Rugelach is a special Eastern European cookie that involves a bit of effort, but it’s well worth it. This rugelach is composed of a cream cheese and butter dough and a delicious filling of nuts, dried apricots, chocolate, and cinnamon. The final shape looks like a mini croissant, but the taste and texture are totally different — crispy and crunchy.
Preparation time: 1 1/2 hours (includes chilling)
Baking time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 dozen
1/2 pound cream cheese, softened
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups flour
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Combine the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl.
Using a mixer, beat together until smooth.
Blend in the vanilla.
Sift together the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a bowl.
Add the sifted ingredients to the cream cheese mixture in 3 stages, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces.
Shape each piece into a flat disk about 5 inches round.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour, until firm.
Chop the dried apricots.
Combine the walnuts, dried apricots, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons cinnamon in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, about 30 seconds.
Add the chocolate chips and pulse for about 15 seconds to chop them.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Place one piece of dough on a floured surface.
Keep the remaining pieces chilled.
Roll the piece into a circle about 10 inches round.
Sprinkle 1/6 of the filling over the dough.
Press the filling into the dough by rolling over it with the rolling pin.
Cut the dough circle into 8 even pie-shaped pieces.
Starting from the wide end, roll each piece toward the point into a tight sausage shape.
Place each piece on the cookie sheet.
Leave 1 inch between each cookie.
Repeat Steps 16 through 22 for the remaining dough.
Mix together 6 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
Beat the egg in a small bowl and add 1 teaspoon water.
Brush the top of each cookie with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until light golden brown.
Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and transfer the cookies to racks to cool.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Freeze for longer storage.
Per serving: Calories 121 (From fat 67); Fat 8g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 20mg; Sodium 29mg; Carbohydrate 13g (Dietary fiber 1g); Protein 2g.