Ayayayay! This Chocolate Chili Rugelach has got a kick!
This Hanukkah, in between frying latkes and eating bags of chocolate gelt in my PJs while watching reruns of Family Feud (you know you do it too), I participated in a neat blogger event! The Great Blogger Cookie Swap is a super fun annual event that raises money for a good cause, and encourages cookie eating. Both good things!
Here’s how it works. Talented and generous bloggers Lindsay and Julie organized thousands of participants (so amazing, right?) so that each blogger receives three cookie recipients. Everyone donates money to Cookies for Kids Cancer, sends out cookies in the mail, and then receives three dozen surprise cookies from new friends! Cookies and a good cause? It’s a win win!
So duh I had to make a Jewish cookie. The tricky part was picking a cookie that would ship well. I picked rugelach since it’s about as sturdy and determined as Bubbe fighting off bargain hunters at a Kate Spade sample sale. Pretty darn sturdy!
Rugelach, if you aren’t familiar, is a rich cream cheese dough filled with awesomeness and rolled up like a little Jewy croissant. Traditionally it’s filled with nuts and jam, but I’ve done everything from Candied Ginger, Almond and Cardamom Rugelach to Chocolate Pumpkin Almond Rugelach and even Savory Caprese Rugelach. And just wait until you see what I do with rugelach tomorrow!! (!!)
This rugelach? It may look like chocolate, and okay it is, but I had to add a little Texas heat! (P.S. don’t use this much flour when rolling yours out. It just looked pretty!)
A pinch of cayenne takes these rugelach from awesome to uber awesome.
Which is exactly what all desserts should be. Right?
- For cookies:
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cold, cut into chunks
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- For filling:
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- ½ teaspoon cayenne paper, or less
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 egg yolks plus 1 teaspoon water for glazing
- In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, salt and flour. Place flour mixture, cold butter and cream cheese in a food processor and pulse just until combined. You should have a crumbly dough. Then add in sour cream and vanilla. Pulse just until combined into a clumpy dough. Do not overmix.
- (If you don't have a food processor, let butter and cream cheese come to room temperature. With a stand or hand mixer with beater attachment, or just a spoon or whisk, cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar just until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Then add in sour cream, vanilla and salt and combine. Lastly, add in flour and mix with a spoon or your hands just until combined. This method will lead to a chewier rugelach vs. the flakier cookie with cold ingredients.)
- Lightly flour a clean surface and dump dough onto the surface. Divide the dough into four equal sized balls (I use a scale) and flatten each into a disk. Dough should be a little sticky. Wrap each disk in saran wrap and chill for two hours or overnight. It also freezes well for up to 2 months.
- When ready to bake, combine chocolate, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and cayenne pepper for filling in a small bowl. Prep your melted and cooled butter.
- Roll out each ball one at a time on a lightly-floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 9-inch circle about ⅛ inch thick. Keep the other balls refrigerated until you are ready to use them.
- Whisk egg yolks with 1 teaspoon water to make egg wash.
- Brush 1 tablespoon of the melted butter on the rugelach. Sprinkle about ¼ of filling onto the circle. Cut the circle into 12 even triangles. Roll up each triangle from the wide end and secure the point into the cookie so you have a little spiral. Place cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet point side down, and freeze for 30 minutes. Repeat with other balls. Whisk egg yolks with water and wash over rugelach and sprinkle with more sugar.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake cookies for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on cooking racks. Try not to eat piping hot if you can wait!