Day 10 of my 12 days of Christmas Cookies/Treats! Rugelach is a popular cookie from Israel, and the dough is made with cream cheese and butter, and may be filled with chocolate, nuts, jam, etc. During my jamming days, I used to make these cookies often, to try out my jams in the cookies and how different jams would taste in these cookies. What I like about this cookie is that it is not too sweet, and can be quite versatile with the fillings in it.
I have used middle-eastern flavors in this particular rugelach, and I love how the filling tastes in this cookie! The dough is flavored with ground star anise and cinnamon. The filling is one of my favorite jams, Apricot and Rosemary Jam(that I make every summer, and is one of my most popular jams!), halvah, finely chopped walnuts, more cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey.Roll it all up, brush it with an egg wash, sprinkle some demerara sugar or sanding sugar(to make it look pretty), on the top and bake these little gems. I love the filling flavor, and it all works well together! I had shared my recipe for the Apricot and Rosemary Jam on the Sunset website, and you can get the recipe here.
These cookies travel well too, and would be perfect additions to a cookie box!
Day 11 is tomorrow, and it is one of my absolute favorite Christmas treats, converted to a cookie! Also, this cookie is part of a Virtual Cookie Party, hosted by the lovely Cosette from Cosette’s Kitchen, and I am so looking forward to all the creations!
Day 10: Halvah, Walnut, Honey Rugelach
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, extra flour for dusting
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp orange zest from one orange
- 1 teaspoon ground star anise
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 8 ounce cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
- 1 cup halvah, crumbled into tiny pieces
- 1 cup apricot jam
- 2-3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Honey to drizzle - about 2 tbsp per disc
- 1 egg
- 2-3 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 cup colored sanding sugar OR demerara sugar
- In a food processor, add in the flour, ground star anise, ground cinnamon, salt, sugar and process to blend. Add in the butter and orange zest and process until the butter is pea sized. Add in the cream cheese and process again, until the dough starts to form together. Do not over process.
- Remove the mixture onto a board and put it all together with your 2 hands. Cut it into 4 equal sizes. Put each part onto a plastic wrap, and wrap it, to form a round disc, about 1 inch thick. You should have 4 parts. Put them in the fridge for about 45 minutes.
- Remove one at a time, and roll it into a 9-inch round disc, using additional flour to roll out the disc. Now evenly spread about 3 tbsp of apricot jam onto the dough. Now add about 1/4 cup of crumbled halvah evenly onto the round dough. Next spread about 1/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts evenly onto the round dough. Sprinkle about 1/2 to 3/4 tsp of cinnamon over the mixture. Use a small offset spatula to press the mixture down to make it even. Now drizzle honey over the mixture.
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Make the egg wash: In a small bowl, add the egg, heavy cream and whisk until it is well combined.
- Use a pizza cutter, or a sharp knife, to cut the round, length wise, and then horizontally. Then cut each quarter into 2 equal parts. Repeat the same for all quarters. You should get 12 equal parts. Start rolling each part from the outer end, towards the inner end and gently seal the tip.
- Place it on a large baking tray with parchment paper with the tip side down. Repeat the same for the remaining 11 parts. Brush each rugelach with the egg wash, with a pastry brush. Make sure you remove the excess egg wash off the pastry brush before applying it on the rugelach. Sprinkle sanding sugar, or demerara sugar on top of each rugelach.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, until the rugelach are golden brown in color. Remove it from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes on the tray. Let it rest on a wire rack and cool completely.
- Repeat the process for the remaining 3 discs of dough. OR freeze the dough to make it later.
- Store it in an air tight container for about 2 weeks!