Friday, December 3, 2021

Rugelach Bars

Rugelach Bars

Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate! Hanukkah ends Monday night, so I wanted to post these cookies in advance of the end of the celebration. They do take a little more time, with the chilling of the dough, so it is best not to rush them. I have made rugelach several times, and it honestly can be filled with anything that you’d like, but I kept fairly traditional here, just substituting dried pluots for the dried apricots. I wanted to try something different!

I made the crust for the bars a day in advance. The dough was so crumbly that I wanted to provide lots of time in the refrigerator for it to come together. As I struggle rolling dough out to a specified size, I did a combination of rolling and pressing to get the dough into the pan. Chilling the dough didn’t help at all with the fact that the dough was completely falling apart. Thankfully the filling was no problem and for the top crust I just pieced it together as well as I could. There was no way that I was going to be able to roll it out into any sort of shape.

These get very bubbly while baking, but firm up as they cool. I imagine that if the top crust was more cohesive, then that would be less noticeable, but I will never know! Once baked, the bars are nicely browned on top, but you can see that the top crust isn’t perfect. That’s fine because I did the best I can! I think they look nice, and the filling is wonderful with the chocolate, dried fruit, and nuts. Rugelach can be quite messy to make, but these bars are a little easier.

Rugelach Bars
12 tablespoons butter, cut in pieces
8 ounces cream cheese
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup pecans, toasted
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
Zest of one orange
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
Additional sugar

In a large mixer bowl, mix the cold butter and cream cheese until soft, but the butter will remain chunky. Add the flour and salt and mix on low until the mixture begins to come together. Remove the dough from the mixer and divide in two halves. Shape each half into a rectangle and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a food processor, pulse the toasted pecans and chocolate chips until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and add the sugar, cinnamon, dried apricots, orange zest, corn syrup, and melted butter. Stir with a spatula and set aside.

Shape half of the dough into a rectangle approximately 9” x 13”, approximately the size of your baking pan. Place the dough in the prepared pan, adjusting as needed. Spread the dough with the chocolate/nut filling. Roll the second piece of dough into another 9”x 13” rectangle and place on top of the filling. Mix the egg yolk and water and brush the top of the bars with this mixture and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before cutting into bars. 

Recipe from Joy of Baking

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