Look at me, I crossed something off of my to-do list this weekend! I am so organized in this one, tiny aspect of my life. Now if only I could return emails, get past month 3 of my son's baby book, mail bills on time, make a dentist appointment, plan for the future... what was I talking about?
Rugelach! As far as I know, it's pronounced roo-ga-lah. A Jewish pastry that means "little twists" in Yiddish. I used a recipe from Martha's Baking Handbook and modified it slightly. A traditional rugelach is usually filled with some sort of fruit preserves, at least that's what I found after researching recipes. But, as you've probably gathered from my blog, I'm more of a chocolate person myself, so I made a cinnamon syrup filling combined with mini chocolate chips.
Because this recipe involves rolling and sprinkling and mini chocolate chips, this is a really fun cookie to make with a Little Helper! No, not an elf, a child. My Little Helper was the beautiful and imaginative 4-year-old Jaden, and what an excellent helper she was!
Just make sure that your Little Helper is not allergic to nuts before you suggest they help you. More on that later...
Cinnamon Chocolate Rugelach
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg plus 3 egg yolks
2 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup pecan
3 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips
With an electric mixer, mix butter and cream cheese until smooth, for a few minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the sugar and the salt, mixing until fluffy. To make sure you incorporate everything, it helps to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add egg yolks, one at a time, combining after each.
Add flour slowly, I did this in 3 parts, and mix to combine.
Add vanilla, mix.
On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 3 equal parts. Shape each part into a disc.
Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
While dough is chilling, make cinnamon syrup. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 3/4 cup of the sugar, brown sugar, water and 2 tsp of the cinnamon until sugar dissolves, stirring often, a few minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a food processor or blender, combine pecans, 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon and remaining 1/4 cup of the sugar. Pulse until combination is very fine. Set aside for later.
Preheat oven to 325. Once dough is chilled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface, until it's 10 inches round and 1/4 inch thick. Here's where the mini hands started helping. No! Not an elf!
Brush dough with cinnamon syrup.
Sprinkle with pecan/sugar mixture and then mini chocolate chips.
Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into 16 slices.
Beginning with the outside edge of each slice, roll up to enclose filling. If you do not think these look perfect, well, then you should be ashamed of yourself because I had a Little Helper! I think they're perfect. Place each cookie on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Beat egg in a small dish and brush each rugelach with egg wash. Combine remaining 1/2 tsp cinnamon with some sugar and sprinkle each cookie with mixture. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
What is wrong with a cookie that has cream cheese in the dough?? Nothing!!!
*IMPORTANT... when baking with a Little Helper, you do not want him/her to scratch all over shortly after you've finished. And you especially do not want their little eyes to swell up as if they've been stung by a bee. Make sure they're not allergic to nuts!! Did that happen to my Little Helper? No. Yes. No. I feel too awful, I don't want to talk about it...