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Day 11 of 12 Days of Cookies: delicate rugelach cookies with homemade poppy seed filling . You get 4+ dozen from one batch! | @littlebroken

Poppyseed Rugelach


Units Scale

Poppyseed Filling:

  • 1 cup poppy seeds (available at Whole Foods -bulk foods section)
  • 810 oz. sweetened condensed milk


  • 1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • confectioners sugar (optional)


Poppyseed Filling:

  1. Rinse the poppy seeds under cold water in a fine mesh colander; transfer to a medium saucepan with 3 cups of cold water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat (do not boil). Remove from the heat and let sit in the saucepan, covered, for 30 minutes at room temperature. Repeat – return the mixture to a simmer, remove from the heat and let sit for another 30 minutes at room temperature, covered.
  2. Drain poppy seeds thoroughly, using a fine mesh colander or couple layers of cheesecloth. Squeezing as much of the water as possible.
  3. Place the poppy seeds in a food grinder (either coffee grinder or food processor – with grinder option turned on) and grind.
  4. Mix in 8-10 oz. (I used about 10 oz.) sweetened condensed milk into the ground poppy seeds and mix well; refrigerate until ready to use.


  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and granulated sugar with a hand held mixer on medium speed. Beat in lemon zest, vanilla, and salt. Gradually beat in flour on low speed until combined.
  2. Divide the dough into four portions and wrap each portion in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of the dough at a time into a 9-inch circle. Spread 1/4 cup of the poppy seed filling over circle, leaving 1/2-inch uncovered edge.
  4. With a sharp knife, cut circle into 12 wedges. Starting at the wide end of each wedge, roll up toward the center. Place each pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet 1-inch apart; cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with milk. Brush each pastry with egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  7. Sift powdered sugar over the pastries and serve.


Time Management Tip: prepare the poppyseed filling while the dough is chilling.
**Total prep time does not take into consideration the time it takes to chill the dough**