Rugelach: Going a little nutty for breakfast


Borrowing is a grand tradition in baking. As a fan of nut rolls and cinnamon rolls, I had to try making rugelach when I spotted a recipe online.

This cinnamon almond rugelach recipe is adapted from one at, which was adapted from one at These aren't the more formal crescent-shaped rugelach but the easier "cut" version, and the dough relies on cream cheese rather than yeast.

If you've made rugelach before, you probably have a handwritten recipe card with curling edges tucked in a box in the kitchen. This recipe won't compete with grandma's, but it's darn good as a breakfast treat with tea, coffee, or juice.

Be creative in your choice of almonds. The original recipe called for plain slivered almonds. I went with a handful of leftover pumpkin spice almonds (whole, brought down to size in the food processor) and didn't regret it. I'm fairly certain the cocoa-powdered almonds will get their turn, too. The lime and chili almonds or wasabi and soy sauce almonds might be a step too far, but you'll never know until you try.

Cinnamon Almond Rugelach

For the dough:

12 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling and topping:

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons almonds, ground in a food processor or blender

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Cream the butter sticks, cream cheese, salt and sugar with a mixer. Add the flour and mix until combined. If the dough is too sticky, add another tablespoon of flour.

Flatten the dough into a rectangle, then wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Mix the brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Flour a dough-rolling surface and roll the dough in a rectangle to about 9 inches by 24 inches. Don't worry about being exact.

Sprinkle the dough surface with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, reserving about two tablespoons for topping. Spread all of the almonds on the dough and gently press in.

Holding the long side of the dough, roll it into a loose tube like a jelly roll or pinwheel.

Using a serrated knife, cut the log into slices about an inch wide. (The width of your cuts will determine how many pieces you make.)

Place the slices on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Brush the tops with the melted butter and sprinkle the reserved cinnamon-sugar mix on top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Slide the parchment onto a wire rack to cool the rugelach just enough to be eaten.

Store leftovers, loosely covered, at room temperature for up to three days.

— Reach Mel Barber at