Savory Rugelach

October 1, 2010

Well.  These kind of look like pigs in a blanket don’t they?  I don’t really know what pigs in a blanket are – hot dogs in some kind of dough casing, right?  I know I must have had them sometime in my childhood otherwise, how would I know about them?   I brought these to an event I catered and people were surprised when the host announced that my food was vegetarian.  Several people pointed to these little guys with eyebrows raised.

Of course, they are not pigs in a blanket.  They are Cream Cheese, Olive, and Rosemary Rugelach.  Their color comes from a filling of puréed olives with cream cheese.  I first made these years ago for as an appetizer for Christmas dinner.  There is a family we spend every Thanksgiving and Christmas with and have done so since I was three years old.  Once I moved out of the house and started cooking for myself, I got appetizer assignments.  I took my one trusty cookbook and made some of the dips that first year and everyone liked them.  The next year, I branched out a bit and the next a bit more.  Somewhere along the way, I got moved off of appetizers and onto side dishes, desserts, and three years ago, I took over hosting Thanksgiving dinner.

Once I had graduated from dips but had not yet been promoted to more important dishes, I made these rugelach.  I remember having a hard time with them but they were worth the effort because everyone loved them.  The recipe makes a large amount and our relatively small group ate all of them.  For some crazy reason, I had not made them again until last week.  I still had a bit of trouble with them but they are by no means difficult to make.  I am not the best at cutting dough into equal pieces so some of these rolled really easily and some didn’t.  I don’t think I have to tell you that it does not matter because they are delicious and flakey marvels.

Some tips.  The dough and the filling can be made up to two days before but these really are best served the day they are baked.  There is quite a bit of fat in them so they get a little soggy by day two.  There are instructions on how to freeze them in the recipe and I’ll try that next time.  I had way more filling than I needed so I popped that back in the refrigerator and served it a few days later as a dip with crackers.  The original recipe calls for green olives but if you use those, your rugelach won’t look like pigs in a blanket.  The choice is up to you.

Rugelach Previously on Dana Treat: Holly B’s Rugelach
One Year Ago: Soba Noodles with Bok Choy, Scallions, and Ginger
Two Years Ago: Dimply Plum Cake

Cream Cheese, Olive, and Rosemary Rugelach
Adapted from Gourmet
Makes about 50

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups flour
4 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
¾ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. salt

1 cup chopped pitted brine-cured Greek olives, your choice on color
1 cup chopped onion
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature, diced
1 egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)

For Dough:
Blend cream cheese and butter in food processor until combined, scraping down sides of bowl.  Add flour; blend well.  Add rosemary, pepper, and salt; blend.  Gather dough together; divide in half.  Shap each half into flat square.  Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

For Filling:
Using on/off turns, blend olives and onion in processor until finely chopped.  Add cream cheese and blend.  Transfer filling to medium bowl.  Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Roll 1 dough square on floured surface to 14-inch square.  Trim to 12½-inch square.  Cut into five 2½-inch-wide strips, then crosswise into 2½-inch squares (25 total).  Drop 1 rounded teaspoon filling onto each square; spread almost to edges.  Starting at 1 corner, roll each square into cylinder, enclosing filling.  Curve ends in to form crescents; arrange on 1 baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining dough squares and filling.  Brush with glaze.

Bake rugelach until golden brown, about 35 minutes.  Cool on sheets.  (Can be made 3 days ahead.  Cool completely.  Cover and freeze on sheets.  Rewarm frozen rugelach uncovered in 325º oven until heated through, about 12 minutes.)  Serve warm or room temperature.


  1. Do you think the dough and filling would come out weird if I used low fat cream cheese?

    Comment by Erica — October 1, 2010 @ 12:51 am

  2. My family will totally freak out if I bring these to a holiday. I stopped eating hot dogs about, oh a decade and a half ago, and ever since they have been on a mission to get me to start again. I’ll fool them at least at first sight with these babies. But then by the first bite, they’ll be in love. I’m sure.

    Comment by Joanne — October 1, 2010 @ 3:43 am

  3. This looks delicious and it’s unusual. But how can you go wrong with olives and cream cheese? I may have found another thing I must make for my Thanksgiving feast.

    Comment by Charlotte — October 1, 2010 @ 5:03 am

  4. oooohhhhh, savory rugelach!!!!
    I love it!

    Comment by stacey snacks — October 1, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

  5. These look spectacularly delicious! They are exactly the kind of thing that I wolf down in multiples at parties so I’m not surprised they disappeared so fast! I can imagine that I’d have trouble with them too though.

    Comment by Angharad — October 1, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

  6. I’ve never been drawn in to making sweet rugelach, but this savory version is very intriguing. The rosemary in the dough sounds great, and I love that everyone questioned its vegetarian-ness.

    Comment by lisaiscooking — October 1, 2010 @ 2:52 pm

  7. These look way more exciting than pigs in a blanket! I’m thinking these will be great for a Holiday appetizer party! Thanks for sharing :)

    Comment by natalie (the sweets life) — October 1, 2010 @ 5:05 pm

  8. Ooh, I’m so intrigued by these. Have been playing around with more savory baking…seems like the perfect compliment with tomato or squash soup. Unfortunately, we’ve got a few weeks here in the Bay Area until it’ll feel like fall. Happy weekend, Dana!

    Comment by Megan Gordon — October 2, 2010 @ 4:24 am

  9. […] (Image via Dana Treat) […]

    Pingback by Fall is the Best Season for Cooking | DigginFood — October 4, 2010 @ 10:51 am

  10. I love a pretty do ahead appetizer!

    Comment by leslie — October 4, 2010 @ 4:03 pm

  11. I don’t think I have ever had Rugelach, but a savory version is perfect. We do an “all appetizers” Christmas Eve, so I am bookmarking these for then!

    Comment by fresh365 — October 4, 2010 @ 9:20 pm

  12. Those look so tempting!

    Comment by Cherine — October 5, 2010 @ 6:18 am

  13. I am definitely going to make this for my dear friend’s baby shower. Thank you!

    Comment by ~S~ — October 5, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

  14. I love sweet rugelach and have wanted to try savoury rugelach for a while so seeing this recipe on your blog is exciting! I make rugelach at Christmas every year and can never get all my pieces to be the same size… some are giant and some are tiny, but all are delicious!

    Comment by Ashley — October 24, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

  15. I made these the other weekend, but instead of making the dough I used up some leftover phyllo with the recipe for the filling. It was delicious!!

    Comment by Erica — November 1, 2010 @ 6:13 pm

  16. These have been THE hit at my holiday get-togethers – the vegetarians and meat eaters alike dive into them!

    Comment by Jane — November 14, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

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