These chocolate and orange rugelach cookies are 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.

Choc and orange rugelach

The base of this cookie is made with cream cheese and butter, combined with flour and sugar. Cream cheese and orange are 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 more usual apricot preserve, but I also did 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. The second half of the dough that I intended to freeze never made it that far, and I had to hide a biscuit to have to try cold the next day. Cold the cookies had satisfying contrast between the soft crumb and the chunks of chocolate and nuts. The orange in the cookie dough as also more noticeable, so I conclude this biscuit is good warm or cold!

These cookies are simple to make but are certainly different to any cookies I have made before. They have the advantage of being a bit different, but still familiar and comforting enough to please the masses!

Ingredients

Cookie Dough

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

Filling

30 grams of soft light brown sugar
50 grams of chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate. (I used 60% cocoa solids)
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of orange zest
100 grams of chopped almonds or hazelnuts

3 tablespoons of marmalade or other preserve

1 beaten egg to glaze

Method

Mix together the cream cheese and butter until they are well combined. It’s really important that they are both at room temperature or it can become really difficult to combine them.

Mixing cookie dough

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.

Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to firm up for at least twenty minutes.

Chilling the dough

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.

mixing cookie filling

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.

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.

rolling the dough

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.

Use a rolling pin to gently push the filling into the dough.

Now, slice the circle up like a pie into quarters, and then each quarter into three so that you have twelve triangles.

Roll each triangle up, starting the widest end, until it looks like a little croissant. Pop it on the tray.

Glaze with some beaten egg and even sprinkle with a little sugar if you wish.

Shaping the cookies

Bake for about twelve minutes until the cookies are golden brown and the filling looks a bit oozy!

Eat and enjoy!

baked cookies

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