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Holiday cookie recipe: Rugelach with three fillings

December 20, 2012|By Noelle Carter
  • Rugelach with three fillings: chocolate-hazelnut, cherry-almond and apricot.
Rugelach with three fillings: chocolate-hazelnut, cherry-almond and… (Bryan Chan / Los Angeles…)

Looking for a winning rugelach recipe? Former Test Kitchen director Donna Deane came up with these for a holiday story we ran a few years ago. And we still haven't been able to forget them....

Her recipe makes the most wonderfully flaky pastry dough, which you can wrap around your choice of fillings, including chocolate-hazelnut, cherry-almond and apricot.

Tempted yet?

The festive cookies are one of the favorite holiday cookie recipes we've collected in our updated "Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookies" e-book. The cookbook now includes 65 recipes from a wide range of sources, including world-famous pastry chefs, favorite bakeries and home cooks. And check out the favorite holiday recipes we've collected in our "Los Angeles Times Holiday Handbook." The book shares more than 110 seasonal recipes to help you celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's.

Each book is $4.99. They are available at the Los Angeles Times bookstore for Kindle, Nook and iBooks.


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Total time: 1 hour, 50 minutes plus 2 hours or overnight chilling

Servings: Makes 4 dozen cookies

Note: From former Times Test Kitchen director Donna Deane. You can choose two fillings for one recipe of dough.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, each stick cut into 8 pieces

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut into quarters

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons melted butter

3 tablespoons sugar, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons additional if making chocolate-hazelnut rugelach

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 recipes filling, any combination of chocolate-hazelnut, cherry-almond or apricot (see accompanying recipes)

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon chopped hazelnuts, if making chocolate-hazelnut rugelach (reserved from making filling)

1 tablespoon chopped toasted almonds, if making cherry-almond rugelach (reserved from making filling)

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese on low speed until blended, about 2 minutes. Mix in the vanilla until incorporated.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, salt and flour. With the mixer at low speed, slowly incorporate half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture until blended; repeat with the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until dough forms, about 1 minute.

3. Turn the dough out of the mixing bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead once or twice, then divide the dough in half. Shape each part into a half-inch-thick rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 2 hours or overnight. While the dough is chilling, make your choice of fillings.

4. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

5. Roll one rectangle of chilled dough out on a lightly floured surface so that it is a one-eighth-inch thick rectangle. Trim the dough to a 13 1/2 -by-10-inch rectangle, then cut it into thirds crosswise. Brush each with melted butter.

6. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons sugar with the cinnamon. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over each rectangle of dough. (Reserve the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture to sprinkle over the top of cookies with apricot or cherry filling.)

7. Spoon one-third cup filling along the edge of each rectangle closest to you. Roll each rectangle of dough into a log. Place the logs, seam side down, on baking sheets covered with parchment paper.

8. Repeat steps 5 to 7 with the remaining chilled dough. You will have 6 logs, 3 on each baking sheet.

9. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolk with one-half teaspoon water. Brush the top and sides of the logs with the egg yolk mixture. Lightly score the top of each log so that it is easier to cut into eight equal pieces after it is baked.

10. For cookies with chocolate-hazelnut filling, sprinkle one-half teaspoon sugar over the top of each log, then sprinkle 1 teaspoon chopped hazelnuts (reserved from making the filling) over the top. For cherry-almond-filled cookies, sprinkle the top of each log with about one-fourth teaspoon cinnamon-sugar mixture, then 1 teaspoon chopped toasted almonds (reserved from making the filling). For apricot cookies, sprinkle about one-half teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top of each log.

11. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool. When cool, cut each log into 8 pieces with a sharp or serrated knife.


Chocolate-hazelnut filling

Total time: 20 minutes

Servings: Makes about 1 1/4 cups to fill 3 rugelach pastry rolls (see accompanying recipe)

Note: From Times test kitchen director Donna Deane

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon blanched hazelnuts

1/3 cup chopped top-quality bittersweet chocolate, such as Valrhona

1/2 cup chopped dried figs

3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

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