Rugelach
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Soft, delicate cookies wrapped around rich chocolate and sweet strawberry filling for a classic Jewish dessert.
Author:
Serves: 32 rugelach
Ingredients
For the Dough:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized cubes
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound regular cream cheese (on average, this is 16 ounces or 2 of those blocks you can buy at the store), chilled and cubed
  • ¼ cup regular sour cream
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • raw sugar, for decorating
For the Chocolate Filling:
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chocolate, finely chopped (do not use chocolate chips for this, or if you do, you've gotta chop them!)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • *This is enough for 1 round; if you only want to make chocolate rugelach, double the filling amount.
For the Strawberry Filling:
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 lb. (16 ounces) strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • *This is enough for 1 round; if you only want to make strawberry rugelach, double the filling amount.
Instructions
For the Dough:
  1. I highly recommend using a food processor to make these for a more even dough, although you can certainly just use your mixer, or, if you are extremely adventurous, some good old fashioned elbow grease. This is a tough one to do by hand, though, so just know that you are going to get a work out and you need to move fast!
  2. So, now that we've covered that, add your cubed butter and flour to your food processor and process for about 30 seconds or so, until the butter is broken up well and the mixture looks like wet sand. Just be sure to work quickly so the butter doesn't melt (this is why we make this cookie in the winter). Transfer the butter and flour mixture to a large mixing bowl (the biggest one you've got) and add in the salt, cream cheese, and sour cream. Mix everything together quickly, breaking up the cream cheese with your hands and working it well into the flour, until the mixture is crumbly and only pea-sized amounts of cream cheese remain visible. Again, work quickly so that the cream cheese doesn't warm up too much. A few ribbons of cream cheese are fine; in fact, they will be delicious once baked.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of foil (I was wary of this, too - don't we all usually use plastic wrap? Just go for the foil, trust me...I think it may help to dry the dough out a bit and make it less sticky), press down on it slightly, and form the dough into a thick disk. Wrap the disk tightly in the foil, and chill in the refrigerator for as little as 20 minutes or as long as overnight (I left mine in there for about an hour). While your dough chills, make your filling(s) of choice. Tip: I made one batch with just straight up Nutella and it was awesome, for those of you that don't feel like making a filling from scratch.
  4. When your dough has chilled, you are ready to fill 'em and bake 'em. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a few baking trays with parchment paper and sprinkle the paper with some raw sugar. Unwrap the dough, divide it into 2 parts, and put one part back in the fridge so it stays cold. Flour your work surface extremely well, then knead the dough a bit to make it less sticky and more maleable. Roll the dough into a ball, then press it down until it's about ¾-inch thick. The sides may crack a bit at first, but just keep working it until you have a smooth sided disk, adding more flour as needed to keep your hands from sticking to the dough.
  5. Roll the dough out into a 10 to 12-inch circle of even thickness (mine was 12 to 13-inches). Fold the dough into a half-moon and use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut away any uneven sides, as you want the circle to be as symmetrical as possible for even cookies. Unfold the dough so it's a full circle again.
  6. If you are using the chocolate filling, brush the dough with your butter, then sprinkle the chocolate evenly over everything, pressing down a bit to make the chocolate stick. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the circle into 16 equal-sized wedges (I used a plastic ruler for accuracy...I always use a ruler when working with dough, actually, and I can't recommend them as an essential kitchen tool highly enough).
  7. Roll the dough up, starting with the bigger side, tightly and carefully, to make the classic rugelach shape. Place the rugelach seam side down onto your parchment. Continue with the rest of your dough, then brush each rugelach with your egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through baking, until the cookies are a light, golden brown. Allow to cool before moving and serving. These will store well in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature, and will freeze well for up to 3 months.
For the Chocolate Filling:
  1. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and chop your chocolate. Melt your butter and let it cool. When you are ready to use, brush the butter over the rolled out rugelach, sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, then press the chocolate down evenly over the dough. Roll up and bake.
For the Strawberry Filling:
  1. In a medium sized pot, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a simmer, and stir constantly, until the sugar has dissolved completely. Bring the mixture to a simmer again, and without stirring, allow it to simmer for a solid 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add in the berries, and stir. Bring the temperature up to medium, and stirring frequently, cook the berries down until thickened, about 15-20 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to mash the berries up a bit. This may look watery at first, but have no fear! It will thicken up.
  2. When the mixture looks thick enough, move the pot to an ice bath and, being careful not to get any cold water into the jam, stir vigorously until the jam has cooled a bit and looks thick. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the top of the jam, to protect it from forming a skin, and set aside until ready to use. This makes a great regular ol' jam, too, if you have leftovers! It will keep well in the fridge for up to 1 week in an airtight container (or a few months if you sterilize the jar you put it in).
  3. When you are ready to use the strawberry filling, spread it out over the rugelach dough (use a light touch, you really don't want to overfill it as it will seep out and burn to the bottom of the pan/cookies) and bake as directed above.
Adapted From
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at http://www.thecrepesofwrath.com/2012/12/12/rugelach/