I’ve had rugelach on occasion. Not very often though.

Usually I’ll have one when I’m in Chicago visiting my dad’s side of the family. It reminds me of real deli’s. Deli’s we don’t have in the NW. It is flaky and rich and light while still full of flavor. I remember when I was little, we would buy them at the counter of this one deli/restaurant, Max’s, that we would always go to when we’d visit Chicago. They have the most amazing matzo ball soup.

We’d touch down in the O’Hare airport and my sisters and I would beg to go to Max’s for the Matzo ball soup.

The last time I was in Chicago I stayed with one of my cousins and she told me that we were not going to Max’s because my family always wants to go there and that there were other places besides Max’s to eat in Chicago. I laughed because in my head Max’s is the only place to eat in Chicago.

But anyway, rugelach.

One of my friends wanted to make rugelach. I’d never made it before, but I’m always up for trying a new recipe. Rugelach are really easy to make and don’t take too long. We had a lot of fun rolling out the dough and then rolling up all the little rugelach.

A couple weeks ago my boss had given me a a jar of vanilla peach jam she had made so we used it as the filling and I added lemon zest to the dough.

This recipe is from a wonderful Jewish cookbook my mom gave me: Jewish Cooking in America by Joan Nathan.

Vanilla Peach Rugelach


2 cups flour

8 ounces cream cheese

2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter

1/2 confectioners sugar

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp vanilla extract


1 cup peach jam

3/4 walnuts, chopped into small pieces


1 egg

1/4 cup raw (or granulated) sugar

Cut the butter and cream cheese into small even pieces. Mix all the ingredients for the dough together in a standard mixer until a soft dough has formed. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a round disk that is about 1/8 inch thick. Spread the peach jam evenly in a thin layer over the whole disk and sprinkle the walnut pieces over the jam. Cut the disk, like a pizza, into triangles with the wide side of the dough being about an inch thick. Roll each piece inwards toward the center of the disk and place the cookies on a baking sheet covered in parchment, leaving about 1/4 inch between each cookie.

Beat the egg and brush each cookie with egg. Sprinkle sugar evenly over the cookies and place the tray in the over for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.


Total Time: About 2 hours