I first made these a few years ago at Christmas. They were delicious but a real pain in the butt. I had a really hard time rolling up the little crescent shapes without the filling falling out - and I made it even more difficult for myself by not using any jam in the filling which would've helped things stick. I made these again at Christmas this year and this time used mini chocolate chips (you have to use either mini chocolate chips or fairly finely chopped chocolate), blackberry jam, and walnuts. And once again they were delicious. And I have come to accept the fact that I can't make 16 equally size crescents out of a round of dough I've rolled out. I really need to work on my rolling out dough skills.
If you've never had rugelach, I highly recommend you try making it. It's made with a most tasty cream cheese dough and wrapped around whatever kind of filling you like. Traditionally I think they're made with jam, nuts and maybe chocolate - but there are so many other possibilities out there. Peanut butter chips and jam. White chocolate and strawberry jam. Toffee, nuts and chocolate. Chocolate coconut. These also freeze really well - not that you'll have trouble getting rid of them.
If this sounds good, you might also like:
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dunkers
Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
Use the amounts of jelly, nuts, dried fruit and chocolate as guidelines for coming up with your own creations. I don't think I've ever added the cinnamon.
Makes 4 dozen
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp plus a pinch of salt
1 large whole egg, plus 3 large egg yolks
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (4 ounces) walnut halves or pieces
pinch of ground cinnamon
1 cup plus 2 tbsp (12 oz) jam, melted
2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 tsp salt; beat until combined and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating to combine after each. Mix in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, beat in flour to combine.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into three equal pieces, and shape into flattened disks; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325F, with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line there baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a food processor, pulse together the walnuts, remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the cinnamon, and pinch of salt until finely ground; set aside. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one disk of dough into a 10 inch round about 1/4 inch thick. Brush the top evenly with melted jam. Sprinkle with a third of the walnut mixture and a third of the chocolate chips. Using the rolling pin, gently roll over the round to press the filling into the dough.
Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the round into 16 equal wedges. Beginning with the outside edge of each wedge, roll up to enclose filling. Place about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough and filling ingredients. Lightly beat the whole egg, brush over tops.
Bake two sheets, rotating halfway through, until the cookies are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining baking sheet. Rugelach can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.