Rugelach With Fig/Cognac Jam And Spiced Walnuts- Christmas Cookies
I love making rugelach, and the possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to the filling for these lovely little buttery flaky beauties. Some of you may remember my Chocolate Hazelnut Rugelach that won a Whole Foods Contest a few years ago, it’s a lovely combination of orange marmalade, chocolate and hazelnut. There is the traditional with apricot jam, cinnamon and walnuts, love that too! I thought of doing something a little different this year, my good friend Bevi of Brussels Sprouts,Pears and Pistachio fame and an amazing cook on Food52 sent a jar of her homemade fig and cognac jam. I have been waiting for just the right use (other than eating out of the jar with a spoon) and thought rugelach would be the perfect use for this amazing jam. The walnuts are toasted and then you add some cardamom and ginger when you mix in the brown sugar. Spread the dough with the jam, sprinkle the walnuts and roll them up. It’s an amazing combination of flavors, a little on the exotic side but very subtle. I include rugelach in every gift box and hope the recipients enjoy these.
Makes 4 dozen
The Dough and filling:
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar + more for sprinkling on cookies
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 cup fig jam
sugar for sprinkling
1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment cream the cream cheese and butter until light. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla. With mixer on low add the flour and mix just to combine. Dump dough onto work surface form into a ball cut into four quarters and wrap each in plastic wrap, refrigerate for one hour
Place walnuts on parchment lined sheet pan and toast in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes (just until you can smell the nuts). Once the nuts have cooled enough to handle, chop and add the brown sugar cardamom and ginger. Set aside.
Remove one of the dough quarters from the refrigerator, roll into a circle on floured work surface. I use the lid of my dutch oven to cut an even circle. Spread jam on the dough round, sprinkle nut/sugar mixture on top of the jam and press down gently with your hand. Cut into quarters and cut each quarter into 3 pieces. Roll from widest end to smallest.
Place each rugelach on parchment lined baking sheet, brush with egg wash and sprinkle some sugar on each. Put in freezer for 15 minutes before baking. While they are in freezer pre heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove to cooling rack.