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Author Notes: Rugelach are a classic Jewish cookie that are traditionally filled with cinnamon sugar and raisins. In this version, I decided to mix things up and opt for a matcha powder dough with a heavenly black sesame filling, because let's face it–these two flavors were made for each other! The dough is adapted from Ina Garten's recipe, which my grandmother swears by. It contains cream cheese to give a slight tang and an amazing, tender texture. The filling is a spin on poppyseed filling, another more traditional choice for rugelach. —Crumbs and Nibbles
Makes 4 dozen cookies
For the dough:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 1/2 teaspoons matcha powder
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of milk, for the egg wash
For the filling:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup ground black sesame seeds (you can do this in a coffee or spice grinder)
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- Start with the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy, then add in 1/4 cup sugar, salt and vanilla. Turn the mixer to low, then add in the flour along with the matcha. If the dough seems overly sticky, add in a touch of extra flour so that it's manageable (it'll firm up a bit in the fridge).
- Gather the dough into a ball and divide into four equal pieces. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, make the filling: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, sugar and lemon zest. When the mixture is warm, add in the sesame seeds and cook until the mixture is thick, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, vanilla and butter, then cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely before using.
- When you're ready to assemble and bake the cookies, roll one of the quarters of dough out on a well-floured board until you get a 9-inch circle. Use a spoon or your hands to spread on a good amount of black sesame filling.
- Cut the circle into 12 wedges and roll your cookies from the edge of the wedge to the point. Place them on a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Brush the tops of the cookies with with egg wash and sprinkle on any remaining sesame seeds. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until set and lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Sesame