I’m home. After finals, work, and 15 nutcracker performances, I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to finally be here, relaxing and soaking it all in. As always, my mom’s house is covered in garlands, bows, lights, ornaments, poinsettias, and Santas (some of them even dance!). We’re getting ready to do some serious holiday baking around here. So far, the plan is to make some kind of caramel pecan cheesecake (my honey’s fave), and cut out cookies (I’m hoping for gingerbread!). However, I have made a promise to make another batch of these chocolate raspberry rugelach, simply because they are so scrumptious, I just have to share!
I know it seems odd, baking atraditionally jewish cookie for Christmas, but they’re so tasty, that I just don’t care. I made these for some friends of ours in the orchestra, for the arrival of their son returning from Afghanistan. They’re having Thanksgiving and Hanukkah to make up for holidays missed with their son, so I definitely wanted to make this for them. They have been so sweet to me and Chris this past fall, that I wanted to do something nice for their son’s homecoming. They seemed to be very well received! I also have a bunch left in my freezer back in Cinci, so I can bake some whenever the craving hits.
Before I sign off, I wanted to take a moment to thank anyone who has taken even a minute to stop by my little blog. It brings me joy to share these culinary experiences with you all, and I am grateful for your time and comments. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas full of love, family, joy, and delicious food. Happy Holidays!
Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
8 ounces (1 brick) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup raspberry jam (preferably seedless)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate or miniature chocolate chips
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon water
Coarse or sanding sugar, for sprinkling, or additional cinnamon-sugar
In the bowl or an electric mixture, beat butter and cream cheese together until they are light and fluffy. In a medium bowl, combine the salt and flour, then pour flour mixture into the mixer. Beat on a lower speed until the flour just disappears. Scrape the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and shape as best as you can into a flatish packet. Wrap well in plastic and chill in fridge for two hours or up to three days. The dough can also be frozen for up to two months.
Once, the dough is chilled, line three large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Heat the jam in a small saucepan until it simmers. This will loosen it, so it will be easier to spread thinly. Set the warm jam aside.
Grab four small dishes. Stir together your sugar and cinnamon in one and set it aside. In your second dish, put the pecans. In your third bowl, put the chocolate. In the last one, whisk together your egg yolk and water until it’s smooth. While you’re getting organized, so ahead and grab a rolling pin, flour for the counter, a butter knife or spoon for the jam, a knife or a pizza roller for cutting the dough, a spoon for the dry toppings, a large piece of waxed paper to help set the fillings (I just used my hands lol), and a brush for the egg wash.
Divide your dough into thirds. On a well-floured counter, roll the first third (the remaining two can go back in the fridge until needed) into a large, thin circle about 12 inches in diameter. It does NOT need to be a perfect circle at all…and odd shaped oval works just fine.
Spread two to three tablespoons of jam thinly over your dough. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar, 2 tablespoons chopped chocolate, and 1 tablespoon chopped nuts. Use your piece of waxed paper to gently press the toppings into the dough, so that they’ll spill out less once rolled. Use your knife to divide the dough into 16 wedges. Roll each wedge tightly from the outside to the center. Transfer the rugelach to the prepared baking sheet-keepong the pointed end of each rugelach tucked underneath and space them 1 inch apart. Pop the tray in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Repeat the rugelach-making process with remaining filling and two pieces of dough, then chill the trays in the freezer.
Before baking, brush the rugelach with the egg yolk wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar or extra innamon sugar. Bake the rugelach for 20-25 minutes, until they are puffed and golden brown. Transfer the rugelach to cooling racks while they are still hot-this is important because the jam that spills out will harden as it cools, making the cookies harder to remove from the paper. Serve cooled or lukewarm.