Holiday Bites: Savory Rugelach with Blue Cheese & Dates

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Savory Rugelach with Blue Cheese, Dates, and Walnuts

So how do you want to finish this year? Naughty or nice? These Savory Rugelach with Blue Cheese, Dates, and Walnuts are rich and decadent and feel just a little bit naughty. So come on, you’ve been nice for months on end. Santa has already made his list (and checked it twice) he’s noticed how nice you’ve been. Nice. Nice. Nice. Besides he’s so busy this time of year I doubt he’ll even notice what you’ve been up to these last few days of 2016. So snuggle up to the appetizers this holiday season. I think you’ll find that naughty has never been more nice.

Rugelach is traditionally a Jewish “cookie” of sorts. Typically you’ll find them to be jam-filled. But nuts make an appearance just as often. Chocolate rugelach is delicious too. Technically rugelach can be filled with just about anything. So why not a savory rugelach? Because the thing that defines rugelach isn’t so much the filling as it is the pastry. Made with cream cheese, the dough is very rich and very short, meaning that it has a lot of fat: by weight, there’s almost equal amounts of cream cheese, butter, and flour.

Savory Rugelach with Blue Cheese, Dates, and WalnutsSavory Rugelach with Blue Cheese, Dates, and Walnuts

Savory Rugelach

For me, all that luscious fat deserves a special friend, and dates make succulent partners. Besides, I love dates – especially this time of year. When I was a kid I used to pop them in my mouth and wait for the explosion of honeyed sweetness. Which is something I did almost every Christmas morning of my younger years. Dates (and nuts and naval oranges) were always part of our stocking-stuffers. So naturally I like indulging in them during the holidays now that I’m an adult.

Because if there’s on thing I know about the holidays it’s this: Santa just doesn’t have the time to keep tabs on how many bite-sized snacks we’ve snuck. So roll up some rugelach, I won’t tell whether you’ve been naughty or nice. GREG

Savory Rugelach with Blue Cheese, Dates, and Walnuts

Savory Rugelach with Blue Cheese, Dates, and Walnuts

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 16Source adapted from Good HousekeepingPublished
Savory Rugelach with Blue Cheese, Dates, and Walnuts

Ingredients

  • 4 ounce cold cream cheese (cut into 4 pieces)
  • 4 ounce cold unsalted butter (cut into 4 pieces)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 2 ounce blue cheese (crumbled)
  • 16 large dates (pitted)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon water

Directions

Let the cream cheese and butter pieces sit on the counter for 10 minutes so that they are slightly softened but still cool to the touch.

Meanwhile, put the flour and salt in a food processor, scatter over the chunks of cream cheese and butter and pulse the machine 6 to 10 times. Then process, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, just until the dough comes together in jagged clumps that are just beginning to release from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out, gather it into a ball and shape into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 day.

In food processor with the blade attachment, process 1⁄4 cup walnuts until finely chopped; transfer to small bowl and reserve. In same food processor bowl, process blue cheese and remaining ½ cup walnuts just until a coarse mixture forms.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment; set aside.

Working on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a large rough round a scant ¼-inch thick. Use an 11 to 12-inch plate as a template to cut the dough into a neat round with clean edges. Save the extra dough for another use. Cut dough into 16 equal wedges (do not separate). Beginning 1 inch from the edge, sprinkle the blue cheese mixture in a 2-inch-wide ring, leaving the dough in center exposed. Place 1 whole date horizontally on the outer, wide curved end of each wedge. Starting there, roll up each wedge, jelly-roll fashion.

Place rugelach, point side down, 1 inch apart, on cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, lightly beat egg white with water. With a pastry brush, brush rugelach on all sides with egg-white mixture and roll evenly with reserved walnuts.

Bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. With a wide spatula, immediately transfer rugelach to wire racks to cool. Store in airtight container up to 3 days, or in freezer up to 3 months. Makes 16 appetizers.

 

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