Rugelach is a classic Jewish pastry that's not at all hard to make at home. This version is full of chocolate and dried cranberries! Bonus: They freeze well and keep well!
For the dough:
- 2 2/3 cups (325 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling:
- 1 1/3 cup (160g) walnuts
- 2/3 cup (66g) finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (60 to 70 percent,) or 60 percent bittersweet chocolate baking chips, such as Ghirardelli
- 2/3 cups (113g) dried cranberries
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
To finish the cookies:
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar or natural cane sugar
1 Make the dough: In a bowl, whisk the flour, powdered sugar, and salt until blended.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed, mix the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the bowl, mixing just until the ingredients are combined.
If making by hand: With a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon, mix the cream cheese and butter until very smooth. Gradually add the dry ingredients, stirring until combined.
2 Portion and refrigerate the dough: Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide it into 6 equal portions, and shape each portion into a flat disk about 5 inches in diameter.
Wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour (or for up to 1 day).
Note: For larger rugelach, divide the dough into four pieces—you’ll get 4 dozen cookies instead.
3 When ready to assemble the cookies, make the filling: In a food processor, pulse the walnuts, cranberries, chocolate, and cinnamon until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl.
4 Roll out the dough and fill the rugelach: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured work surface, roll it into a 10- to 11-inch circle.
Spread about 1/3 cup of the filling (loosely packed) over the dough; the filling might look a little sparse, but it will be plenty once you start rolling up the cookies. Press the filling into the dough with your hands (or lightly roll over it with a rolling pin) to press the filling lightly into the dough.
5 Roll up the cookies: With a pizza cutter or chef’s knife, cut the dough into 12 wedges.
Starting at the outer edge of the circle, roll each wedge toward the center, tucking the dough underneath carefully to keep the filling intact. Curve the ends toward the center to form a crescent and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
6 Brush with egg wash: In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk the egg and water with a fork. Brush the cookies with the egg wash and sprinkle them with the sugar.
7 Bake the rugelach: Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, or until slightly puffed and golden brown on the bottom. Remove and let cool for 3 to 4 minutes.
With a spatula, transfer them to racks to finish cooling. The cookies can be kept at room temperature in an airtight tin for 4 to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months.