12 Days of Cookies, Day 6: Nutella Rugelach for Hanukkah

Boy do I have a delicious little treat for you this morning. Over the weekend I tried my hand at baking my first-ever batch of Rugelach and let’s just say that it definitely won’t be my last! Something that tastes this good has to be made more than once a year.


Rugelach is a Jewish pastry that literally means “little twist” in Yiddish. I went the traditional route and made crescent shaped rugelach with real butter, sugar, cream cheese and chocolate. <–What some might call the good stuff! I’m all for healthifying recipes but since this was my first time making rugelach I stuck with the real deal. I wanted it to be authentic and taste amazing as I was making it for Isaac’s family. 😉

I tweeted for rugelach recipes and ended up using this recipe from Martha Stewart. I followed the recipe for the most part, however for one batch of the dough I took it upon myself to make Nutella rugelach. I saw the jar in the pantry and simply couldn’t resist. It was calling my name. 🙂


3 words – A MAAY ZING! The nutella filling was incredible paired with the pastry dough and walnut mixture, however I also really liked the apricot/chocolate filling. Apricot is one of my favorite jams and chocolate is well… chocolate, so it makes sense that the combo was delicious.

The process of making the rugelach was pretty easy. Although, I did have to google “how to roll pastry dough out in a circle” after having my first disk of dough roll out into quite an odd shape. Thank goodness for google!

I’m not sure if most folks consider rugelach a cookie, but Isaac said it could be soooo… I’m going to roll with it and have it be the featured cookie for Day 6!


Nutella Rugelach



  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough


  • 4 ounces walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 12 ounces nutella


  • 3 egg whites, lightly beaten


1. Make the dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and cream cheese at medium speed. Add sugar, and beat until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, beating to combine after each addition. Add vanilla and salt, and beat to combine. Reduce speed to low, and beat in flour. Remove from bowl, and divide into 3 pieces on a lightly floured surface. Pat into disks, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to overnight.

2. Make the filling: In a food processor, combine walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse until fine.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll one piece of dough into a 12-inch round, less than 1/8 inch thick. Spread evenly with nutella (it may help to have the nutella a bit melted so it doesn’t tear the dough while spreading). Sprinkle with one-third of the walnut mixture. Gently press ingredients into dough with your fingers.

4. Cut the round into 16 equal-sized wedges (triangle shaped like pizza slices). Beginning at the base of each wedge, roll to enclose filling, forming crescent shapes. Pinch to seal. Place on prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough and filling ingredients. Brush tops with beaten egg white. Bake until golden brown, 25 minutes.


rugelach in the snow.jpg

Nutella rugelach sitting in the dusting of snow we got this weekend.

Saturday night we went over to Isaac’s parent’s house to celebrate Hanukkah with the fam and I surprised them with my homemade rugelach. I’d say it was a hit considering we left when an empty container.


For dinner everyone enjoyed latkes again. Isaac’s mom (Ellen) and I wanted something a little healthier so I picked up some Whole Foods spinach and feta latkes with sides from the hot bar: garlicky kale, marinated veggies and my fave, Cracklin’ Cauliflower.


Post dinner and candle lighting, it was time for presents.

Isaac got his mom Vibrams and she couldn’t stop smiling.



As you can see, Isaac was surprised and thrilled to find out he got a Madolin!! He’s been wanting one for years.


I’ve received some lovely Hanukkah gifts as well – including a Threads for Thought tee, hiking sneakers, a Hand Blender and this lovely tea kettle.

tea kettle.JPG

I’ve already put almost all my presents to good use – I wore the tee the day after I received it (so soft and comfy), made soup with the hand blender last night and I’ve been drinking tea and hot water like it’s my job. The only thing I haven’t used are the hiking boots and for good reason – baby, it’s cold outside. 🙂

I definitely feel loved and life is good! Tomorrow I’ll be back with more reader submitted holiday cookies.

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  1. What a fun evening! The rugelach looks so beautiful and delicious. I absolutely love all things ‘nutella’ so I will definitely be giving these babies a try!

  2. I love the pic of the rugelach in the snow! Don’t you just love those garlicky kale greens from Whole Foods? Yum.

  3. For some reason I can’t bring myself to healthify desserts during the holidays. Some things should be left alone – especially delicious Christmas cookies. 🙂

  4. i have no idea why, but for some reason i’m imagining bland, dry, nutty crescent rolls. i dont think i’ve ever had rugelach, but i think i have a bad impression of them! however, when i read the word nutella, i’m hooked. they sound awesome! hope everyone loved them 🙂

  5. I’ve always wondered if others use the original recipe when making it for the first time and then healthify it or people just go balls to the wall and change the original recipe?!

    I usually make it per the recipe first and then on subsequent tries, make changes. I always feel like I need to have tasted the original creation to see where I can make changes and things I need to leave be.

  6. They turned out beautifully! I love bringing baked goods when I visit someone’s family.

  7. The good stuff indeed! Those look so yummy. I’m glad you didn’t healthify them. 🙂
    Issac’s mom is really cute.

  8. Your rugelach look great 🙂 I grew up eating chocolate or cinnamon filled ones made by my Jewish grandmother and they were to die for. I tried to make them myself once, but they just weren’t the same. Although I have to admit, they were pretty awesome! I used nutella as well, instead of making my own filling, and I think it’s hard to go wrong with nutella!

  9. I love this idea of 12 Days of Cookies! Sounds fun and you’re doing a great job so far!! These look yummy and anything with Nutella is BOMB! 🙂

  10. Those look beautiful! AND delicious…they’re picture perfect…things I make NEVER turn out as pretty as I hope they will…What a great addition to a holiday meal!

  11. Cookies look so yummy.. but I have to admit.. I have those exact Vibrams ( I just bought my 3rd pair about a month ago). These by far are my most favorite pair!!! I absolutely loves these shoes. My feet have gotten a lot more muscular and have also lost a half size due to all the excercising I’ve done in them. What an awesome gift!! I hope she enjoys them!!!!

  12. Yum your cookies look absolutely delicious! It has been super cold for outdoor activities. Can you believe I saw kayakers out on the James this weekend? Hardcore! Anyway Kyle and I hiked the Buttermilk Trail during the few hours of sunlight that we had on Saturday. I highly recommend it if you want to get out there this winter, because the bare trees reveal a great view of the river.

  13. Love this! I might have to try it, as my boyfriend is celebrating Chanukah this week.

  14. Wow, looks amazing! And nice that Issac’s mom is always your healthy buddy – I bet that makes eating healthy at holidays a lot easier!

  15. Cara Craves... says:

    They look so delicious!
    And so does your meal.

    Nice teapot!

  16. Looks like a lot of fun! I absolutely adore Nutella. And rugalach for that matter! I just made Nutella sandwich cookies last night for an article on my site for later this week!

  17. Lindsay says:

    I’m a new reader of yours and I just stumbled upon this recipe/post and discovered you’re Jewish? So am I! I love you even more now!!!

  18. thanks for sharing this recipe, it was delicious! 🙂


  1. […] there! Thanks so much for the comments on the homemade Nutella Rugelach. I was incredibly excited to share it with you all! Today, I’m pumped once again to share […]

  2. […] the country as part of the Holiday 2011 collection. How cool would that be? I already submitted my Nutella Rugelach recipe, but I thought you all might be interested in submitting as […]

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