Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

rugelach are crescent or half-moon-shaped cookies usually made with a cream-cheese dough. Although popular for Hanukkah and Shavuot (the holiday celebrating the giving of the Torah), they are also eaten throughout the year. The name likely derives from the Yiddish or Slavic rog, meaning “horn,” with the addition of lakh, the diminutive plural. Originating in Eastern Europe, and related to Schnecken (sweet buns), Kipfel (bread crescents), and Kupferlin (almond crescents), rugelach are now probably the most popular American Jewish cookies.