Fresh Raspberry filling
1 cup good quality raspberry preserves
1½ cups fresh raspberries (dry the berries on paper towels)
In a small bowl, combine the jam and the fresh berries, using a fork to gently mash the berries.
Toast 1 cup of walnuts in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes until fragrant. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and let cool completely. Finely chop the walnuts.
Brown Sugar/Cinnamon mixture
Combine ½ cup of brown sugar with ¾ teaspoon of cinnamon.
Finely chop 2 oz. good quality dark chocolate (I use Trader Joe’s 60%)
The Dough (yields: 3+ pounds of dough; use what you need and freeze the rest)
3½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 pound of cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½ ” chunks
8 oz. cream cheese (do not use low fat) cut into ½ ” chunks
1 cup sour cream
egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with two tablespoons of heavy cream
(You can make this in a food processor, but I prefer to use my standing mixer.)
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour,
salt and sugar. Add the butter and cream cheese, mixing on low just until the mixture is crumbly. Add the sour cream and mix just until you have a soft dough. Remove the dough from the mixer and set it on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper. Using a bench scraper or a knife, divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2-3 hours. It is easiest to work with this dough when it has chilled in the refrigerator overnight.
Working with one portion of dough at a time, you can roll the dough into a rectangle, approximately 12” x 7” x ¼ “ thick or into a 10” circle, ¼” thick. (I generally use about 6 oz. of dough per 12” x 7” rectangle or per 10” circle.) You must roll the chilled dough out on parchment paper that has been generously floured. If the dough gets soft, place it (on the parchment paper) on a baking sheet and return it to the refrigerator. Spread about 2 to 3 tablespoons of raspberry filling on top of the dough, spreading it gently using an off-set spatula. Sprinkle it with a bit of the cinnamon sugar, then about ¼ cup of the toasted walnuts and a good handful of chocolate. Roll up the rectangle, (roll from the short end, not the long end) into a tight cylinder using the parchment paper to help you, then cover the filled cylinder of dough with plastic wrap and return it to the refrigerator to chill thoroughly before baking. When ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Remove the rugelach from the refrigerator, brush the top and sides with a bit of the egg wash, then slice the cylinder into 1” slices using a sharp knife, and place the slices flat on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 20-25 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through, until they are puffed and golden.
If you prefer crescent shaped rugelach, roll about 6 oz. of chilled dough on a generously floured piece of parchment paper, into a 10” circle. Spread about 2 to 3 tablespoons of raspberry filling on top of the dough, spreading it gently using an off-set spatula. Sprinkle it with a bit of the cinnamon sugar, then about ¼ cup of the toasted walnuts and a good handful of chocolate. Cut the circle into 8 or 10 wedges, and roll up each wedge to form a crescent. Place the rugelach on a parchment lined baking sheet, brush the crescents with egg wash and return to the refrigerator to chill thoroughly before baking. Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through, until they are puffed and golden.