For the Dough
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
For the Filling (estimates)
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- 6 tablespoons peanut butter (super chunk – the peanuts add an extra crunch that make the rugelach taste better), divided in three
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons strawberry jam
To make the dough, cream together the butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Beat until smooth, and then mix in the vanilla extract, and salt. Mix in half the flour on low speed, and then mix in the other half. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead for about 10 seconds, just to ensure that everything has been incorporated together. Divide the dough into three parts, forming each part into a 1-inch disk (circular in shape and slightly flatted). Wrap the disks in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
To assemble the cookies, preheat the oven to 330 degrees F (depending on how quickly your oven tends to heat things up). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the disks of dough from the refrigerator, and allow them to warm up a bit. Once the disks have loosened up a bit, on a lightly floured work surface, roll one of the disks of dough out into circle that is about 1/8-inch thick, and 14 inches in diameter (dough should be thin but not to the point of tearing apart).
Add filling of your choice. I made one disk with peanut butter spread and chocolate chips, one disk with peanut butter and strawberry jam, and one disk with half peanut butter, chocolate, and cinnamon plus half peanut butter and cinnamon (no chocolate).
With a pizza cutter or a butter knife, cut the dough into quarters, and then cut each quarter into 3 wedges, so that there are 12 wedges in total. Carefully slide out one of the wedges from the circle, and beginning at the wide end, tuck in the corners about 1/4 inch, and then gently roll in towards the center. Try to get as little filling on the outside of the cookies as possible, otherwise the filling will burn as the cookies bake. Repeat with the remaining wedges and disks of dough.
Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart form each other. Curve the ends of the cookies in towards the center, to make a slight crescent shape. Bake the cookies until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes (about 40 minutes for me since I lowered the temperature to avoid burning). Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets. Drizzle with chocolate syrup, if desired.
This is my second time making rugelach. I used this recipe for the dough only, then changed the filling to my own preferences. Loved the beautiful flakiness of the dough – many people thought they were store-bought crescent rolls! It was a surprise for people to guess which filling they had. The chocolate can be difficult to identify because it’s not a strong taste, but you can definitely see it once you take a bite. Remember to keep the jam spread SUPER THIN, or else you’ll definitely see some burnt areas on the rugelach! The peanut butter is easier to keep within the cookies, so you don’t have to worry as much with that. Made 36 rugelach, but they go away very quickly!