I created this recipe for my feature in last year's Feast Magazine December issue. Be sure to check it out.
Rugelach is a pastry wrapped into a crescent shape and filled with jam or chocolate. To celebrate my interfaith family, I have made a peppermint-chocolate version that captures the flavors I associate with Christmas in a decidedly Jewish treat. For this recipe, it’s best to make your dough one day, or at least three to four hours, in advance of baking.
Yields 64 pastries
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring surface
¼ tsp salt
1 8-oz package cream cheese, cold and cubed
1 cup cold and cubed unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup chopped dark chocolate
1 tsp peppermint extract
²⁄3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup crushed peppermint pieces
egg wash (1 egg and 1 Tbsp water whisked together)
In a food processor, add flour and salt, pulse for about 10 seconds. Add cream cheese and butter; blend until batter becomes crumbly. Add in egg and vanilla, and run processor until dough forms into balls or 1 large piece.
Remove dough to a floured surface. Knead dough for 2 to 3 minutes. Form dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add butter and chocolate. Stir until mixture melts and combines. Remove from heat, add peppermint extract, sugar and cocoa powder, and mix until combined and mixture has a grainy texture. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F, and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove chilled dough to a work surface covered with powdered sugar. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll dough out into a circle.
Scoop a quarter of filling, and spread it out across dough. Sprinkle filling with peppermint pieces. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into 16 equal pieces like a pizza.
Roll each triangle from thick end to point, as you would roll a croissant. Place each rugelach onto prepared baking sheets. Brush egg wash on each. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve.