Southern Rugelach Crescents

by Chef

Serves: 4 dozen


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup plus 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 ounces mayhaw preserves or apricot jam
  • 1 cup loosely packed golden raisins, chopped
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 egg yolk to glaze crescents


Use a food processor to cream together butter, cream cheese and sour cream until combined well. Whisk flour and salt together in a small bowl. Add flour mixture and stir into the food processor, pulsing frequently, in short bursts, until soft dough forms. Gather dough into a ball and transfer to a cutting board lightly dusted with flour. Roll into a cylinder and cut with a knife to divide into 4 equal parts. Wrap each piece with plastic wrap, and then flatten each piece until ¼-inch thick. Chill in refrigerator for 4 hours.

Once chilled, unwrap each piece and roll out into a 12- by 8-inch rectangle on a well-floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Cut 12 triangular wedges from each sheet. Whisk ½ cup sugar with cinnamon in a small bowl, add the chopped pecans and raisins and blend well. Use 1 teaspoon of preserves and spread onto each triangle. Sprinkle each wedge evenly with 1 teaspoon of the filling mixture.

Roll up each triangle tightly with the filling inside, beginning with the wider end and finishing with the point in the middle. Individually form each crescent by shaping them into a curve with the points in and the seal facing down. When they are all completed, place on a baking pan and chill for 30 minutes. Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until slightly colored. Remove from oven, let them cool for 10 minutes, and then serve.