Prune and Chocolate Rugelach

By Food52
November 20, 2015
3 Comments


Author Notes: “Coming from Eastern Europe, where most of the beloved Jewish pastries originated, I always enjoyed rugelach and similar cookies. My mother’s best friend was Hungarian, and she use to make delicious rugelach cookies at Christmastime. She would make two different doughs, one plain and one chocolate-flavored, and she would swirl it together in beautiful roll stuffed with prune jam. I loved going to their home during holidays just for this dessert. 

"When I came to America, I learned about cream cheese and how some Americans add it into rugelach dough. It is such a great way to still maintain flakiness, but add rich and bit tangy flavor to a tender rugelach dough. From a good friend of mine who is Israeli, I learned that traditional rugelach in Israel is always made with chocolate, while among American Jews it's made using jam.

"As rugelach has always been a favorite of mine, I decided to take this classic dessert and put my spin on it. I combined the traditional American jam filling with the Israeli chocolate filling, and snuck in some Slivovitz (a prized Serbian plum brandy) to represent my Serbian heritage.” -Miro Uskokovic, pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern.
Food52

Makes: about 30 to 40 cookies

Ingredients

For the fudge sauce:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

For the dough, prune jam, and assembly:

  • 2 sticks butter, cut in chunks and kept cold
  • 9 ounces sticks cream cheese, cut in chunks and kept cold
  • Generous pinch kosher salt
  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups prunes
  • 1/4 cup Slivovitz [Editors' Note: We substituted brandy]
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup fudge sauce (from above)
  • pinches salt
  • 8 ounces cocoa nibs
  • Melted, cooled butter, for coating cookies
  • Granulated sugar, for coating cookies

Directions

  1. In a large pot, bring water, sugar, and heavy cream to a boil (you'll want to make sure that the pot is large because the mixture will steam and bubble up). Reduce to simmer and whisk in cocoa powder. Simmer on low until sauce has a fudge consistency, which may take 10 to 20 minutes.
  2. For the dough, combine butter and cream cheese in stand mixer and mix into chunks. In a separate bowl, sift salt and flour. Add to the butter and cream cheese mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; refrigerate for one hour.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium spot, combine the prunes, Slivolitz, and water. Bring to a boil, then cook on low heat for 15 minutes stirring often, until prunes are soft. Place in food processor and blend until paste-like. Add the chocolate fudge sauce and combine.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350° F. On a floured surface, roll out chilled dough into rectangle 1/4-inch thick. Cut the dough lengthwise into 5-inch strips and spread each with chocolate prune jam, then sprinkle over cocoa nibs. Roll up the strips into logs, place on sheet tray, and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes. Cut logs into 2-inch slices, then roll each in melted butter and sugar. Place each log on a parchment-lined sheet tray, leaving 2 inches between each. Freeze for 30 minutes, then bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown [Editors' Note: our rugelach took 30 to 40 minutes to bake].

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Reviews (3) Questions (0)

3 Comments

Christopher B. December 24, 2015
Also cooked them for 45 minutes<br />5/5 stars
 
Christopher B. December 24, 2015
This shows the cookies baked on a cut side, I cooked them on a dough side. These are scrumptious.<br />The changes I made in the recipe:<br />After making the dough I divided it into two oblong pieces about 1/2" thick for chilling overnight.<br />I rolled out each half into a 10x16" square 1/8" thick. Cut that in half the long way, spread 1/4 of the filling on each half and rolled each half up tightly the long way, then divided each log into 8 cookies, followed recipe and placed on dough side rather than cut side on parchment lined cookie sheet, 16 cookies on each sheet and proceeded with recipe.<br />Really complicated but really worth it.
 
amysarah December 12, 2015
My Hungarian Jewish grandmother's rugelach were iconic in my family - usually filled with apricot jam/walnuts, but occasionally prune. I vividly remembered chocolate in them too, but my mother always insisted that was only my childhood perception (due to the color/sweetness.) I never quite bought this - after all, prune danish were very familiar at that age, so I knew the difference. Your recipe has made me think I was right all along! Will have to try it and see!