Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies for a #Cookielicious Holiday Treat!

Certain things pair perfectly together. Apples and cinnamon. Puppies and toddlers. Blue jeans and white T-shirts.  High heels with a little black dress. Cast iron skillets and cornbread and during the holidays, cranberries and oranges!  These Cranberry Orange Rugelach cookies signal the start of holiday baking in our house!  The smell of orange zest and warm cranberry jam means it’s time to break out the Christmas decorations and have a sing-along of our favorite Christmas carols!

Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies

“Hark the Herald Angels Sing!”  “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree!” and the not-so-traditional “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer!”  Kids gathered around the kitchen table, dipping their fingers into the fresh jam and darting away as I lean over to swat their hands.  Traditions.  It’s what makes the holidays so special!  Don’t let these cookies intimidate you.  They are much easier to make than they look! Even the dough goes together quickly. It’s all done in a food processor. Seriously!

First, add the butter and flour to the bowl of your food processor.

Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies

Process until the mixture resembles wet sand. After that, add salt, sour cream and cold cream cheese and pulse until the dough just comes together. It’s going to be a very shaggy dough and should look something like this:

Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies

Dump the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and shape it into a circle.

Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies
Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies

Wrap the plastic around the dough and set it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or up to overnight.)
Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies

Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies

When the dough is completely chilled, divide it into two equal portions. Using one portion at a time, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle. For me, the hardest part of these cookies is rolling the dough into a perfect circle.  To make it easier, I gently press a 12″-inch round dinner plate lightly on the dough, then use a pizza cutter to trim the edges.

Cranberry Orange Rugelach Circles
Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies

See? Easy! Using that same pizza cutter, cut the dough circle into 16 wedges. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect (mine aren’t) just do your best to get them even.

Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies

Cutting the dough before you add the filling makes it easier to separate the wedges when you’re ready to roll them up. It also keeps your pizza cutter from getting sticky from the jam filling.  Speaking of filling, let’s start assembling these cookies! Cranberry jam goes on first. Spread the jam nearly to the edges of your dough circle. Top with jam with crushed walnuts and fresh orange zest.

Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies

Very gently pull one of your wedges away from the circle. You can use an offset spatula to slide under the dough in order to help pull it free. Think of it as pulling out a piece of pie! Roll up each wedge to form the rugelach, starting at the wide end and rolling toward the pointed end.

Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies

Transfer the rugelach to a lined baking sheet and finish rolling the rest of the wedges. Brush the tops of the rugelach with beaten egg, then sprinkle with a dusting of sugar.

Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies

Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until the cookies are a light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack before serving!

Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies

When the cookies are fresh out of the oven, zest a little extra orange peel over the top for a fun pop of color.  These Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies are perfect for any holiday table from breakfast, to brunch to afternoon tea and of course, you’ll want to take them to your holiday cookie exchange!

Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies

Don’t they look festive?

Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies for a #Cookielicious Celebration

The perfect holiday flavor pairing of cranberries and oranges rolled into a flaky cookie dough for a #SundaySupper #Cookielicious celebration of the season!

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" slices
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons sour cream
  • 8 oz (1 block) cream cheese, chilled and cut into 1" cubes
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar, as needed for sprinkling
  • 1 cup cranberry jam
  • Zest of one large orange, divided
  • For the Cranberry Orange Jam:
  • 5 oz dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons dark spiced rum

Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a food processor.

Process until the butter is incorporated and the mixture has the consistency of wet sand, 30-45 seconds.

Add salt, sour cream and cream cheese and pulse until mixture comes together in a rough dough.

Turn out the dough on a piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a disc about 3/4" thick.

Wrap the dough well with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.

While the dough is chilling, process the walnuts in the same bowl of your food processor, until coarsely ground. Set aside.

While the dough is still chilling, soak dried cranberries in orange juice for 15 minutes.

Put rehydrated cranberries and all the juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add sugar, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, rum and half the orange zest.

Stir well to combine.

Bring mixture to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 10- 15 minutes or until mixture has a jam-like consistency.

Use an immersion blender to blend everything together and get rid of any big chunks. You can also use a regular blender if you don't have an immersion stick!

Set the jam aside and allow to cool slightly.

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Divide the chilled dough into two equal portions.

Working with one portion at a time, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle.

Use a 12" dinner plate to lightly press on the dough to help form a perfect circle.

Trim the dough into a perfect circle with a pizza wheel or small, sharp knife.

Using the same knife or pizza wheel, cut the dough into 16 equal wedges.

Spread half the cooled cranberry jam over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle half of the ground walnuts over the jam.

Sprinkle half the remaining orange zest over the walnuts, being careful not to spread too close to the outer edges of the dough.

Working with one piece at a time, roll each wedge to form the rugelach, starting at the wide end and rolling toward the pointed end.

Transfer the rugelach to the lined baking sheets and continue shaping the remaining wedges.

Repeat rolling and shaping with the remaining dough and fillings.

Brush the tops of the rugelach with the beaten egg and sprinkle lightly with a bit of sugar.

Bake 16-20 minutes or until the cookies are a light, golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack before serving!


This is my favorite time of year.  I love all the baking and delicious meals I get to prepare for my family and friends!  Speaking of family,  I’m thrilled to share with you that I’ve joined the Sunday Supper movement!  Sunday Supper was a tradition when our kids were growing up.  It didn’t matter what else was happening, everyone had to be home  for dinner Sunday night.  No excuses. It was the one day we’d all be able to sit down, catch up and have a good meal together.  It was also the only day of the week I made dessert!  Our children are all grown now and mostly out of the house.  With the addition of grandchildren, (Mini Sous 2.0 is due in May!)  family meals have become even more important.  I want to share stories, games, laughter and favorite recipes with my adult children and help create memories and traditions to carry forward for future generations! Throughout the next year, look for plenty of recipes to share with family and friends and stories of the importance of gathering together around a table to share this beautiful life with each other.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise my first post for #SundaySupper should involve cookies!  I swear I didn’t plan it, it just happened.  The timing says to me, that I’m doing the right thing! I mean, really!  Sara and cookies! That’s a classic combination y’all!  There should be coffee too, but let’s start with the cookies! Ha! My new #SundaySupper friends have put together all their favorite #Cookielicious treats for a huge cookie exchange party and Twitter chat and since you’re all family,  you’re all invited!  Here’s the official invitation:

Join us for a #Cookielicious chat at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday, Dec. 1, on Twitter We will be sharing tips for cooking baking along with stories about our favorite family recipes. Follow the #Cookielicious hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great cookies recipes, check out our Cookie Jar Pinterest board.  Hope to see y’all there!

Cranberry Orange Rugelach Cookies

Check out ALL the delicious cookie recipes from these great #SundaySupper bloggers! Leave a comment below and tell me which cookie recipe you’re most looking forward to making! Happy holidays and happy baking my friends!!

Plus, 20 Cookie Baking Tips and Holiday Cookie recipes from Sunday Supper

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