posted by luvcookin 11-01-100 2:44 PM


12 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch salt
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 cup finely chopped walnuts, divided
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam, at room temperature, well-stirred

1 egg, graded "large"
1/2 tsp. water

For Dough: In small bowl of electric mixer, combine softened cream cheese, softened butter, sugar, and salt. Beat at medium speed until very smooth, scraping bowl and beater(s) as required with rubber spatula to ensure thorough blending. At low speed, gradually add flour, beating only until incorporated.

Divide dough into thirds. Place each third on a square of plastic wrap; shape into a flat round. Wrap tightly in plastic; chill overnight. (Do not use wax paper to wrap this dough; it's too moist, and the wax paper will tear when you try to remove it.)

For Filling: Combine one-third of chocolate chips and one-third of finely chopped walnuts in each of three small bowls. Mix the contents of each bowl thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature. In separate small bowl, blend well the sugar and cinnamon; cover and set aside at room temperature. Have ready the jam.

Remove one round of dough from the refrigerator. Remove plastic wrappings. Roll out between lightly floured sheets of wax paper to a circle about 13 inches in diameter. Turn the dough often by peeling off the top sheet of wax paper, replacing it, then flipping the dough, still between the wax paper sheets, upside down. Peel off and replace what is now the top sheet of wax paper. If the dough becomes warm and difficult to handle, chill it for 15 or 20 minutes, still between the wax paper sheets. Have patience here.

When the dough has been rolled out, chill it for 15 or 20 minutes. While it chills, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, shiny side up. After chilling, "turn" the dough as described above, but when the dough has been flipped over, peel off what is now the top sheet of wax paper and do not replace it. Instead, spread about one-third of the jam over the dough, keeping the jam about an inch away from all edges. Sprinkle one-third of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the jam.

Take one small bowl of mixed chocolate chips and walnuts, and sprinkle the entire contents of the bowl as evenly as you can on top of the cinnamon-sugar. Replace the top wax paper sheet; very lightly roll over it to press the filling ingredients lightly into the dough. Remove the top sheet of wax paper.

Cut the dough into twelve evenly-sized wedges (I find a pastry wheel or pizza cutter helpful here). Roll up each wedge tightly from wide end to point, then place each, point side down, on lined baking sheet. Keep in mind that some of the chips and nuts will fall out as you roll the rugelach; replace them as best you can, but don't worry too much about doing so.

Now, chill the formed rugelach on the baking sheet for about 30 minutes, covering them lightly with plastic wrap. If you wish, while the formed pastries chill, you can be rolling out the next round of dough, then setting that to chill. You'll need fresh sheets of wax paper for each round of dough.

After the formed rugelach have chilled for 15 minutes, adjust oven rack to center position; preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Make the Glaze by beating the egg and water together well with a fork in a small cup.

When the formed rugelach have chilled for about 30 minutes (it can be a bit longer), remove from refrigerator; remove plastic wrap from top. With a pastry brush, gently glaze top and sides of each rugelach as well as you can. IMPORTANT: do not get too much glaze on the baking sheet, as it will cause the baked rugelach to stick (a very small amount is OK, though). Slide an empty baking sheet under the sheet holding the glazed rugelach; these are baked on a doubled baking sheet to protect the bottoms from overbrowning.

Bake the rugelach 25 to 30 minutes, or until a light golden brown. Switch the doubled baking sheet back-to-front about halfway during baking time. While these bake, some of the jam will leak out--OK. When rugelach are baked, remove from oven; immediately remove from baking sheet to cooling rack (a nonstick metal spatula and nonstick cooling racks are very useful here, as the pastries will be sticky. If you don't have such equipment, spray a broad-bladed metal spatula and cooling racks very lightly with nonstick cooking spray).

Repeat rolling, chilling, cutting, and baking with remaining two rounds of dough and filling ingredients. Cool baked rugelach completely before serving or storing airtight.

36 pastries

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