I’m going to DC later this week! This has nothing to do with the cookies above…I’m just excited and felt like sharing.
I bet you’ve had rugelach before. It (or some variation of it) is generally a staple at most bakeries. Basically, what you’re looking at is a butter and cream cheese-based pie dough, wrapped around some kind of filling. Super easy. And a really good way to use up leftover jam, fruit, nuts, and/or chocolate. They’re basically a one-bite (maybe two) cookie, which is sometimes a really nice thing to have. You know, in case there were ever a time where you didn’t want to look like a total fool with crumbs down the front of your shirt/on your lap/everywhere.
The dough recipe is taken straight from Smitten Kitchen’s new cookbook (which is most excellent, by the way), and the fillings really are just comprised of what I had lying around. Leftover chocolate chips (chopped into smaller pieces), cinnamon sugar, and toffee bits made for the chocolate toffee variety, while some frozen berries mixed with a little cornstarch and sugar (heated and then smushed a bit) made for some delicious mixed berry rugelach.
Do whatever you’d like for the filling. If you’re not feeling creative, there are tons of recipes out there (and you obviously have internet access if you’re reading this, making your search for a filling recipe approximately 9873945 times easier.) A tip, though: remember that you roll this dough out fairly thin, and then you have to roll it up with the filling inside. Whatever ingredients you choose to use, make sure they’re in small enough pieces that they don’t destroy the dough when it comes time to roll those cookies up. Chop nuts and chocolate on the smaller side, and mash berries a bit before using them, too. Oh and also — if you decide to use jam, you might want to heat it up a bit so it thins out and becomes a little easier to spread.
The dough has no sugar, which also means you might be able to do something on the savory side with these. Ham and cheese, anyone?
recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
For the dough:
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
For the glaze:
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp water
Coarse sugar for sprinkling
- Make the dough: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese together until they are light and fluffy (a few minutes). In a medium bowl, combine the dry dough ingredients, then pour flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture. Beat on low speed until the flour just disappears. Scrape the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and shape into a flat-ish package. Wrap well in plastic and chill in the fridge for two hours (or up to three days).
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Prepare your fillings! (See notes above — I’ve also put the Raspberry Chocolate filling recipe below from the cookbook)
- Prepare your egg wash glaze by mixing the egg yolk with the water. Have your sprinkling sugar in a separate bowl nearby.
- Assemble the rugelach: Take your chilled dough and divide it into thirds (Work with one third at time, and keep the others chilling in the fridge.) On a well-floured counter, roll the dough into a large, thin circle (about 12 inches in diameter). The circle does not need to be perfect!
- Spread your fillings over the rolled out dough. Filling amounts (approximate) are: jam (2-3 TB), chocolate (2-3 TB), nuts (1-2 TB). If using fruit, use your best judgement, but remember you’ll have 2 more discs of dough to cover with fillings.
- Optional: use a piece of waxed paper to gently press the toppings into the dough to help reduce excess spillage.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the circle into 16 wedges (I used a pizza cutter).
- Roll each wedge tightly from the outside to the center- keep the pointed end of each rugelach tucked underneath- and space them 1 inch apart on your baking sheets. Pop the tray into the freezer for 15 minutes before baking.
- While the dough rests in the freezer, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Repeat the rugelach assembly with the remaining dough.
- Before baking, brush the rugelach with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Bake rugelach for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Transfer the rugelach to cooling racks while they are still hot (this will prevent them from sticking to the parchment paper.)
Raspberry-Chocolate-Almond Rugelach Filling
recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons almonds, toasted and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
Use approximately 2-3 TB jam, 2 TB chocolate, 1 TB almonds and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar per round of dough.