Cranberry-Walnut Rugelach Belongs in Your Holiday Dessert Spread

This expert rugelach recipe from Main Course Catering in New Paltz is perfect for the holidays, with a tasty cranberry-walnut filling.

‘Tis the season for all things sugarplum sweet in the Hudson Valley. As any dessert lover knows, there’s nothing like a cookie or pastry to add to the most festive time of the year. While mainstays like chocolate chip and jam thumbprint cookies are perennial favorites, consider switching things up at your next holiday baking party by adding rugelach to the recipe lineup.

What is rugelach, you ask? The sweet dessert has Jewish and Polish roots and is a mashup of a cookie and a strudel (in other words, it’s an absolute must-try). While it’s often crafted with a sticky-sweet fruit and nut or chocolate filling, there’s no time like the holidays to lean into seasonal flavors like cranberry and walnut.

This festive recipe for cranberry-walnut rugelach comes courtesy of Bruce Kazan of Main Course Catering & Marketplace in New Paltz. “Rugelach is a great sweet to add to your holiday cookie list: easy to make, beautiful to look at, and delicious to eat,” Kazan says. Whether you’re looking for a unique treat to bring to a cookie swap or a standout dessert to make after the main meal ends, take a stab at this Ulster County cookie just in time for the holidays.

Note: Want to make these on the same day as your seasonal get-together? The dough for this rugelach recipe requires at least two hours of chilling, so consider starting these in the morning or even the night before to make sure that everything comes together in time.

Cranberry-Walnut Rugelach

Course: DessertCuisine: PolishDifficulty: Medium
Servings

16

servings
Prep time

2

hours 
Cooking time

35

minutes
Total time

2

hours 

35

minutes

Recipe courtesy of Bruce Kazan, Main Course Catering & Marketplace, New Paltz

Ingredients

  • For the dough
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 8 oz cream cheese

  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • For the filling
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

  • ½ cup brandy

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 1 egg, whisked

Directions

  • For the dough
  • In a food processor, combine butter, cream cheese, sugar, and salt. Add flour, and pulse until dough forms. Divide into 2 disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
  • For the filling
  • Bring cranberries, brandy, cinnamon, and ½ cup water to a boil. Simmer for about 7 minutes. Pulse until finely chopped.  Stir in walnuts and sugar.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • On a floured surface, roll out dough into 12” circle. Spread half the filling over each circle and cut into 16 wedges.
  • Starting with the wide edge of each, roll up each wedge.
  • Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Brush with egg and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

P.S. Looking for even more holiday cookie recipes? In addition to this cranberry-walnut rugelach, try your hand at treats like white chocolate snowflakes, billionaire shortbread cookies, easy-peasy chocolate bark, or chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies. They’re sure to make your season merry and bright!

Related: 6 Sweet Holiday Cookie Recipes Made for Gifting in the Hudson Valley

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