I have noticed a lot of my fellow food bloggers have been posting 12 Days of Christmas entries, showcasing a different holiday recipe each day. In the spirit of these holiday-friendly posts, I’ve decided to stick to my Jewish roots and join in on the fun with an Eight Days of Hanukkah Cook-a-Thon!
For the first night of Hanukkah, I give you Rugelach, a delicious Jewish dessert whose name comes from the Yiddish language meaning “little twists” or “little corners.” This cookie can be made with cream cheese or sour cream, and is cut into a triangle shape and rolled around a filling of your choice. I used a recipe from JustATaste to make Mint Chocolate Rugelach. I tweaked a few ingredients, opting for reduced fat cream cheese and Stevia instead of regular cream cheese and sugar. Otherwise, I followed her recipe and the result was rug-a-licious! Making the rugelach was a two-step process. First, you make the dough and let it cool in the refrigerator. Making the dough was extremely messy so make sure you have a good amount of clear space to work with. The butter, cream cheese and flour all mix together in a food processor to make a very crumbly dough that got everywhere when I took off the lid. Though the dough seems pretty dry, it does stick together well and becomes one big ball to be rolled out and cut into triangles. I left my dough in the refrigerator overnight before moving onto the next step, making the cookies. I had to really beat the dough hard before it loosened up enough to roll out. Off to the side I had my cinnamon-sugar (Stevia) mixture, and Andes creme de menthe chips. I spread a generous amount of the cinnamon-sugar onto the dough, covering it completely, and topped it with the chocolate. Then I cut the dough into triangles and rolled each one around the sweet filling.
After all of the dough had been rolled into perfect little cookies, I put them back into the refrigerator to cool for a half hour before baking. I have to say I was very proud of myself for succeeding in making these cookies actually look like ones I’ve purchased in-store. I was anxious to get them in the oven and taste them. Each time I opened the oven door to check on the cookies, the mint-chocolate aroma filled the kitchen and made me even more anxious to try them.
The result was beautiful, chocolatey Rugelach good enough to brag about to my Jewish family and friends who have undoubtedly had delicious bakery-fresh Rugelach many times before. I will definitely be making these again. There are lots of different fillings you could use when making this dessert. Plain chocolate is always a popular choice. I bet a chocolate-peanut butter filling would be really good, too. Or you could go for a fruitier flavor and use a fruit puree or jam. The options are endless!