Recipe For Date, Hazelnut and Chocolate filled Croissant-Shaped Rugelach


Lulu, my husband, has been asking for Rugelach for a while. He has fond memories of the rugelach that his best friend’smom would make when Lulu was a child. Rugelach which means little twists in Yiddish is rolled, filled pastries. It is not overly sweet. The filling can range from chocolate, to fruits, to nuts, and any combination of the three. I picked dates, hazelnuts and chocolate and I think the marriage is pretty successful as it tastes very similar to a Nutella-filled baklava.

I’ve never made it before and so when through some of my cookbook and found several recipes for the dish. In particular, I liked Martha Stewart’s preparation from her cookbook Martha Stewart’s cookies p. 288. I adapted it to my taste and to what I had available in my pantry.

I think that it’s still kosher but I’m not sure if it’s ”kosher for Passover”. I could have use brandy, extracts or date syrup but I chose not to, to respect the tradition.

1. Info for Date, Hazelnut and Chocolate filled Croissant-Shaped Rugelach

  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
  • Servings: 45
  • Calories: 380 kcal

2. Ingredients for Date, Hazelnut and Chocolate filled Croissant-Shaped Rugelach

  • 16 Tbs unsalted butter, 2 sticks (+6 Tbs), cold
  • 8 oz cream cheese, soft at room temperature
  • 4 oz fromage blanc
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp fleur de sel, finely ground
  • 1/2 cup Belgian pearl sugar
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon powder
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, freshly roasted for about 15 minutes in the oven
  • 1 tsp clementine zest
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 cup fruity tea, hot

3. Directions:

  1. Pit the dates. Place the pitted dates in a small stainless steel bowl. Pour the hot cup of tea over the dates. Soak the dates in the tea for at least 30 minutes. Drain all the liquid and discard it. Get the soaked dates and add brown sugar. Stir the mixture and turn the dates into a thick paste. Add the clementine zest. Plastic-wrap the bowl and place in a warm area. It’s best to make it the night before.
  2. Let the cream cheese soften for about 15 minutes before using it. Cut into 6 cubes.
  3. Cut each stick of butter (total 2 sticks) into 12 cubes. The butter should be cold just out of the refrigerator.
  4. Sift the flour and salt.
  5. Combine the cream cheese, butter, flour, salt and fromage blanc in a food processor. Place the setting on ”dough” and gently pulse the dough about 10 times. Transfer the dough into a bowl and quickly form a ball. It’s crucial not to overmix the dough, you should still see bits and pieces of butter. Divide the dough into 3 balls.
  6. Place a silicon mat or a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray. Spread one ball of rugelach dough onto the silicon mat. Place another silicon mat on top of the dough like a sandwich. Even out the dough using a rolling pin and form 8 inch diameter size disks. Repeat the same procedure for the other 2 dough balls. Stack the 3 layers on top of each other. Plastic wrap the tray and place it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes or until the rest of the components of the rugelach are ready.
  7. Pulse the chocolate chips in a food processor to obtain small morsels.
  8. Coarsely chop the roasted hazelnuts using a chef’s knife.
  9. In a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind the Belgian pearl sugar with the cinnamon. Set aside.
  10. In a bowl, mix 4 tablespoons of the cinnamon sugar (get the most powdery product in the bottom of the mortar and pestle) with 3 tablespoons of butter until it forms a cream.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  12. Get the rugelach dough out of the freezer. Remove the first layer of silicone mat. Place the 3 dough disks next to each other. Brush an even amount of cinnamon sugar butter onto each disks. Spread the date paste. Sprinkle a generous amount of chocolate and finish with the coarsely chopped hazelnuts. Using a pizza wheel, make even portion of rugelach forming triangles. I use the π method to guarantee even portions.

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