Day 9: Poppy Seed Rugelach

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Welcome to Day 9 of 12 Days of Christmas!


Are you tired of cookies yet? Only a few more days left, but I hope I’ve inspired a few of you to try some of these recipes. I for one love cookies. I could probably live on cookies. I can’t stop shoving cookies in my mouth. I keep saying this cookie is my favorite or this one, but the truth is, I love all cookies. I’m an equal opportunity cookie lover, if that even makes sense.

I should just open a bakery and sell my cookies, at least then I wouldn’t have to eat them all, which I try and not eat them all by giving them away. But I have a thing about giving away food I make. I’m shy. I’m scared the person I give them to won’t like them, or they’ll say they like them just to make me feel better. So I try to overcome my fears by giving more food away to friends. I’m so weird.

Anywho, these rugelach cookies are a bit different than my usual ones, in the sense that I usually make them with jam, or nutella, or nuts, can’t say I’ve ever made them with poppy seeds. But see I’m from Eastern Europe, and us Eastern Europeans love our poppy seeds. So these cookies I love! I’m all about poppy seeds, you know they go perfectly with coffee or tea. Just make sure you look in the mirror after you eat them, to check for poppy seeds in your teeth. That’s it I’m done, that’s all the advice I got for you.

Oh and go make these, they’re good!


Poppy Seed Rugelach
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 36
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature (preferably natural cream cheese without stabilizers)
  • 1¾ cups all purpose flour, sifted, plus extra for rolling
  • 1⅔ cups black poppy seeds
  • ¾ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon zest plus 1½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • all purpose flour, for dusting
  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and salt. Add the cream cheese in large pieces and mix on medium-low speed until combined.
  2. Turn off the mixer, add the flour and reduce the speed to low, mixing until the dough is shaggy and has a few dry spots but starts to gather around the paddle into a ball, about 1 minute. Use a rubber spatula to transfer the dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap. Fold the plastic wrap over the dough and use the plastic wrap to help shape the dough into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Add the poppy seeds to a small sauce pan. Add the honey, water, lemon zest and juice, orange zest and juice, and sea salt, and set over medium-low heat. Stir the mixture together and cook until the mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate until completely chilled.
  4. Roll the dough: Lightly flour your work surface and place the chilled dough on top. Flour the top of the dough and roll it into a ¼-inch-thick rectangle with the short end facing you. Use a pastry brush to remove any excess flour from the top of the dough, then fold the dough into thirds like a business letter, folding the top third down first and then the bottom third up and over the top. Turn the dough so the open end faces left, then roll the dough into a ¼-inch-thick rectangle again. Repeat the three-step process 2 more times. Cut the dough in half to form 3 pieces. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour or overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside. Lightly flour the work surface and roll a piece of the chilled dough into a 12-inch circle (place a 12-inch cake pan or the ring from a 12-inch tart pan on top of the dough and trim around it for a perfect circle). Lightly moisten the edge of the dough (about ½ inch around the perimeter) with some of the beaten egg and dollop ⅓ of the poppy seed filling over the surface of the dough, using an offset spatula to spread the filling into an even layer that just reaches the egg-washed border. Use a pizza wheel or chef's knife to divide the circle into quarters. Slice each quarter into 3 so that you have 12 small triangles. Starting at their wide ends, roll up each triangle. Place the rugelach on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet so the small tip is on the underside of the rugelach. Repeat with the remaining triangles.
  7. Brush the rugelach with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with the spiced sugar. Bake until the rugelach are nicely browned, about 30 minutes. While the cookies are baking, repeat with the remaining pieces of dough and filling. Cool the cookies on a wire rack completely.


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  1. RP says

    I’m going to try these with crescent roll dough. I plan to make a mixture of honey and whipped cream cheese, then after spreading a layer of the cheese mixture, sprinkle the poppy seeds on and rolls them up!

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