Baklava Spiced Rugelach

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Baklava Spiced Rugelach

Combine two Middle Eastern desserts into one tasty cookie. 

Tips: You can freeze the prepared dough or baked cookies for up to 2 months. Use this basic dough, with or without the cardamom, as a great base for any filling. Jams, nuts, Nutella. I won’t stop you!

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 48 cookiesServings

Ingredients

For dough

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 8 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into chunks
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For baklava filling

  • 1 cup slivered almonds (if all you have is whole almonds, that works too!)
  • 1 cup unsalted de-shelled pistachios (all almonds works too!)
  • ¼ cup candied ginger
  • ¼ cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt (omit if using salted nuts)
  • ½ stick (1/4 cup) melted and cooled unsalted butter
  • 1 egg, whisked, for egg wash

Preparation

  1. Place sugar, cardamom, salt and flour in the bowl of a large food processor and pulse just until combined. Then add cold butter and cold cream cheese in the large food processor and pulse just until combined. You should have a fine, pea-sized crumbly dough. Then add in sour cream and vanilla. Pulse just until incorporated, do not overmix. Dough will still be a little crumbly.
  2. If you don’t have a food processor, let butter and cream cheese come to room temperature. With a stand or hand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar just until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Then add in sour cream, vanilla and salt and combine. Lastly, add in flour and cardamom and mix just until combined.
  3. Remove the dough from the food processor (actually, remove the blade first!) and form into a ball on a clean, lightly floured surface, handling the dough as little as possible.
  4. Divide the dough into four balls (use a scale to make them even in size) and flatten into disks, without working the dough too much. Dough will be slightly sticky. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The dough also freezes well for up to 2 months.
  5. To make baklava filling, pulse almonds, pistachios and candied ginger in a food processor until broken down into tiny chunks but be careful not to form a paste. Then add sugar, honey, cardamom, cinnamon, salt and melted butter and pulse to combine. You should have a sticky but crumbly filling.
  6. When ready to bake, set two racks in the middle of the oven, and pre heat the oven to 350 F.
  7. Roll out each ball on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 9-inch circle, an 1/8 inch thick, keeping the other balls in the fridge until you are ready for them. You can use a large bowl or cake pan turned upside down to make an even circle. Try to work fast as the dough is harder to work with as it warms up. Make sure to use enough flour on both sides to prevent sticking, but not so much that the dough gets dry. I like to flip the circle part way through rolling and re-flour the surface.
  8. For the baklava filling, sprinkle about ¼ of the filling ingredients onto the circle, leaving a ¼ inch border along the edge of the circle with no filling and gently press into dough.
  9. Cut the circle into 12 triangles like you would a pizza. The easiest way to do this is cut the dough into quarters, and then cut each quarter into 3 pieces. You can use a ruler too if you want to be super precise! Roll up each triangle from the wide end, and secure the tip into the cookie so you have a little spiral. Place cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, 1 inch apart, with the dough point down.
  10. Repeat with remaining dough balls. Freeze cookie sheets for 30 minutes to prevent spreading. Wash the rugelach with egg wash and sprinkle with more granulated sugar or you can use coarse sugar too.
  11. Then bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, switching sheet positions and rotating (flip around and switch rack position) halfway through backing. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and then finish cooling on cooling racks. Repeat with remaining cookies.