The love story behind how my husband and I met all had to do with rugelach. Here I was, enjoying being single, independent and just focusing on my corporate career. Then comes along this guy who could carry on an intelligent conversation and make me laugh. He wasn’t that bad looking either. So far so good right? Through our talks, I learned he was a foodie (his family were caterers and had a restaurant overseas). At this point, I was totally digging him. However, the hook, line and sinker was when he said loves to bake… and his specialty was rugelach. Whaat?! Boy was I sold. I wasn’t going to let this guy go without baking together in the kitchen! Ha. Then the truth comes out. But before I share that juicy part of the story, these Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach I made are dedicated to my husband. We’ll be celebrating 5 years of marriage in a couple of weeks and I knew the perfect treat would be rugelach. With a sweet dough filled with bittersweet chocolate, toasted almonds and raspberry jam, these were made with love…
So, back to our love story. He says he loves to bake and his specialty is rugelach. I was floored and was anxious to bake together to see how his rugelach making skills. Well, needless to say, when we got in the kitchen, he confessed that he didn’t really know how to make rugelach. Apparently, the truth was that when he was in high school, he worked part time at a small bakery and helped out as needed. One of his jobs was to help the bakers with the rugelach, their specialty item. At that point, I was already smitten by him so it didn’t matter. Ever since then, rugelach became our little inside joke and what better time to finally make it from scratch?
These were absolutely delicious. I love chocolate and raspberry together and these were spot on. The original recipe called for pressing the chocolate chips and nuts into the dough before rolling. I didn’t want to go this route because the chocolate and nuts combined made for a really chunky mixture. Instead, I processed the chocolate and nuts together so that I had a more uniform mixture that would be easier to roll and evened out the flavors. I found the processed mixture made for even melting too and picked up the raspberry jam notes better. You could play with different nuts, jams and types of chocolate with this recipe. Next time though, I plan on making this with my husband instead of making it for him.
Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach
recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan
4 oz. cold cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup raspberry jam
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped almonds
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cold water
2 Tablespoons raw or demara sugar
Make the dough: Put flour and salt in a food processor, and scatter the cream cheese and butter chunks overtop. Pulse the machine 6-10 times, then process, scraping down the sides as necessary. Stop when the dough forms large curds. Turn the dough out, gather it into a ball, divide it in two, and form them each piece into a small disk. Refrigerate each half in plastic wrap for at least two hours and up to one day.
Make the filling: Heat the jam in a small bowl in the microwave for 1 minute, just until it liquefies. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and set aside. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone.
In a clean food processor, add the chocolate chips and almonds. Process until the mixture breaks down into a course crumb or powder. Remove from food processor and set aside.
Shape the cookies: Take one disk of dough from the refrigerator. If it’s too cold or stiff to roll, leave it out at room temperature for ten minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 11-12 inch circle. Spoon a thin gloss of warmed jam overtop, and sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, slice the dough into quarters, and slice each of the quarters into four long, narrow triangles.
Carefully scatter over half of the chocolate/nut crumb mixture over the cut slices. Starting at the outside rim of each triangle (the base), roll each triangle up so that it becomes a little crescent. Make sure points are tucked under the cookie, and arrange on a baking sheet. Repeat with the second packet of dough. Refrigerate rugelach for at least 30 minutes before baking.
Position racks to divide oven into thirds, and preheat to 350 degrees. Stir the egg and water together, and brush a bit of this glaze over the rugelach. Sprinkle each with coarse sugar.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom and front to back half way through. Jam will likely have leaked out, so it’s best to scoop underneath each cookie within a minute of removing them from the oven, so that they don’t stick to the tray.