I had this lovely cookbook on my wishlist for Christmas, and as you can see, I received it. My brother chose it himself off my list after deeming the others too healthy ;) I was extremely eager to start cooking my way through it and as you can see by the amount of post-its, I’ll be busy for quite a while!
This particular recipe caught my eye when I first read through the book because it had two words in the title that I always love to see together: chocolate and raspberry. You know this has to be good!!
These little rugelach are so cute and tasty… they’re begging to be taken to a party and set on a table next to all of the “plain” cookies. One recipe makes forty-eight rugelach, and once the dough has been chilled, the recipe comes together fairly quickly. If you’re not making them to share you can assemble all forty-eight, bake off however many you need, and freeze the rest for up to two months.
Recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
For the dough:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ teaspoon table salt
2 cups (250 grams) flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
For the filling:
⅔ cup (215 grams) raspberry jam (I used Organic Reduced Sugar Raspberry Jam from Trader Joe’s and it has seeds in it. Use seedless if you prefer.)
⅔ cup (135 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons (41 grams) pecans, toasted and finely chopped
½ cup (3 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon water
Coarse sugar for sprinkling (I used raw sugar)
Note: I made the dough in the food processor, so I’ll give those instructions. However, you can do this with an electric mixer… whichever you prefer :)
Process the butter and cream cheese together in the bowl of the food processor until light and smooth. Whisk the salt into the flour, then add to the butter and cream cheese. Pulse a few times until everything is just combined. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. As you wrap the dough, press it into a thick disk. Chill for 2 hours.
While the dough chills, assemble all of the filling components. In a small saucepan, heat the jam over low heat until it barely starts bubbling. This will make it easier to spread later on. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Chop the pecans and chocolate and place each in separate bowls. You can also make the egg wash at this point.
Now that the dough is chilled and your fillings are prepped, you can assemble the rugelach. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Set one on a well-floured work surface, and put the other portions back into the fridge so they stay cold. Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. It doesn’t have to be exact, and you don’t need to trim it into a perfectly round circle either.
Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread 2 generous tablespoons of jam evenly over the dough. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar, 2 tablespoons chocolate, and 1 tablespoon pecans over the jam. Gently press the toppings into the dough slightly using a piece of waxed paper or your clean hands. This step will help keep the filling in place as you roll the cookies.
Use a knife to cut the dough into 16 equal pieces. Roll each one tightly starting from the widest part and working down.
Place the rugelach pointed end down onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, keeping them 1-inch apart.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and chill the rugelach in the freezer for 15 minutes. Assemble the rest of the rugelach while you wait. If you plan to bake the rest immediately, transfer to baking sheets and chill as well. Otherwise, you can stack them with parchment paper in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months.
Take the chilled rugelach out of the freezer and brush with the egg wash. Give each cookie a sprinkle of raw sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the rugelach are puffed and golden. Almost as soon as you remove them from the oven, transfer them to cooling racks. Serve warm or cooled.
P.S. Please forgive the lack of natural light in these photos. I baked the rugelach at night… the pictures are all from my Instagram :)