Welcome 2013 + Chocolate Rugelach Recipe

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View of Gray’s & Torrey’s Peaks, Frisco, CO earlier today.

I hope your holidays and start to the year has been a good one! We had a great time seeing family and friends in Kansas and enjoying all the holiday festivities. The break was soo nice! But I am definitely ready for things to slow down a bit and get back in a regular routine.

It’s been almost a year since I started this blog before we went to Europe. Hard to believe! It’s been fun to share all the new experiences we had in 2012, but at times it has felt like an obligation and at times I was not fully present in real life moments because I was thinking about what to post on the blog! I don’t want it to be like that, at least not at this point in life, so I will continue to post every so often with house updates or a really great recipe  or any fun adventures:) . But probably not so many times a week like I had been last year.

Today, I’m going to share a recipe for cookies I made before Christmas that were AMAZING! The original recipe is posted on one of my favorite food blogs, Crepes of Wrath (where they have much better photography than I do, so be sure to check it out!).

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Ingredients
  • For the Dough:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized cubes
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound regular cream cheese (on average, this is 16 ounces or 2 of those blocks you can buy at the store), chilled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup regular sour cream
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • raw sugar, for decorating

For the Chocolate Filling:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 to 1.5 cups semi-sweet baking chocolate, finely chopped (do not use chocolate chips for this, or if you do, you’ve gotta chop them!)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

Instructions

For the Dough:
  1. It’s best to use a food processor to get a more even dough (but can be done by hand). Add your cubed butter and flour to your food processor and process for about 30 seconds or so, until the butter is broken up well and the mixture looks like wet sand. Work quickly so the butter doesn’t melt. Transfer the butter and flour mixture to a large mixing bowl (the biggest one you’ve got) and add in the salt, cream cheese, and sour cream. Mix everything together quickly, breaking up the cream cheese with your hands and working it well into the flour, until the mixture is crumbly and only pea-sized amounts of cream cheese remain visible. Again, work quickly so that the cream cheese doesn’t warm up too much.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of foil (I was wary of this, too – don’t we all usually use plastic wrap? Just go for the foil, trust me…I think it may help to dry the dough out a bit and make it less sticky), press down on it slightly, and form the dough into a thick disk. Wrap the disk tightly in the foil, and chill in the refrigerator for as little as 20 minutes or as long as overnight (I left mine in overnight). While your dough chills (or just before taking it out of the fridge), make your filling (see below).
  3. When your dough has chilled, you are ready to fill ‘em and bake ‘em. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a few baking trays with parchment paper and sprinkle the paper with some raw sugar. Unwrap the dough, divide it into 2 parts, and put one part back in the fridge so it stays cold. Flour your work surface extremely well, then knead the dough a bit to make it less sticky and more maleable. Roll the dough into a ball, then press it down until it’s about 3/4-inch thick. The sides may crack a bit at first, but just keep working it until you have a smooth sided disk, adding more flour as needed to keep your hands from sticking to the dough.
  4. Roll the dough out into a 10 to 12-inch circle of even thickness and trim off any uneveness on the edges.
  5. Lightly brush the dough with your butter, then sprinkle the chocolate evenly over everything, pressing down a bit to make the chocolate stick. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the circle into 16 equal-sized wedges.
  6. Roll the dough up, starting with the bigger side, tightly and carefully, to make the classic rugelach shape. Place the rugelach seam side down onto your parchment. Continue with the rest of your dough, then brush each rugelach with your egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through baking, until the cookies are a light, golden brown. Allow to cool before moving and serving. These will store well in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature, and will freeze well for up to 3 months.
For the Chocolate Filling:
  1. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and chop your chocolate. Melt your butter and let it cool. When you are ready to use, brush the butter over the rolled out rugelach, sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, then press the chocolate down evenly over the dough. Roll up and bake.

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