Malted Milk Chocolate Rugelach

December  8, 2022
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • makes 16 rugelach
Author Notes

Rugelach is a beloved Jewish treasure originating from Eastern Europe. The cookie-pastry hybrid can be filled with anything from jam to chocolate and is the perfect two-bite treat fit for any holiday spread. This version, a classic chocolate rugelach bolstered with the flavors of creamy milk chocolate and malted milk powder, has a nostalgic flavor and tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture that will shine at any cookie swap.
To make the dough, just combine flour, malted milk powder, cream cheese, butter, and a touch of sugar in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until a soft dough forms. The malted milk powder lends the dough a nutty flavor that tastes a bit like buttered toast while the cream cheese helps keep the dough tender. While there are a plethora of rugelach dough variations, this one skews soft and tender with a texture that lies somewhere between pie and biscuit dough. It bakes up with an impossibly soft crumb that puffs in the oven and flakes apart when eaten. The star of the show, the filling, is where the rugelach has a bit of fun: Milk chocolate chips are accompanied by a generous amount of malted milk powder to create a nostalgic flavor reminiscent of retro chocolate shakes. Those unfamiliar with malted milk powder might not know it’s there, but they will know something interesting is going on. The malt elevates the chocolate flavor and makes these rugelach shine. A sprinkling of coarse sugar on top gives the rugelach a pop of texture and festive shimmering sparkle.
Jesse Szewczyk

What You'll Need
  • Dough
  • 2 1/4 cups (288g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (40g) malted milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks/226g) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 8 ounces (226g) cold cream cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • Malted Milk Chocolate Filling
  • 4 ounces (about ⅔ cup/113g) milk chocolate chips or chopped milk chocolate
  • 1/3 cup (53g) malted milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (6g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, for egg wash, plus more if needed
  • sanding sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Make the dough: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, combine the flour, sugar, ¼ cup malted milk powder, and salt. Process until combined, 10 to 15 seconds. Add the butter and cream cheese and process until a rough, shaggy dough forms that just starts to pull away from the sides of the food processor, 30 to 45 seconds. (If you don’t have a food processor you can pinch and knead the butter and cream cheese into the dry ingredients using clean hands as if you are making pie dough.) Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, cut in half, and roughly form each half into a rectangle. (Wipe out the food processor, but don’t wash it.) Tightly cover in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.
  2. Make the filling: Place the chocolate chips, malted milk powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until the mixture is the texture of coarse sand, 25 to 35 seconds. (Alternatively, chop the chocolate into a fine dust and mix with the other ingredients.) Transfer into a bowl and set aside. In another small bowl, crack the egg for the egg wash and beat with a fork until no streaks of unincorporated yolk remain.
  3. Unwrap one of the chilled doughs, generously dust with flour, and roll into a 11- by 8-inch rectangle. (The dough can get sticky, so use a bit more flour than normal.) Trim the edges to create crisp lines, if desired. Sprinkle about half of the filling onto the dough in an even layer leaving a ½-inch border on the top and bottom, pressing it in with your hands so it sticks and compacts slightly. Brush the top and bottom border with the egg wash. Roll into a spiral shape, brushing the underside of the dough with egg wash each time you roll it over, and transfer onto a sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling and freeze both logs uncovered for 1 hour.
  4. As the cookie logs are chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F and set 2 racks at the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line 2 baking sheets (you can line the one in the freezer once the logs are done chilling) with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
  5. Brush the chilled dough logs with the egg wash on all sides. (If your egg wash has a lot of chocolate in it, it’s best to make a new one.) Generously sprinkle the tops of the logs with the sanding sugar. Cut the logs into 1½-inch thick slices using a thin sharp knife and place onto the prepared baking sheets spacing at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until lightly browned, then let cool completely on the baking sheet before serving. (If any of the rugelach spread more than you would have liked, just use the back of a spoon to push them back together while still hot from the oven.)

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1 Review

Ant February 12, 2023
1 ½" slices ended up being really large (like 4-bite rugelach, which is very different than the picture). Rolling out the dough per the recipe resulted in a thickness of about ⅜". For comparison, two other recipes said the dough should be rolled out to ⅛". I only ended up getting 11 cookies instead of the 16 as the recipe listed. Additionally, my rugelach spread out (and no amount of "use the back of a spoon to push them back together while still hot from the oven" would have fixed), tipped over (4 of the 11 tipped, but likely because I sliced them a tad less than the 1 ½" thick), and were raw in the middle even though they had great colour!

If you are going to attempt this recipe, I would recommend dividing the dough into 4 portions and rolling it out to a thickness of ⅛". This will also reduce the cooking time.