Rugelach has always reminded me of the delectable cinnamon roll-ups my mom used to make with leftover pie dough, but rugelach is usually made with cream cheese pastry. These delightful tasty treats, originating in the Jewish communities of Poland, can be made with any number of different spice, nut, or fruit fillings, but cinnamon or chocolate are definitely our favorites. They make perfect Chanukah treats and Santa will love them too!
We especially love this salted dark chocolate recipe of Jake Cohen’s published in the Dec. 2019 issue of Fine Cooking Magazine. The pastry is only slightly sweet and the dark chocolate combined with sea salt is a chocolate lover’s dream. When we make them, we make them extra-fancy by drizzling extra dark chocolate over the tops and dusting them with edible silver glitter. They look like an artist waved a brush over them and no two are the same, which is fun. One of ours looked exactly like a lizard design this time! See if you can find it in the picture below …
Dark Chocolate Sea Salted Rugelach
Cream Cheese Dough
- 8 oz. cream cheese softened
- 4 oz. 8 Tbs. unsalted butter softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour; more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 large egg at room temp.
- 1 teaspoon whole milk
Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Filling
- 8 oz. about 1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped dark chocolate
- 2 oz. 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Cream Cheese Dough:
- In a large bowl using a hand-held electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, butter, and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 minutes.
- Add the flour and salt, and then mix just until a smooth dough forms.
- Divide into 4 equal balls or squares. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour or up to overnight.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 375 F.
- Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper lightly coated with cooking spray.
- Remove one dough square from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured work surface. (If you’ve refrigerated the dough overnight, let it sit out at room temperature for several minutes so it is more malleable and easier to roll out).
- Roll each dough into an 8-inch square. Spread one-fourth of the salted dark chocolate filling (recipe below) on the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch edge at the top and bottom.
- Slice the square in half. Starting at a long end, roll each half into a cylinder from the outside in, and then cut each rolled half into six evenly sized pieces.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg and milk.
- Arrange 12 rugelach on one of the prepared baking sheets.
- Brush with the egg wash, and bake until golden-brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
- For our dressed-up holiday version, once out of the oven and cooled, drizzle melted chocolate over the top of rugelach and sprinkle edible glitter, or alternatively, sprinkle with sea salt or powdered sugar.
Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Filling
- Combine the chocolate, butter, sugar, and salt in a double boiler or heat-proof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water.
- Whisk until melted and smooth. Cool completely, and chill until spreadable or the consistency of peanut butter. To complete the rugelach, follow the instructions in the recipe above.