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Rugelach, Yeast-Raised, w/Chocolate and Raspberry Jam Filling (D, TNT)
Source: "Cooking Jewish," by Judy Bart Kancigor
Yield: 4 dozen

2 packages active dry yeast
3/4 cup whole milk, heated to lukewarm
1 tablespoon sugar
Yolks of 2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more as needed
Pinch of salt

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
About 3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons ground almonds
Whites of 2 large eggs

Make Dough:
Stir yeast into milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add sugar and blend well. Set aside until mixture looks foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.

Add egg yolks, vanilla, lemon zest, and butter to the yeast mixture and beat on medium speed until well blended.

Add the 3-1/2 cups flour and salt, and mix on low speed until dough comes together.

Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed until the dough smoothes out, about 3 minutes. It will still have a rough, broken look where the hook breaks the dough. (Alternatively, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 4 to 5 minutes.) Add more flour by the handful only if the dough is too sticky. Transfer dough to a resealable plastic bag, seal it and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours or as long as 8 hours.

Make Filling:
Combine the sugar, almonds, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and butter in a food processor and process to a crumbly paste. Set aside. Set jam aside separately.

Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

Make Topping:
Mix sugar, cocoa powder, and ground almonds in a small bowl.

Using a fork, beat egg whites in another small bowl until lightly foamy.

Divide dough into four portions and work with one at a time, while keeping remainder refrigerated. Shape a portion of dough into a disk. Dust work surface with flour. Roll dough out to form a thin 12" round.

Spread a thin layer of jam over the dough, leaving a 1/2" border around the edge. Crumble 1/4 of the filling with your fingers, and sprinkle it over the jam. Using a pizza wheel, cut the round into 12 triangles of equal size, as you would a pie.

Roll up each triangle, starting at large end. With the tip end down, bend each cookie slightly to form a crescent shape. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 3/4" to 1" apart, as they will rise somewhat. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Brush the top of each cookie with egg white. Sprinkle topping lightly over the cookies. Cover lightly with a lint-free kitchen towel and set aside to rise for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Bake rugelach on the center oven rack until they are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Allow them to cool on the baking sheets set on wire racks. These are best eaten the same day they are baked.

Posted by Judy Bart Kancigor

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A