December 5th, 2014

Rugelach Bars & a Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange

If you’re looking for some delicious Christmas cookie ideas, you’ve come to the right place! I’m teaming up with some fabulous bloggers today for a virtual Christmas cookie exchange, so be sure to visit everyone on the list. You’re sure to find some new favorites to add to your Christmas cookie tray.

Christmas cookies

Today I’m sharing Rugelach Bars. I love traditional rugelach. I really love when my friend Debbie makes it and shares with us during the holidays, because her rugelach is fabulous. I’ve always shied away from making it myself, because it seems so labor intensive. So when I came across the idea for Rugelach Bars, I was hopeful. They turned out even better than I expected, with the perfect amount of filling and a nice flaky crust.

Rugelach Bars

I filled mine with a mixture of pecans, dried cherries and chocolate and it was a great combination of flavors, but you could certainly make substitutions with other nuts and dried fruit. You do want to make sure your dough is well chilled, or it can be a bit sticky when you go to roll it out. Of course, if the dough is too cold it’s hard to roll…..just use some muscle, or if you need to work with the dough a bit softer, make sure your surfaces and rolling pin are well floured and you’ll be fine.

You do need to roll the dough fairly thin, but yes, it is enough to make a 9×13 pan. Of course, I’ll still happily accept Debbie’s homemade rugelach, but I’m thrilled to know I can make my own version too!

Rugelach Bars

Preparation 30 Cook Time 30 Total Time 0:00


  • 1 cup pecans
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus 3 tablespoons melted for filling
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 finely chopped dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons sanding sugar, or granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup cold butter and the cream cheese with an electric mixer on low speed until the cream cheese is broken down but butter is still chunky.
  3. Add the flour and salt, and mix on low speed until dough is crumbly and just beginning to hold together, about 20 seconds. There should still be some small pieces of butter visible.
  4. Divide dough into two equal parts. Form each part into a flattened rectangle, and wrap in plastic wrap. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 3-4 hours.
  5. Finely chop toasted pecans. Add to a medium bowl along with 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, chopped dried cherries, mini chocolate chips, orange zest, corn syrup, and melted butter. Stir to coat everything well.
  6. Beat egg yolk with the water, and set aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  8. Generously flour half of the dough and place it between two pieces of waxed paper; roll into a rectangle the size of the baking pan.
  9. Line baking pan with dough. If needed, trim the edges of the dough to fit the pan. Spread evenly with pecan mixture.
  10. Roll remaining dough into a rectangle the size of the baking pan; place on top of the filling. Trim edges of dough again, if needed.
  11. Brush the top of dough with egg yolk mixture, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden, 30-35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into bars to serve.
Be sure to check out all of these cookies from some of your favorite bloggers! There are so many I can’t wait to try!


Caramel Filled Chewy Ginger Cookies from 365 Days of Slow Cooking Italian Anisette Cookies from A Family Feast Cranberry Orange Nut Cookies from Apron Strings Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Stuffed Cookies from Barbara Bakes Soft Pumpkin Cookies + Pumpkin Spice Kisses from Bless this Mess Soft Maple Sugar Cookies from Crumbs and Chaos Graham Cracker Log from Hoosier Homemade Rugelach Bars from Let’s Dish Pepper Jelly Cornmeal Thumbprints from Letty’s Kitchen Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies from Love from the Oven Linzer Cookies from Mandy’s Recipe Box Surprise-inside Christmas Stocking from Munchkin Munchies Chocolate M&M Cookies from Oh, Sweet Basil White Chocolate Pecan Snowball Cookies from Rose Bakes Chocolate Toffee Cranberry Cookies from Taste and Tell White Chocolate Cherry Almond Bars from Your Homebased Mom Spiced Eggnog Cookies from Will Cook for Smiles One last thing, since we’re talking about cookies today, and cookies and milk go hand in hand. But there are so many who will go without milk this holiday season, and beyond. So please consider visiting to donate just one gallon of milk to the Great American Milk Drive to help someone in need. When you donate, you type in your zip code and the donation you make will be distributed to a food bank in your area, so you know your good will is going to benefit someone in your very own community. Thank you!


Who Dished It Up First: Rugelach  Bars adapted from Martha Stewart.



  1. LOVING this pecan, cherry and chocolate combo!! I also love that they are in bar form 😉

  2. Oooh – I’ve never had Rugelach with dried cherries before – I’ve got to try this recipe! And yes – the convenience of a bar cookie makes it even better! Great recipe!!

  3. I’ve never tried Rugelach before but it looks fantastic! I’m making a big list of new cookies to try!

  4. I love the addition of the cherries!! And, amazing round up of cookies 🙂

  5. Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes says:

    I can’t wait to try these!! You have no idea how excited this recipe makes me! 🙂

  6. Love this recipe Danelle! What a great idea to turn Rugelach into a bar cookie!


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