Cherry Rugelach With Cardamom Sugar

Cherry Rugelach With Cardamom Sugar

These tender, jam-filled confections, adapted from “Rose’s Christmas Cookies” (William Morrow, 1990) by Rose Levy Beranbaum, have a flaky, cream cheese-spiked crust that makes them a little like soft, tiny pastries. This version calls for cherry preserves and some optional walnuts, but you can use any flavor of jam (or nut if you’re so inclined) you like. Apricot and raspberry jam are the most traditional. Rugelach keep well at room temperature for up to one week, or they freeze beautifully for up to six months. (Watch Melissa Clark make her cherry rugelach.)
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Make the dough: Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand-held electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth and well blended. Beat in sugar and vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add flour and salt until just incorporated.
  2. Step 2

    Scrape dough onto plastic wrap and form a ball. Divide dough into 4 portions and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 3 days.
  3. Step 3

    Make the filling: Combine 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoon cardamom, the cinnamon, walnuts (if using) and dried cherries in a medium bowl. Stir until well mixed. Set aside.
  4. Step 4

    Roll out and form the rugelach: Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick liners, or slightly grease the pans with nonstick cooking spray. Remove dough from refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes, or until malleable enough to roll out.
  5. Step 5

    On a clean, lightly floured work surface, roll out each dough portion, one at a time, into a 9-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Rotate dough while rolling to ensure it does not stick to work surface.
  6. Step 6

    Using the back of a spoon, evenly spread 2 tablespoons cherry jam onto the rolled-out dough. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup the dried cherry-walnut filling over the jam, and, using your hands, press the filling firmly and evenly over the dough.
  7. Step 7

    Using a sharp knife, cut the dough circle, like pieces of a pie, into 12 triangles. With an offset spatula or thin knife, loosen the triangles from the work surface. Starting at the wide end of the triangle and working to the narrow tip, roll up each piece and bend the ends around to form a slight crescent shape.
  8. Step 8

    Place rugelach, narrow tip tucked beneath, on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between each. Refrigerate, lightly covered with plastic wrap, for at least 30 minutes (and up to 24 hours) to help them keep their shape on the oven. Clean work surface before rolling out the next batch of dough.
  9. Step 9

    When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cardamom. Brush rugelach with milk and sprinkle cardamom sugar on top.
  10. Step 10

    Bake until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Rotate cookie sheets halfway through for even baking. Transfer sheets to wire rack to cool completely.