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Cherry pistachio rugelach

Cherry pistachio rugelach
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Beyond the colorful decorations and after the initial rush of sugar, holiday cookies are about memories and tradition. Be they humble or ornate, our baked goods are used to celebrate and give thanks -- thanks for our childhoods, the blessings ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, plus chilling time for the dough | Makes 32 cookies


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (9.5 ounces) flour, sifted

Step 1In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla, and beat well.

Step 2Add the flour, and mix until just combined. Remove the dough to a well-floured surface and roll into a ball. Cut the ball into quarters and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Refrigerate to firm up the dough, at least 30 minutes (or freeze at least 15 minutes).

Cherry pistachio rugelach

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 cup pistachios, finely chopped in a food processor
  • 1/2 cup black cherry preserves, quickly pulsed in a food processor until smooth
  • Zest of 1 orange, or to taste
  • Rugelach dough, refrigerated until ready to use
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar (3 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon, blended)
  • 1 egg, beaten (to use as an egg wash)

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2In a small bowl, combine the brown and granulated sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and pistachios. In another small bowl, stir together the preserves and orange zest.

Step 3Take one dough quarter out of the refrigerator and roll it out on a well-floured surface to a circle about 9 inches in diameter (use a 9- to 10-inch cake pan as a guide, if you have one, to make perfect circles).

Step 4Spread 2 tablespoons of the preserves in a thin layer over the dough, then sprinkle one-fourth cup of the pistachio mixture over the preserves, lightly pressing it into the preserves.

Step 5Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the circle into 8 wedges. Roll each wedge into a crescent shape, rolling from the outside in toward the point.

Step 6Place the rugelach on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, point-side down, spaced an inch or two apart. Brush with egg wash. Sprinkle each with a bit of cinnamon sugar.

Step 7Bake the rugelach, one tray at a time, until lightly golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Rotate halfway through baking for even coloring.

Note: Adapted from Samantha Ferraro.


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