Ruggies (Aunt Linda’s Rugalach)

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 5.5
  • Prep 25 mins
  • Cook 20 mins

Make your own tradition -- fill a cookie with candy.

These traditional Jewish cookies are normally filled with jam and nuts, but you can use your favorites candies instead. Recipe reprinted with permission from Lauren Bank Deen's Kitchen Playdates (Chronicle Books, 2007).


1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 pounds unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 pounds each of about 4 candies such as Rolos, Heath Bars, M&M's, yogurt raisins or chocolate-covered raisins
1 (15-ounce) jar raspberry or apricot jam
2 cups walnuts, finely ground
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups confectioners' sugar


  1. To prepare dough, cream together cream cheese and butter using a mixer. In a separate bowl, whisk salt into flour. Mixing on the lowest speed, add flour mixture to cream cheese mixture about 1 cup at a time, until a creamy dough forms. Divide dough into 4 pieces and shape into rounds. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or freeze 20 minutes.
  2. To prepare filling, place each type of candy separately into a food processor. Pulse to form coarse chunks. (Or place candies in plastic bags and crush with a rolling pin.) If using apricot jam, blend in a food processor or strain so that no lumps of apricot remain.
  3. Mix walnuts, granulated sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
  4. Preheat oven to 325F.
  5. Tape waxed paper or parchment over a work surface. Remove one dough round at a time from refrigerator. Sprinkle a little flour on rolling surface and sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of walnut mixture over flour.
  6. Gently roll out dough into a 1/4-inch thick circle, about 8 to 10 inches in diameter, pressing walnut mixture into dough as you roll. Spread a very thin layer of jam over rolled dough. Cover entire surface with chopped candy and sprinkle with more walnut mixture. Gently press fillings into dough with your hands or large spatula.
  7. With a pizza cutter or knife, slice dough circle into 16 to 18 pie-shaped wedges, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide at the widest part. Pick up outside edge and tightly roll towards the center, pressing and tucking the tip under and the fillings back in if they are pushed out. Sprinkle with more walnut mixture. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Continue rolling the dough until you have used it up. Repeat with remaining dough rounds and filling.
  8. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the rugalach are golden brown and filling is bubbling. Transfer to a cooling rack. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Lauren Bank Deen’s Kitchen Playdates (Chronicle Books, 2007).



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