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Rugelach, Chocolate-Raisin-Nut (D, TNT)
Source: "Bowl Food Cookbook," by Lynne Aronson and Elizabeth Simon
Yield: 36

Cream Cheese Dough:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

Chocolate Raisin Nut Filling:
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1-1/2 cups walnut or pecan pieces

Cinnamon Topping:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon, ground
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and another directly below it. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Make Dough:
Combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth and well blended. Add the flour and beat at low speed until just incorporated. Do not over-mix.

Gather the dough into a log shape and cut into three equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and flatten slightly, to make a disk. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate to firm them up, 1 to 2 hours.

Make Filling:
Combine the sugar, raisins, and cinnamon in a food processor and process until the raisins are finely chopped, about 30 seconds. Add the chocolate and nuts and pulse until the nuts are coarsely chopped, 6 to 7 seconds. (For a less-textured filling, pulse the nut mixture until finely chopped, about 30 seconds.) Set aside.

Make Topping:
Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, stirring to mix well. Set aside.

Remove one dough disk at a time from the refrigerator. Place the dough between two large sheets of clean plastic wrap and roll it into a 9" circle.

Using a large sharp knife, divide the circle, like a pie, into 12 equal wedges. Brush the wedges with some of the melted butter.

Place 1 heaping teaspoon of the filling mixture on the wide end of each triangle and roll each up as tightly as possible, from the wide end to the point, making a crescent shape. Make cookies with the remaining dough and filling in the same manner.

Place the cookies, point side down and about 1" apart, on the prepared baking sheets. Brush lightly with butter and sprinkle the tops with the cinnamon sugar. Place each baking sheet on a shelf in the oven and bake until the cookies are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, switching the shelves the baking sheets are on after 15 minutes.

Remove the baking sheets to wire racks and let the pastries cool completely. Store the pastries in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Posted by Nancy Berry

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A