These cinnamon cranberry rugelach are extremely popular this time of year. The dough is easy to work with and so forgiving. And the filling with cinnamon and dried cranberries is downright festive without being fussy or overthought. My mom and I have made this recipe (from Anna Olson) a lot of times (like for the last 10 years) and we used to follow her directions exactly. We’d take the time to divide the dough into 8 pieces, and then roll each piece into 8 discs, and then cut each disk into 8 triangles, and then roll each of the 8 triangles into 8 crescent cookies, just like Anna Olson suggests. It was A LOT OF WORK and to be quite honest, half of the crescents would come out of the oven looking not-so-crescent-like and pretty darn ugly! Then one year, it dawned on me that there is an easier way to make all these cookies. We finally abandoned the crescent shape a few years ago because it just wasn’t very user-friendly and we simplified the rolling and cutting significantly. Now these cookies can be whipped up in minutes. Their rolled and cut the way you would make cinnamon rolls or sticky buns. Literally. And you won’t break your back rolling and shaping 64 crescents. The new version of the recipe makes slightly less, which means bigger rugelach. That’s a good thing, if you ask me.
Cinnamon cranberry rugelach
These rugelach are made with a cream cheese dough that is very easy to work with. They are filled with cinnamon, dried cranberry, vanilla, and walnuts. They are very popular on Christmas cookie trays!
- 230 grams unsalted butter 1 cup, room temperature
- 250 grams Philadelphia cream cheese 1 block
- 375 grams all purpose flour 3 cups
- ¼ tsp salt
Filling (note this might make extra filling but I'd rather have too much than too little)
- 170 grams lightly toasted walnuts 1 1/2 cups
- 160 grams dried cranberries 1 cup
- 200 grams granulated sugar 1 cup
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tsp whipping cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Cinnamon sugar topping
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp whipping cream
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together. Wrap and chill dough for at least 2 hours.
In a food processor, combine walnuts with dried cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, cream, and vanilla extract . Pulse mixture until it is ground fairly fine and evenly mixed.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cut dough into 4, and shape each into a square. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll dough into a rectangle that is approximately 13 x 7 inches on a lightly floured surface.
Sprinkle cranberry filling mixture generously over surface of dough and press lightly. Roll fairly tightly into a 13 inch log, seam-side down.
In a small bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and the cinnamon to make the topping. Brush the log with cream and sprinkle top generously with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Cut into 12 or 13 pieces (a cut every inch or so). Transfer rugelach to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them about an inch, keeping the seam-side of each cookie down.
Bake cookies until they are golden brown (this takes at least 20 minutes and even more depending on the size of your cookies).
This recipe is adapted from an Anna Olson recipe (note that the original recipe makes 64, that’s SIXTY FOUR, rugelach, and not the 24 the recipe on the Food Network Canada site claims! What a typo!).