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Chocolate and Orange Rugelach Cookie Recipe by Bridget Harney

Rugelach Feature

This chocolate and orange rugelach cookie recipe is a twist on a traditional Jewish sweet treat. They look a little bit like croissant, but I can’t profess to be in any way expert about it’s origins. They are, as I understand, still very popular treats within the Jewish community, although my version steers away from the more traditional spice and nut fillings.

The base of this cookie is made with cream cheese and butter, combined with flour and sugar. Cream cheese and orange is a great combination, so a little zest in the dough adds an extra layer of flavour. The dough itself isn’t very sweet, so I really went to town on the chocolate, orange, almond and cinnamon filling. I used marmalade as the adhesive, instead of the usual apricot preserve, but I also made a batch with raspberry jam that was quite delicious.

Rolling out this dough and spreading it with the filling is very satisfying. Slicing it up like a pie and rolling the little cookies up made me feel very industrious, but with very little effort. The quantity of dough makes two ‘pies’ so you can easily freeze half the dough and just make up half the quantity of filling.

The finished biscuit is similar to shortbread, but with a softer crumb and a saltier, creamier taste. Ok, so it’s not really like shortbread at all, but I am struggling to find a comparison. Warm with the melted chocolate filling, they were very moreish. This rugelach cookie recipe is simple to make but are certainly different to any cookies I have made before, but still familiar and comforting enough to please the masses!

Ingredients

Cookie Dough

– 200g cream cheese at room temperature
– 115g unsalted butter at room temperature
– 80g caster sugar
– Pinch of salt
– ½ tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tsp orange zest
– 130g flour

Filling

– 30g soft light brown sugar
– 50g chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate (I used 60% cocoa solids)
– ½ tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp orange zest
– 100g chopped almonds or hazelnuts

– 3 tbsp of marmalade or other preserve

– 1 beaten egg to glaze

Method

1. Mix together the cream cheese and butter until they are well combined. It is really important that they are both at room temperature or it can become really difficult to combine them.
2. Add the sugar, salt, vanilla extract and orange zest. Mix until well combined and then add the flour. Mix until just combined. It’ll be a soft dough.
3. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to firm up for at least twenty minutes.
4. In the meantime, combine all the ingredients for the filling except the marmalade. Beat the egg to get it ready for the glaze, line some trays with parchment paper and turn the oven onto 180 degrees celcius to preheat.
5. Half the dough and put the half you’re not using into the fridge to stay firm, or the freezer if you plan to use it another time.
6. Heavily flour the board and roll the dough into a rough circle. Add plenty of flour as you need it. The circle should be about 8 inches or twenty centimetres wide.
7. Thinly spread marmalade on the circle. This is an adhesive so you don’t need too much. Sprinkle half the filling mixture evening onto the dough.
8. Use a rolling pin to gently push the filling into the dough.
9. Now, slice the circle up like a pie into quarters, and then each quarter into three so that you have twelve triangles.
10. Roll each triangle up, starting the widest end, until it looks like a little croissant. Pop it on the tray.
11. Glaze with some beaten egg and even sprinkle with a little sugar if you wish.
12. Bake for about twelve minutes until the cookies are golden brown and the filling looks a bit oozy!

Eat and enjoy!

RECIPE BY BRIDGET HARNEY

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I have baked for as long as I can remember. I grew up on an organic farm in County Wicklow and Maura Laverty’s ‘Full and Plenty’ was my guide in developing the basic skills and knowledge around food. It was this manual and my surroundings that nurtured an interest in local foods and a desire to use familiar ingredients in a creative way.

I work as an Occupational Therapist in the Mental Health services and have always valued the relaxation and pleasure that baking can bring. Since competing in the Great Irish Bake Off 2013, I have had new opportunities to bake for a café and write my blog, The Search for Delicious. Baking is still an important part of my personal life, but since doing the show I have a great opportunity to share my recipes and food with people outside my circle of friends and family. I hope to develop recipes that are familiar but different, comfortable but still exciting, and am always delighted when someone tries one of my recipes!

Bridget Harney

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