gingerbread rugelach recipe
Photo credit Sonya Sanford

Iced Gingerbread Rugelach Recipe

A Jewish twist on seasonal, soft-baked gingerbread.

Though often associated with Christmas, the tradition of the intricately decorated gingerbread house is one I’ve always loved. The warm spiced cookies adorned with frosting and fun candy decorations create the types of homes a kid could only dream of living inside. But who’s to say we can’t incorporate this fun Yuletide bake into something a little more… Jewish? I love soft-baked gingerbread cookies, so I thought turning gingerbread into rugelach, a cookie traditionally enjoyed at this time of year, was the perfect solution.

When developing the perfect filling for these cookies, I opted for something subtle but reminiscent of classic winter flavors. I tested this recipe with multiple preserves and curds, but preferred orange marmalade most. However, Mrs. Darlington’s Cranberry and Orange Curd was delicious as well. The truth is that fruity flavors pair beautifully with gingerbread, so you can’t really go wrong. 

Depending on how you want to use the icing (drizzled or decorated), you can easily adjust the thickness by adding more sugar or more milk. For a sturdier icing, adding more powdered sugar will make it easier to make more intricate decorations. If you prefer to just drizzle the icing, adding more milk will allow the icing to fall and drape over the cookies more effortlessly. Either way, both options will dry down relatively quickly. Adding candies and sprinkles is optional but definitely makes for a fun activity for kids.

Note: These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, or five if refrigerated.

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gingerbread rugelach recipe
Photo credit Sonya Sanford

Iced Gingerbread Rugelach Recipe

A Jewish twist on seasonal, soft-baked gingerbread.

  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: ~ 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

Scale

For the rugelach dough:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground allspice

For the filling:

  • orange marmalade or fruit preserve of choice

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp milk

For the icing:

  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 24 Tbsp milk
  • sprinkles, to decorate (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer, cream together cream cheese, butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  2. Add in molasses and vanilla extract until incorporated and smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together  flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and mix until the dough has come together (it will be soft, but it shouldn’t be sticky). If the dough is very soft and/or sticky, add up to an extra ½ cup flour.
  5. Refrigerate and cover for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
  6. Remove the dough from the fridge. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Divide dough in half, and roll out one half on a floured surface into a large, very thin rectangle (about ⅛ inch thick) with the longer side facing you.
  8. Using a spoon or an offset spatula, spread orange marmalade or preserve-of-choice across the entire slab of dough in a very thin layer.
  9. Very carefully, take one of the shorter sides of the rectangle and fold the dough in half.
  10. Roll out your folded dough again into a rectangle until it’s around ⅛-inch thick. (You may lose some filling out of the sides but that’s ok.)
  11. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, slice your dough into 12 triangles by cutting from one side of your rectangle to the other. The widest part of your triangle should be about 2 inches.
  12. Starting at the base of each triangle, tightly roll the dough and place the cookie on your baking sheet, tip-side down, so that it doesn’t unroll in the oven.
  13. Whisk together 1 egg and 1 Tbsp milk, and brush over each of the cookies before baking for 20-25 minutes.
  14. Repeat steps 7-13 with the second half of your dough.

Notes

Note: These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, or five if refrigerated.

  • Author: Hannah Paperno
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Holiday

5 comments

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  • Vicki

    As a diabetic, I can adapt this recipe for me, except I’m not sure what I could substitue for molasses. Any suggestions? Thanks

    • The Nosher

      There is such a no-sugar molasses product you can find here, but you could also try maple syrup or sorghum syrup as alternatives. Hope this helps!

  • Sara Lampert

    The dough needs a lot more flour because it was way too sticky and hard to roll. Dimensions for the rectangle, other than 1/8 “ thick, would be helpful. It was also hard to fold in half because of the stickiness. Had to keep flouring the dough. The Gingerbread Rugelach came out okay, but not as nicely folded over in appearance as in the photo. I drizzled chocolate on them.

  • Davida

    Where is the rest of the recipe? How long are you supposed to cook it and at what temperature? Thanks!

  • Davida

    Ok. I found the answers to my questions now with more careful reading, but I think the recipe might be more clear if it were written in a way that called out the temperature and baking time in a different way. I thought I was missing a page! 🤪

    Thanks! I’m looking forward to making the dough tomorrow!

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