by hungryrabbit on December 3, 2010


Hanukkah started at sun down on this past Wednesday. To no surprise,   the chatter among my Twitter community is all about the food that they will prepare for this festive holiday. Latkes, matzo ball soup and even sufganiya, jelly doughnut, are some of the hot topics of the week. Granted I lived in New York and am familiar with the Jewish food culture, but I’m certainly no expert in cooking the dishes. Most Jewish households have their own favorite recipes, past down for generations or cookbooks written by experts such as Joan Nathan.

Since this is also Cookie Week, I will stick to my goyim approach and do what I know best. Rugelach is one of my favorite cookies. Biting into a slightly crispy sugary exterior, you will encounter a tender buttery dough wrapped fruit and/or nut filling. At that point, all I make are ooh and aah sounds until I recover.

Another ingredient that can produce the same reward would have to be Nutella, a hazelnut chocolate spread. This is also an ingredient that has a huge following in Twitterverse. Many have made delicious bake goods that highlight the seductive capability of Nutella. So I say, why not make Rugetella–rugelach with nutella filling?


Since Nutella is produced as a spread, it oozes out of a typical rolled up crescent shape rugelach, so I use a different technique. A sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts and Nutella spread sandwiched between two sheets of rugelach dough, baked in a baking pan until golden and slighty crispy. Unlike a bar cookie, Rugetella has a softer body, I cut them into small finger-size stripes to prevent them from crumbling.

Bake these Rugetella to celebrate Hanukkah, but since Nutella is a spread that everyone loves, why not archive this recipe and baked the Rugetella whenever you have the urge to hit that special spot. Have a wonderful holiday season and bake something special for your friends and family.


recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
make 24 1×3-3/4-inch bars


6 ounces (1-1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 ounces cream cheese
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 cup toasted hazelnuts
1/2 cup Nutella
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons sanding sugar, or granulated sugar

1. Place 1-1/2 sticks butter and the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the cream cheese is broken down but butter is still chunky. On low speed, add flour and salt, and mix until crumbly and just beginning to hold together, about 20 seconds. There should still be some small pieces of butter visible. Divide dough into two equal parts. Form each part into a flattened rectangle, and wrap in plastic wrap. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill 5 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350℉. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet; toast until golden and fragrant, 10 to 15 minutes. Wrap hazelnuts in tea towel and rub vigorously to get skin off. Finely chop hazelnuts

3. In a small bowl, add Nutella and chopped hazelnuts, stir to combine. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolk with the water, and set aside.set aside.

4. Lined a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper so it’ll have a 2-inch over hang along the length of the pan. Place a rectangle of dough between two 9-by-13-inch pieces of waxed paper; roll dough into a rectangle the size of the baking pan. Line prepared baking pan with dough. Spread dough evenly with Nutella nut mixture. Roll remaining rectangle of dough into a rectangle the size of the baking pan; place on top. Trim the edges of the dough so they are even. Brush the top of dough with eggyolk mixture, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden, about 30-35 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into 24 rectangles, approximately 1 x 3-3/4 inches each.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian @ A Thought For Food December 3, 2010 at 8:00 am

These make my heart go pitterpatter… I LOVE THEM! Nutella, rugelach… BRILLIANT!

By the way, that top photo… stunning, Ken!

foodwanderings December 3, 2010 at 8:21 am

Love the name!! Very catchy!! The pics are gorgeous as usual babe!! Having my first sip of coffee, so please could you please send some?

Victoria (District Chocoholic) December 3, 2010 at 8:24 am

Mmm….visible pieces of butter…

justcooknyc December 3, 2010 at 8:51 am

i’m pretty sure i have everything in the house to make this right now — looks awesome

Jamie December 3, 2010 at 8:57 am

YES! YES! YES! And every Jew I know would be falling at your feet for these fabulous goodies! Will you be my best friend now? Brilliant, Ken! You are now an honorary Jew! Happy Hanukkah!

Meeta December 3, 2010 at 9:14 am

Genius! I think you need to pay us in these sweet treats when you come to the P2P ;o) These look amazing Ken. Love the easy strips.

Basia December 3, 2010 at 9:21 am

Rugetella, I like it. Destined to be its own classic!

Daydreamer Desserts December 3, 2010 at 9:32 am

Brilliant way to lock in the nutella without having it ooze out because, we definitely want as much of it in our cookies as possible. :)

Amelia from Z Tasty Life December 3, 2010 at 9:58 am

OMG…i think I just salivated on my computer screen… you’re insane and I am so making these! Gorgeous too :)

Mark Scarbrough December 3, 2010 at 10:09 am

OK, you got me. I’ll have to say that I’ve never seen rugelach done as bar cookies–and it’s pretty darn near genius. (Plus the nutella, of course. Naturally. I mean, who could resist it?)

RJ Flamingo December 3, 2010 at 10:37 am

Oh, Ken. I’m in love. *faint*

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle December 3, 2010 at 10:59 am

What Brian said? Ditto. All of it. Sounds so good it might actually change my mind about Nutella…and what a beautiful picture! Fabulous job.

Sara December 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Love at first sight! gorgeous cookies! you had me at Nutella! :)

Baking Barrister December 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Mmm two of my favorite things as well. I might have to nutellafy my rugelach from now on to honor your brilliance.

Paula - bell'alimento December 3, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Being a self proclaimed Nutella-holic you knew I would HAVE to check this out… SWOON just SWOON and you’re an evil genius ; ) xoxo

Kian December 3, 2010 at 1:55 pm

What a superb combination! Nothing can go wrong with Nutella.

Diane {} December 3, 2010 at 10:52 pm

That looks DELICIOUS!

Heavenly Housewife December 4, 2010 at 3:27 am

These look absolutely sensational daaaahling! I am putting this into my bookmarks!
Have a great weekend.
*kisses* HH

Jenny December 4, 2010 at 7:38 am

This is genius! My husband loves rugelach – but sometimes I just don’t have time for anything but a bar cookie – making these this Christmas. Plus the fact that I want to be buried in nutella – win win!

Jun December 4, 2010 at 9:14 am

Nice name! This combination is a match made in heaven!

Crustabakes December 4, 2010 at 10:22 am

Rugetella! i love the name!

Camala - CC Recipe December 4, 2010 at 11:18 am

The pictures are fantastic! This Rugetella sounds so good, love the name!

fooddreamer December 4, 2010 at 2:43 pm

These are brilliant! I was introduced to rugelach a long time ago when I worked in a cafe and I’ve always loved them. And nutella is da bomb! I just love the way you put this all together.

sippitysup December 4, 2010 at 5:00 pm

This is so delicious. Buttery and rich, Flaky and sweet. The photos are terrific this is a winner! GREG

Kaitlin December 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm

These sound wonderful! Great photos :)

Stanislav December 4, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I love them; absolutely so delicate and gorgeous! I love nutela in anything, in our country we have similar recipe :)

Prerna@IndianSimmer December 5, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Oh my gosh Ken, They look HEAVENLY!! Never heard of them but I’m already a fan :-) Gotta give this one a try. BOOKMARKED :-)

Lisa December 7, 2010 at 7:10 pm

This is fantastic! I am in awe of this creation. I’m still bummed I wasn’t able to chit chat with you at the festival!

the urban baker December 8, 2010 at 11:53 am

totally wonderful and beautiful photos. i make a lot of rugelach, but never with nutella. oh my…i have a new flavor in my arsenal! thanks for sharing!

Akiko December 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I made these right away as holiday cookie gifts to friends and family. Of the 7 different cookies I made this year, these were the stand-outs! I added dried cherries and pistachios (instead of the hazelnuts) and the combination with the nutella made people go crazy for them. I will need to make two batches next year. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

jim December 16, 2010 at 9:12 pm

I made these yesterday. They really sucked and didn’t taste like nutella at all. disappointing. :(

hungryrabbit December 17, 2010 at 9:17 am

Jim, I’m sorry you didn’t like it. Nutella, when baked, has a more mellow taste than eating it straight from the jar.

Lisa December 24, 2010 at 1:56 pm

These are awesome. Made them exactly according to the recipe directions. it’s so much easier than making rugelach and having to roll each pastry individually and they still look – and taste – fabulous! Thanks!

kamran siddiqi (the sophisticated gourmet) December 28, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Firstly, the name- simply wonderful! Secondly, the fact that it has nutella makes me say, “Umm, Yes, please!” Thirdly, beautiful photos, beautiful site, and this recipe is being bookmarked. Right. Now.

Beautiful post!

MarbellaSD December 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Instead of baking in the pan, I divided dough into four parts and rolled each into a rectangle c. 12×4, trimming edges. Spreader with Nutella, sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts, and sliced in 1″ pieces. Baked at 350 for 20 min. Filling stayed in just fine

hungryrabbit December 27, 2012 at 3:32 am

Sound wonderful, thanks for the update on alternate baking pans. – Ken

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