Strawberry Jam & Hazelnut Rugelach

Melissa Weller’s Strawberry Jam & Hazelnut Rugelach

For the dough
2 sticks (226 grams) unsalted butter, cold
8 ounces (226 grams) cream cheese, cold
1 1/2 cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (60 grams) whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon (13 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) fine sea salt

For the filling
2/3 heaping cup (220 grams) strawberry jam
3/4 cup (100 grams) hazelnuts

For sprinkling on top of the cookies
2 tablespoons (28 grams) granulated sugar

To make the dough: Cut the butter and cream cheese into 1-inch cubes. Spread them out on a plate and put them in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat pastry flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Fit with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed to combine. Turn off the mixer, add the butter and cream cheese, and mix on low speed (watch out for flying flour when you first turn the mixer on) until the dough completely comes together and wraps around the paddle, about 2 minutes; it will be a cohesive dough, not shaggy, like a pie dough.

Pat and form the dough into a square. Lightly flour your work surface and place the dough on the floured surface. Roll the dough out to 20 inches long from top to bottom and 6 inches from left to right.

Make one letter fold, folding the top of the dough two-thirds of the way toward the bottom and the bottom side of the dough up two-thirds to create a “letter fold.” Dust your work surface with additional flour. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll the dough out on the flour to approximately 20 inches from top to bottom and 6 inches from left to right. Make a second letter fold. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill until it firm, about 60 minutes; or overnight if you are planning ahead.

Form the rugelach. Before beginning toast the hazelnuts in a preheated 300-degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove and cool until just slightly warm, about 10 to 15 minutes. Use a kitchen towel to rub the surface of the hazelnuts to remove their skin, and then place the hazelnuts in a large Ziploc bag and seal the bag, degassing it as you seal it. Roll your rolling pin over the bag of hazelnuts to crush them into pieces. They shouldn’t be powdery but should be broken into pieces. Set aside.

Lightly dust a flat work surface with flour. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on the floured surface. Dust lightly with flour and roll it out to 13 inches from side to side and 21 inches from top to bottom. Using a pizza roller, trim the long sides so they are straight. Use the pizza roller to cut the dough in half lengthwise so you have two 6-inch-wide strips of dough.

Spoon a heaping one-third cup of jam onto one of the strips of dough. Using an offset spatula, spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving 1/2-inch on the left side of the dough (if you are right-handed) clear of filling; you will need this dough free of filling to seal the seam. Sprinkle half of the hazelnuts over the jam.

Beginning on the right side, fold the length of the dough over by 3/4 inch. Repeat, folding the dough over again and again until you have rolled it into a long log. Roll the log so the seam is underneath; if the dough drapes over the side rather than being securely set under the log, the flap of dough will pop away from the roll when it is baked.

Spread the filling on the second length of dough and roll in the same way. Chill the logs for 30 minutes to firm up before slicing. (I cut them in half and then place them on a sheet tray in the refrigerator.)

Arrange the baking racks so one is in the top third and one is in the bottom third. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut the logs into 1 1/2-inch lengths using a chef’s knife. Place the pieces on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.

Brush the tops of the cookies with water and sprinkle generously with granulated sugar. Place a baking sheet under the baking sheets with the rugelach on them so the baking sheets are double thickness; this allows the cookies to brown on top without burning on the bottoms. Place the doubled baking sheets in the oven. Bake the cookies for about 35 minutes, until they are light golden, rotating them from front to back and upper and lower racks midway through baking time.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven. Use a spatula to immediately move the rugelach to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature.

Makes 24 cookies

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