The cookie craze continues, with this week’s recipe starring bittersweet chocolate chunks rolled into flaky cream cheese dough. Being in the second week of December, I seem to be hitting my yearly quota of white flour and sugar on an almost daily basis. And this recipe for Chocolate Rugelach, or “little twists,” takes the indulgence a step further by cutting cream cheese into a buttery dough sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and rich chocolate chunks.
I splurged on a higher end chocolate simply because it’s the centerfold of this dessert. Scharffen Berger makes incredible baking bars and baking chunks with a quality and taste that’s hard to match. And if you’re looking to save a little time, you can freeze the unbaked regulach then defrost them and bake off batches as needed.
Yield: 4 dozen
Prep Time: 40 min
Cook Time: 20 min
For the cream cheese dough:
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, cold and cubed
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cubed
2½ cups flour, plus additional for rolling out the dough
½ teaspoon salt
For the chocolate filling:
½ cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into tiny chunks or shavings (Recommended: Scharffen Berger 70% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Bar)
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
Make the dough by combining the cubed cream cheese, cubed butter, flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the ingredients together until the fat becomes evenly dispersed within the flour (the dough will be crumbly but still stick together).
Shape the dough into a ball, place it into a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for one hour or up to one day.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut it into 4 pieces. Place 3 pieces back into the refrigerator.
Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface, and using a rolling pin, shape it into a disc of approximately 1/8-inch thickness. The dough will be very hard, so it's best to first beat it down with a rolling pin (as if you were making puff pastry). It will loosen up as it comes to room temperature.
Immediately brush the disc with one-fourth of the melted butter and sprinkle it with one-fourth of the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Sprinkle one-fourth of the chocolate onto the disc, pressing the chocolate into the dough.
Cut the disc into 12 wedges.
Roll each wedge up, starting from the thickest end, until you form a crescent shape.
Repeat the process with the other three balls of dough.
Transfer the uncooked rugelach onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes before baking. (You can also freeze them at this point for later use.)
Bake the rugelach in a 350ºF oven for 18-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
Recipe adapted from BellaOnline.