I love to walk into Jewish bakeries and fine pastry shops and just stare and feel inspired. I went to culinary school in upstate New York a few years back and would take the train into nyc almost every weekend. I fell in love with treats like these and all the rugelach towers that decorated many pastry shops there.
A few weeks ago I made this batch of treats for a special couple to take with them on a trip to Australia and ended up snapping some shots of the process. I made a small untraditional tweak by adding goat cheese to the dough instead of cream cheese. They were super good as always. The cherry guys were my fave by far, but the chocolate were equally as nice, just a bit more decadent.<3
happy valentines day.
SOUR CHERRY AND SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE RUGELACH – Goat cheese dough // Makes 16-18 large cookies
8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces goat cheese
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Filling + Topping
6 ounces (roughly 1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips or around 61% cacao pieces
8.5 ounces cherry jam or sour cherry spread
3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar (optional)
1/4 cup whole walnut halves, finely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg
2 teaspoons water
In a large bowl beat together the butter and goat cheese until well combined. Add the flour and salt to the bowl and stir until a soft dough forms. Gather the dough in a ball and shape it into a rectangle disk. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350º with oven racks placed in the upper-middle positions. Line one 18″ by 14″ inch cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water on low heat. Melt the chocolate, stirring until it’s smooth, warm, and entirely melted, being careful to not let it get too hot. Stir together a 1/4 cup brown sugar, the walnuts, and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
Place the dough onto a generously floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a thin 25″ by 16″ inch rectangle. With a pizza cutter or knife, trim the excess cracking edges to shape straight edges.
Spoon the jam filling onto one half of the dough and spread with an offset pastry spatula to cover the entire half surface of the dough, all the way to the edges. Finish the other half side with the melted chocolate and smooth out evenly just the same. Optional, sprinkle the chocolate side with 1/2 cup of the brown sugar evenly over the top, this will make for a less dark chocolate tasting cookie. Either divide the two filling surfaces by cutting down the middle or leave it as is in one piece. Working from the bottom edge of the dough, slowly roll the dough into a tight pinwheel until one evenly long roll is formed.
Cut about 16-18 equal slices with a serrated knife and place onto the prepared sheet tray seam-side down. Brush the cookies with an egg wash of one beaten egg with 2 teaspoons of water. Apply the cinnamon sugar-walnut topping by lightly packing it against each slice. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the jam and chocolate have set and the tops are golden brown. Some of the cherry jam will release from the rugelach while baking leaving a thin sweet tart candy-like layer around some of the cookies. Save that stuff, it’s a nice snack. Let them cool and serve.
The cookies can be stored in airtight container up to 1 week.