Savory Rugelach with Blue Cheese, Dates, and Walnuts: “Filling rich cream cheese dough with a mixture of blue cheese, walnuts, and dates turns rugelach into delicious appetizer pastries that go perfectly with a glass of red or white wine. They take a bit of time to prepare, but the filling and dough can be made ahead if you like.” –GH
- 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
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.