Chocolate Strawberry Rugelach
For the dough:
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
3 large egg yolks
1 t. vanilla
A pinch of coarse salt
2 1/3 c. all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for rolling out the dough
For the filling:
1 heaping c. pecans or walnuts
1/4 c. granulated sugar
3-4 dashes cinnamon
A pinch of coarse salt
12 ounces strawberry jam, melted
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips,
or 6 oz. of chopped bittersweet chocolate
For the finishing:
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten .
On medium speed, beat together the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the 1/2 c. granulated sugar, and beat until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, leaving enough time for each yolk to combine with the batter between additions. Add the vanilla and the salt, and beat to combine. Reduce the speed to low, and beat in the flour. Divide the dough into three pieces and pat into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight.
I toasted the walnuts in a pan on the burners for a few minutes, careful not to burn them. Once the nuts have cooled, pulse them together in a food processor with the 1/4 c. granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Depending on the consistency that you want will determine how long you pulse them for.
Roll and bake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Melt the jam in a bowl in the microwave until it is runny enough to brush across the pastry without tearing the dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of dough into a thin 12-inch round. (The dough should be less than 1/8 of an inch thick.) Brush evenly with jelly. Sprinkle one-third of the walnut mixture and one third of the chocolate chips over the jelly. The rugelach will roll up best if you leave about a 2-inch circle of dough in the center free of chocolate and nuts. Using the rolling pin or your fingers, gently press the chocolate and nuts into the dough. Next, cut the round into 16 equal-sized wedges with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife. Starting from the "crust end," roll up each slice to the center of the "pie." Press the tip of each "slice" into the body of the pastry to seal. Place the rugelach on the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Brush the tops of the rugelach with the beaten egg whites ( and sprinkle with sugar if you like). Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes.