Special Edition Sweet Tooth Friday: Grandma Harriet's Rugelach

Grandma Harriet

Grandma Harriet

This week, I decided to roll my Nonna recipe and Sweet Tooth Friday all into one sweet rugelach; I mean, blog post.  This recipe is extra special to me because it was given to me by one of the best Nonnas I know; Harriet Marks-Nelson, my husband’s wonderful grandmother.

Grandma Harriet is an amazing cook.  Packed with years of experience and even more love, her recipes are a wonderful mix of Jewish and Italian cooking.  Although she was raised in a Jewish home and learned to create many family specialties, she married an Italian man and continued her culinary ‘education,’ with a mother-in-law that showed her how to cook like a true Italian.  So, her food is true melting pot.  She beats an egg and throws it into her Matzo Ball soup!  More on that recipe later…

For now, here is the recipe for her delicious Rugelach, a rolled cookie with a delicious sugar/nut filling.  In honor of Grandma Harriet, I also made a filling of chocolate Nutella to again, mix the Jewish and the Italian.  Try her's, try mine.  Buon Appetito!

Grandma Harriet’s Rugelach


Prep time:         Total time: 

8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz unsalted butter, softened
2 cups flour

  1. Put cream cheese, butter and flour in food processor and blend until just combined.  Grandma Harriet mixes hers by hand.
  2. Scoop soft dough onto a floured surface and knead into a ball. 
  3. Refrigerate for one hour.
  4. Remove from fridge and cut into four equal pieces.  Place each piece in between parchment or wax paper into a 1/8 in circle.
  5. Place back in the fridge for another ½ hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Remove top piece of parchment and sprinkle about ¾ cup filling over the dough, leaving a 1/8 inch border.
  8. Cut the circle into 16 pieces, resembling pizza slices.
  9. Roll each slice from the outside to the center point.
  10. Place each piece about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet and bake for 22 minutes until golden brown.


1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups finely chopped pecans or walnuts

  1. Mix sugars and nuts together.

Italian filling

1 cup Nutella
3 T milk
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted

  1. Mix nutella and milk to thin out the Nutella.  Spread Nutella on dough.  Sprinkle chocolate chips and finely chopped hazelnuts.  Roll and bake as directed.