These little bundles of light and flaky crust are filled with cherry preserves and chocolate chips. Dusted with powdered sugar, these gluten free chocolate cherry rugelach must find their place in your Christmas cookie lineup.
I have always loved rugelach. A few months back I shared my recipe for Apple Butter Rugelach. If pastry and cookies had a baby, rugelach would be that baby. Flaky dough, only lightly sweetened, can be filled with an endless variety of fillings. Today I want to share my favorite rugelach recipe with you.
My love for rugelach most definitely can be traced back to my grandmother. Each Christmas she would bake up a storm. I remember heading home from her house with a gigantic tin of assorted cookies. Rugelach were always neatly tucked along the sides of the tin. Her filling of choice was a raisin and nut paste.
My filling of choice must include chocolate….must!
I’ve always loved the combination of cherry and chocolate. They are the perfect match and just so happen to be the perfect filling for my rugelach.
Tips for Making Rugelach
There are two schools of thought when determining how to roll your rugelach. Many people opt to roll out the dough into a disc and slice it into wedges. From there they roll up the wedges into crescents. The other school, which I adhere to, rolls out the dough into a rectangle. Then much like a jelly roll, the dough is filled and rolled into one long tube. From there the tube is sliced into equal pieces. It’s all just a matter of preference. I opt for the tube process simply because of aesthetics. I love to see the swirls of filling inside each piece of rugelach.
Do not overmix the dough. I prefer to use my hands and NOT the mixer for this. You want to lightly mix the ingredients together and have the dough come together by simply using your fingertips to turn the dough over repeatedly. The end result should look like this:
Once the dough has had some time to chill, you then roll out the dough and fill it with your favorite filling. After tightly rolling up your dough into a tube, I take the extra step of freezing the tube of dough for 30 minutes. This allows the tube to firm up and will ensure that you will have clean, uniform slices of rugelach. When cutting your slices be sure to use a serrated knife.
When selecting a filling for your rugelach, opt to use preserves not jelly or jam. Jelly and jam tend to have a higher water content than preserves. Also select a preserve that is free of large pieces of fruit. The smoother the better in this recipe.
I hope that you enjoy one of my favorite holiday cookies!
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, salted butter
- 4 oz. cold cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar (plus more for rolling)
- 1 cup gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum (I used Bob's 1 to 1 for this recipe)
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 1/3 cup smooth cherry preserves
- 1 teaspoon gluten free flour
- 1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream (for brushing the tops)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar (for dusting the tops)
Cut the butter into small chunks. Add the butter and cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. The butter and cream cheese should be taken directly from the refrigerator prior to use. You want to work with them while they are cold. Mix them together until combined and smooth, about 2 minutes (be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed).
Remove the paddle attachment from the mixer.
Add the flour, potato starch, and powdered sugar to the bowl. Using your hands and NOT the mixer, lightly mix the ingredients together. You want the dough to come together by simply using your fingertips to turn the dough over repeatedly.
Once all of the dry ingredients are incorporated into the butter, you can lightly press the dough together into a small rectangle. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Dust a hard surface with a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Unroll the dough and lightly dust the top of the dough and a rolling pin with powdered sugar (about 1 tablespoon). Roll the dough out into a rectangle that measures 13" x 10". If the edges are very jagged you can trim them off with a knife.
Place the cherry preserves and one teaspoon of flour into a small bowl. Stir together. Spread onto the dough leaving a 1/2" border all the way around.
Now, roll up the dough. You want to begin at one long end and roll snuggly. It you leave too much space and opt to roll the dough loosely, you will have air gaps in your rugelach. So roll snuggly but not so tight that all of the filling squishes out. Once the roll comes together trim 1/2" off of each end. Discard. Wrap the roll in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 20 - 30 minutes until just firm (not frozen).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Line a standard baking sheet with parchment paper.
Unroll the dough and using a serrated knife, cut into 12 equal pieces. I like to cut the roll in half first, then cut 6 slices from each half. Place each cookie onto the baking sheet leaving at least 2 inches between each. The swirled sides should be facing outward.
Brush the tops with a bit of cream.
Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow to cool for 30 minutes before eating.
If desired, place 1/4 cup of powdered sugar into a handheld sifter and dust the cookies.
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