Rugelach for some is one of those Holiday cookies that must make an appearance. I for one did not grow up making rugelach, but certainly have come to love these little gems. Some of my Jewish friends may know them better than I and I’m sure their Mother or Grandmother has a favorite recipe. I’m giving a shout out to all my Jewish friends-and you know who you are. Woot woot! They really aren’t so much of a cookie but a flaky little pastry bite. I love the dough as it has cream cheese in it and it gives them the flakiness that these little gems are so popular for. There are many types of fillings you can choose from; if you cruise the web you can find a myriad of choices. Some fillings have raisins or chopped fine nuts. I found this recipe from food network that has no nuts, but tweaked it a bit by adding in some finely grated chocolate. Enjoy~
Cherry Chocolate Rugelach
recipe: food network
yield: ~ 36 cookies
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1/3 Cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
2 sticks (1 Cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 Cup dried tart cherries
1/3 Cup apricot jam
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. allspice
1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely grated
2 Tbsp. milk (for brushing top)
granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top)
Make the dough first so it can rest while you make the filling, as the dough needs to rest for one hour before you can roll it out. Note: you can also make one or both parts the day before and assemble and bake the day of.
1. Pulse the cream cheese, sugar and both extracts along with 1/2 tsp. salt in a food processor until smooth. Add the flour and butter and pulse until the butter is in pea size pieces. Divide the dough into 3 pieces, shape into disks and wrap in plastic. Chill for one hour.
Put the dried cherries in a shallow bowl and cover with about 1/3 cup boiling water. Let sit for about 15 minutes to re-hydrate. Drain any water and add the cherries to a clean food processor along with jam, cinnamon, allspice and the pinch of salt, and pulse to make a paste.
Let dough soften slightly at room temp. Roll out each piece on a floured board into a 9 inch round circle; transfer to the refrigerator while you roll out the next piece. Spread a generous 1/4 cup filling on each dough round in a ring, but leaving a 1/2 inch border along the outer edge. Sprinkle with 2-3 Tbsp. of grated chocolate. Using a pizza wheel or cutter, cut 16 equal wedges (cutting like you would a pizza pie) and starting at the outside edge, roll each wedge toward the point. Arrange cookies 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate until firm; about 30 minutes. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to racks to cool.