This is one of my favorite pastries. I remember making these for Christmas one year and giving some away to my friends. I think one girl ate half the box before lunch. These are incredible little morsels.
The dough is made with cream cheese and sour cream and isn’t excessively rich, as some doughs are out there. The recipe is from Marcy Goldman’s The Best of BetterBaking.com. The filling is made with chopped chocolate, pecans, brown sugar, and a bit of oil to hold it all together. It’s rich, nutty, and has a subtle caramel undertone.
I have made a cinnamon and brown sugar filling before also. I will try a nutella filling one day. Hmmm…nutella.
Chocolate Pecan Rugalach
makes 3-4 dozen
adapted from The Best of BetterBaking.com
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. unsalted butter, cold
4 oz. cream cheese, cold
1/4 c. sugar
3/8 tsp. salt
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract, optional
1 1/4 c. pecans, chopped very finely
2/3 c. chocolate chips, chopped very finely
1/3 c. light brown sugar
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. oil
To make the dough, combine flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Cut the butter and cream cheese into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, or two knives, until the mixture have pea-sized lumps. Beat the egg and vanilla together, if using. Add to the butter/flour mixture along with the sour cream. Work the mixture with a fork until it holds together. Knead a few times and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour, or up to three days. I’ve also frozen the dough with no ill effects, just defrost before proceeding with the recipe.
In the mean time, make the filling. Mix the first four ingredients of the filling in a bowl. Pour in the oil and mix with a fork until the filling begins to clump together. Set aside.
Divide the dough into three or four equal parts. Pat each into a round disk on a floured work space. Roll into 10 inch rounds if divided the dough into fourths and 12 inch rounds if divided into thirds. Pat the filling onto the rounds. Using a sharp knife, cut each round into twelve slices, like a pizza. Take a slice and cut a half-inch slit on the bottom (the crust side), like you would for making croissants. Fold the cut corners towards the sides and roll up tightly into a small crescent. Repeat with all remaining slices.
Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven of 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until browned and crisp.
I was nibbling on one earlier and thought to myself, “this begs for some coffee.” Serve with coffee. Share with someone and they will love you immensely.