who can spot all the Yiddish words I used in this post? Shalom! Winking smile


  1. hahahah i just freaking LOVE YOU

  2. I love rugelach, and I honestly didn't know it was Jewish. Hehe.

  3. I LOVE The Golden Girls. Whenever I get homesick (because I'm a big baby), I watch it, not because I'm from Miami, but it's my Mom's favorite show and she's seen every episode. Then I call her and we talk about it.

    Anyways, thanks for listening. And oh yeah, YUM!

  4. this IS AWESOME. <3 and they turned out great!

  5. You have a pretty impressive handle on Yiddish! There are tons of delicious Jewish dishes out there, but as a novice Jew I's say rugelach is definitely a safe bet. Steer clear of Gefilte Fish unless you want to be really hard-core!

  6. Golden Girls may be the best show ever. I've never seen The Nanny! Am I missing out big time?

    I've only eaten rugelach twice, and both times it came from Whole Foods. Pretty delicious, but I bet the homemade version is MUCH better!

  7. mmm your outcome looks better than the picture with the recipe. Nom nom.

  8. I love the golden girls :) and the nanny is always awesome too!! I will definitely have to try this recipee!! It sounds delicious!!!

  9. Hilarious! I'm 100% Catholic, but my brother and I blast the Hannukkah song on our way to family Christmas festivities. Thank you, Adam Sandler.

  10. Oh, Jewstina, I'm so impressed with your extensive Jewish/Hebrew/Yiddish vocabulary!!!

  11. I do a mean impression of Fran Drescher....And I do that impression often. That looked yummy. Please make the motzo balls (sp?) because I've been REALLY curious about the motzo ball soup. Seriously...Motzo? Am I spelling that right?

  12. I must confess my love for both The Nanny and Golden Girls. Old TV is the best.

  13. you are awesome and hilarious. that picture is killing me!

  14. Hahaha I'm glad I'm not the only person who drags her laptop into the kitchen when cooking ;) do you have a specific pandora station just for baking?? Haha

  15. Love the new blog decor girly girl! Looks good!

  16. HAHA! This post cracked me up! My mom bought a little sign in Israel that says "Shalom, ya'll" and she has it hung up in our family kitchen in Texas. It's a running joke in our family now...among others! BAHAHA!

    Oh, and I love your penguin mug!

    Golden Girls forever!!!

  17. Holy Hanukkah. This is awesome. I would be 100% interested in this - what a cool idea for you to tackle this holiday tradition.

    Really cute post!

    And now I'm singing the Adam Sandler song to see who else is almost Jewish.

  18. Hahaha, you too cute and funny!! I love Fran ;) That show was my favourite growing up, loved it!!

    These little bundles of goodness look awesome! Thanks for sharing :)

    I just watched the friends episode last night when Ross dresses up as the holiday armadillo and he talks about hanukka ;) So funny :)


  19. Hahaha you always make me laugh! Adorable!

  20. Jewstina...OMG!!!! I love how you had the christmas tunes playing, awesome :)

    Those do look like delightful little buggers, and not too difficult either!


  21. Those rugelash look so good and so simple to make! Who would have known? And I LOVE the nanny. You're welcome to come to dinner with Sara and I any time! ;)

  22. I love The Nanny! Definitely one of my favorite shows! :)

  23. Mmm you can never go wrong with lotsa cookies this time of year--I have never made's on my list though! ;-)

  24. You should make Challah breaddddddddd!

    Mazel Tov.

  25. The Snoop is Jewish? Rugelach is frickin amazing and actually looks do-able, who knew??

  26. I just found your blog and I am officially obsessed. You made me HUNGRY!! Wonderful recipe!

  27. you have no idea how excited i am to see this! in my house we've always called them "sour cream twists" hence..the sour cream we add to the recipe but theyre identical to these! i totally need to show my mom this- its ought to inspire her to make them again!! <3

  28. Yum!!! Looks like you did an absolutely wonderful job. Feel free to send some my way lol