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Chocolate Rugelach

  • December 13, 2021

Have you been baking cookies this holiday season? Although these rugelach, originally from the Jewish community of  Poland, were never part of my Christmas cookie traditions growing up, they’ve been a favorite of mine for decades. I finally got around to making them this year, and they are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I’m going to have to tuck these away in the freezer or I’ll eat the whole batch before company arrrives for the Christmas holiday.  I followed the basic dough recipe from Ina Garten, but instead of using the traditional raisins, jam and nuts filling, I opted for a chocolate filling. I also lowered the temperature to 325 degrees, and kept them in a little longer, since at 350 degrees, some of the interior dough wasn’t thoroughly cooked.

After chilling the dough, quarter it and then roll each quarter to a circumference of about 9 or 10 inches. Spread the chocolate filling all around, cut into triangles, then roll up each triangle, starting from the wide end.

Place the rolled cookies on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, then brush with some beaten egg, and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon.

Bake for about 20 minutes at 325 degrees F., or until lightly golden. Let them cool, then sprinkle with a little powdered sugar (optional) and enjoy.

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Chocolate Rugelach
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • FOR THE DOUGH:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½-pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar plus 9 tablespoons
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • CHOCOLATE FILLING
  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ ground cinnamon optional
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • FOR THE TOPPING:
  • an egg, lightly beaten with a teaspoon of water, to brush on top
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • a pinch of cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Cream the cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light.
  3. Add ¼ cup granulated sugar, the salt, and vanilla.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix until just combined.
  5. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a ball.
  6. Cut the ball in quarters, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  7. While the dough is chilling, melt the chocolate in a double boiler, then stir in the sugar, cinnamon and salt and mix well.
  8. On a well-floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9 to 10-inch circle.
  9. Spread the dough with ¼ of the chocolate mixture.
  10. Cut the circle into 16 equal wedges, cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into four pieces.
  11. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge.
  12. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  13. Brush each cookie with the egg wash.
  14. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies.
  15. Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
  16. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.
 

Potato Latkes

  • January 10, 2009

It’s a conspiracy. I’ll never get rid of those extra pounds from the holiday. Cookies, cakes, ice creams, chocolates, rich roasts, luscious cheeses and fish feasts were all part of our Christmas holiday eating.
Newsflash: the holidays were extended this year. Hanukkah was moved to January.

Well, not really, but we were invited to a post-Hanukkah party by friends who normally host this gathering in December. The hostess made these addictive latkes as appetizers, which we devoured — prosecco in hand. She also prepared an intensely flavorful brisket as the main course, while the guests filled out the menu with side dishes of eggplant rollatini, roasted artichoke hearts, spinach with pine nuts and raisins, fennel gratinee and an avocado and pomegranate salad. Not full yet? Let’s hope not, because dessert included an apple galette, pound cake, rugelach, fresh fruit salad and a buche de noel.

It’s not really a conspiracy. It’s my good fortune to be included in the festivities by these gracious hosts and to share a fabulous meal with some of the nicest people and the best cooks I know.

Still, now you know why I left early for the gym this morning.

Here is my friend’s recipe for the latkes, inspired by a recipe from Gloria Kausergreen’s Jewish Holiday Cookbook.

Potato Latkes

makes about 20 latkes

3 large russet potatoes, about 2.5 pounds
1 lemon
2 extra large eggs
1 tsp. salt
2 T. flour
1 large onion
sour cream
caviar (my friend used Romanoff black caviar)
vegetable oil for frying

Peel potatoes and cut in halves or thirds. Soak in a bowl of cold water mixed with a little lemon juice to keep the potatoes from discoloring.
Peel onion, cut into chunks and add to the bowl with the potatoes.
In another large bowl, beat the eggs, flour and salt with a whisk, making sure the flour is fully blended with the egg.
Using the medium grating disk of a food processor, remove some of the potatoes from the bowl and begin to grate. Do not use the fine grating disk. The potatoes should look like strings when they come out of the food processor, so that when they are fried the latkes will look lacy.
Next take some onion and grate using the same disk. Alternate grating potatoes and onions, repeating the process in several batches.
After each batch is grated, put the potatoes and onions into a colander to drain off some of the liquid.
After all the potatoes and onions are grated and in the colander, take your hand and squeeze out handfuls, draining off the liquid.
Place the drained potatoes and onions into the bowl with the egg and flour mixture. Stir with your hands until the potatoes and onions are well integrated with the egg mixture.
Using your hands, pick up a fistful of the potato and onion mixture and squeeze forcefully into a ball, draining out as much liquid as possible.
In a heavy skillet, heat the vegetable oil to high, then lower the heat to medium or medium high, as needed.
Press the latkes into a flat, oval shape and fry in the oil, pressing down with a spatula to flatten even further.
Turn over and fry on the other side, until the latkes are crispy all over. Add more oil as needed. Drain on paper towels, and serve with a dollop of sour cream and black caviar.