Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chocolate Cranberry Rugelach Cookies






I make these cookie all the time, not just at the holidays. Rugulach, which literally means "little twists" in Yiddish, has Jewish Ashkenazic (Polish) origins. They are little rolled cookies with all sorts of filling, from nuts, to preserves, to chocolate and any other combination that you like.  Traditionally, the dough in Europe is made with yeast, but American Jews later introduced a cream cheese based rugulach dough.  That is what is used in this recipe; I make two or three batches of this dough, flatten into discs and then put each layer between plastic. That way I can freeze it or just leave it in the refrigerator for a few days to use when I am ready.


Rugulach:

Dough:
1 cup butter softened
1 8 oz package cream cheese softened
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
23/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

Beat the butter and the cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, slowly add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Then stir in the flour and salt. Now if you are a little lazy like me you add the flour to the mixer being careful not to get flour all over you kitchen. The reason to stir in the flour is so the dough does not get tough, I have been mixing it in for yours with the mixer and have not had a problem.

Divide the dough into eight equal portions. Flatten into discs and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Chill at least hours or longer.

Filling:
3/4 cups of sugar
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
2/3 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup butter melted
2 tablespoons of cinnamon.
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of apricot jam
Egg wash
granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350. Toast pecans.
2. In a food processor, add pecans, sugar, cranberries, Cinnamon, and chocolate chips, pulse a few times. Pour into a bowl and add apricot jam and butter. Stir mixture.

(Easy alternative to above: Add all ingredients above to food processor and process until smooth. I make mine this way, it is like a paste and you spread this on the dough.)

Assemble:  You can roll you dough into rounds or into rectangles. If you roll into rounds, spread filling within 1/2 of end. Cut each round into 8 triangles and then roll the fat end toward the skinny end, like a crescent roll. Place on baking tray and brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.





If you roll into rectangles spread filling within 1/2 from all sides, roll the long way, make a log. Brush with egg wash and sugar. Place into refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes: You can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze for use later. And you can freeze the finished product and take out later to place on your cookie platter.

These cookies are great with just preserves, or just the cinnamon mixture or as I make them.

What are you baking this year? Do you have a traditional cookie that your family will not be without for the Holiday's? What are your baking traditions? I would love to have one of your special recipes, if you want to share! 






3 comments:

  1. Yummmmm, love rugulach. Especially chocolate and raspberry. I bet yours is amazingly good Elizabeth. Thanks for sharing the recipe and happy baking:)

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  2. Good morning precious friend! I have never had this treat, but both European and American versions sound WONDERFUL! Anytime cream cheese is used, it performs MAGIC!!! ENJOY IT ALL!!!! Anita

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