Vietnamese Cinnamon Rugelach – #FirstOnTheFirst & The Weekend Whisk 12/1/12

by Kate on December 1, 2012

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Cookie making season is officially upon us. We are in the midst of the holidays which means that we are all likely shifting life into baking overdrive. I know I am! And I’ve had cookies on the brain. Surprisingly it isn’t for the normal reason which for most people is because Christmas is this month and what do people bake a lot of at Christmas time? Cookies. For me I recently realized that I hardly ever make cookies. I have no idea why. They’re easy, they’re tasty and they’re handheld which I always love.

But as I was saying, I’ve had cookies on the brain and it has nothing to do with my own personal holiday but because I have not one but two cookie-themed parties to attend this month! I’m SO excited! I can can’t wait to see what kind of cookies everyone makes. Mike will be going with me to both as well which means everyone else better watch out cause he can do some damage on a plate of cookies. So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what my contributions will be. I have some ideas brewing but nothing official yet but I assure you, whatever I end up making I’ll be sharing with you.

Not only have I been concocting cookie recipes for cookie parties but this month for First on the First Carrie and I challenged our little group to make rugelach. Rugelach are one of my favorite cookies but not something I’ve ever tried making on my own. Truth be told I have a small addiction to the rugelach from the Wegman’s grocery store bakery. They’re so good! Rugelach are a jewish cookie made from a sour cream or cream cheese dough filled with nuts, fruit, cinnamon, chocolate and I’ve even seen poppy seed versions.

For me, I adore straight up cinnamon. So that’s what I decided to create this month. Cinnamon is such a wonderful spice that lends its flavor to so many dishes. Recently I discovered Vietnamese cinnamon, also called Saigon cinnamon. Oh. My. Goodness! I can’t see myself buying regular cinnamon ever again. The flavor of this cinnamon is more intense, spicier, just more “cinnamon-y.” It’s incredible and when cinnamon is truly the star, Vietnamese cinnamon helps that flavor to truly shine. If you’re a cinnamon lover, I implore you. Give it a try. You won’t regret it. These little cookies are easy to make and will disappear from cookie trays quickly, so make a bunch. Now that I know how easy it is to make my own and how tasty they are, Wegmans bakery will be losing some business.

Want to try your hand at making something new next month? Join us! Just drop me a line. Next month we’ll be making Swiss Rolls AKA: Jelly Rolls. I adore sponge cake filled with all sorts of possibilities. Hope to see your creations!



One Year Ago: My first (second & third… failed!) attempts at Sourdough Bread  (Although, I have had success since then.)

Vietnamese Cinnamon Rugelach

1 hour, 55 minutes

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Vietnamese Cinnamon Rugelach

Festive rolled little cinnamon cookies, perfect for any holiday party or any time you need a sweet little treat.


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and divided
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 7 tablespoons, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground Vietnamese cinnamon
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Turbinado sugar or a cinnamon/sugar mix (optional)


  1. With an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the cheese and 2 sticks of butter until light and fluffy. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the salt, and vanilla. Mix just until incorporated.
  2. Next, add the flour with the mixer on low speed and mix until just combined.
  3. On a well-floured work surface, dump the dough out and roll it into a ball. Divide the ball into four quarters and form four small disks. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Combine remaining 7 tablespoons of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts.
  5. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Set aside.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  7. On a well-floured board, roll out a dough disk into a 9-inch circle. Keep the remaining dough refrigerated until ready to use.
  8. Lightly brush the dough disk with a bit of the melted butter and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the filling. Lightly press the filling into the dough. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Place the cookies on prepared baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes.
  9. Repeat with remaining 3 dough disks.
  10. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Sprinkle each cookie with turbinado sugar or cinnamon sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.
  11. Enjoy!


Adapted from Ina Garten

Here’s what was going on around here this week!

 Sinful Cinnamon Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

And the most popular post this week was…

Cinnamon Pear Twist Bread

Babbles Bookmarks:

Blue Cheese Apple Tart from Flour Arrangements: When I laid eyes on this gorgeous savory apple tart, I knew I had to make it. Blue cheese, leeks, wilted spinach topped with apples. It sounds like something to serve up for brunch or a luncheon. 

Cinnamon Cider Sticks from Sprinkle Bakes: In the realm of homemade gifts, these are too cute! I love making gifts that people can eat. Here, Heather shows you how to make a cinnamon candy on a cinnamon stick that can then be stirred into hot cider, making a tasty spiced cider. And as always, her pictures are AMAZING!

Far Brenton Aux Griottes – Cherry Far from Life’s A Feast: Visual imagery at its finest. That is how I would describe Jamie’s blog. Her words will transport you. In this post, you will feel like you are in Brittany, France through Jamie’s vivid description of walking “hand in hand, bundled up against the wind.” Her description of Far Brenton is as enticing. I immediately bookmarked this lovely dense, creamy custard with fresh cherries and will certainly make this.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie @ poet in the pantry December 1, 2012 at 8:40 am

Ha! We both used the same base recipe! I recently discovered Saigon cinnamon, too (a coworker talked it up and then dealt baggies of it to the bakers of the group–it seemed a little naughty, at the time!) and you’re right–it’s phenomenal! Your rugelach look beautiful. I’m impressed!


Kate December 1, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Ha! Sounds like a drug deal going down 😉 That cinnamon is so good, it’s addictive though!


Jennie @themessybakerblog December 1, 2012 at 11:50 am

Kate, these look wonderful, and they’re rolled beautifully. I love that they’re dipped in cinnamon sugar. Pinned.


Kate December 1, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Thanks Jennie! Trust me, not all my cookies looked like that 😉 I had a lot of not so perfect ones.


Melissa December 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm

These look and sound delicious! I bet they would be great with a big mug of tea! Looking forward to swiss rolls next month!


Kate December 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Thanks Melissa! So glad you joined us this month. I adore your combination of dark chocolate, raspberry and almonds. WOW!! Can’t wait to see your Swiss roll next month. Glad to hear you’ll be joining in again.


Laura December 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Those are gorgeous! I’ve never tried making rugelach either but you may have just inspired me!


Kate December 1, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Thanks! I hope that you do Laura! They’re so good and not difficult to make.


Anna @ hiddenponies December 2, 2012 at 10:14 pm

I lurrrrve cinnamon -great idea! Now I’m thinking about putting some chopped apple in there and calling it pie 🙂


Kate December 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Oh what a great idea Anna!!! Next time I make them I think I’ll have to try that. Sounds wonderful!


Donna @ What the Dog Ate December 4, 2012 at 1:33 am

I will have to try the cinnamon. Do you just get it at the regular grocery?


Kate December 6, 2012 at 8:49 pm

I actually got mine from King Arthur Flour. You’ll see it as Vietnamese cinnamon or Saigon cinnamon also. Both are the same. Hope you like it!


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