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What makes sense in my brain does not always make
sense in real life. When I dreamed up pairing hot fudge with cream cheese
dough, I felt as if I were on the brink of something brilliant. So I put
together a sheet pan filled with hot fudge rugelach. Halfway through the baking
process, I peeked in the oven. Disaster. The hot fudge was oozing all over the
place. But I thought, what the heck—I went ahead and finished baking them. I
put them on the speed rack and walked away. I nearly forgot all about them.
When I came back, the oozy hot fudge had cooled, forming a crisp tuile
surrounding the rugelach. Disaster averted: I had an incredible pan of
chocolate "cracklins." Sometimes I catch new and well-meaning employees
breaking off the cracklins to make these cookies more presentable. I stop them
on the spot. These cracklins are the whole point.
In addition to hot fudge, the inside of the
rugelach has a streusel made by grinding hazelnuts with chocolate and cocoa nibs.
If you want to mix things up a bit, cashews or smoked almonds are fine
alternatives to hazelnuts.
RECIPE: COCOA NIB HOT FUDGE RUGELACH
Makes 48 rugelach
1⁄2 cup (2 1⁄2 ounces)
1⁄2 cup (2 1⁄2 ounces)
dark milk chocolate discs (preferably 53% cacao)
2 tablespoons cocoa nibs
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
1⁄4 cup firmly packed
light brown sugar
1⁄4 cup firmly packed
dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons unbleached
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1 recipe Classic Cream
Cheese Dough (see below), divided in half and chilled
1 1⁄4 cups Hot Fudge (see
below), at a warm room temperature
1 extra-large egg white,
To make the streusel, put the nuts and chocolate discs in a bowl and freeze until thoroughly chilled,
approximately 20 minutes. In a food processor, grind the nuts and chocolate.
Pulse in the cocoa nibs, sugars, flour, and salts until a coarse meal forms.
Put a sheet of parchment paper the same dimensions
as a half sheet (13 by 18-inch) pan on the work surface and dust lightly with
flour. Unwrap one dough half and place on top.
Using a rolling pin and a pastry roller, roll the
dough half into a rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border from the edge of the
parchment paper. The dough should be just shy of 1⁄4 inch thick. If the edges
become uneven, push a bench scraper against the sides to straighten them out.
To keep the dough from sticking to the parchment paper, periodically dust the
top lightly with flour, cover with another piece of parchment paper, and,
sandwiching the dough between both sheets of parchment paper, flip the dough
and paper over. Peel off the top layer of parchment paper and continue to roll.
Repeat with the second dough half. Stack both sheets of dough on top of each
other and refrigerate until chilled, approximately 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a few half sheet pans
with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
Invert the sheets of dough onto the work surface
and peel off the top sheet of parchment paper. For each sheet of dough, spread
half of the hot fudge in a thin, even layer across the surface. Sprinkle
approximately 1⁄2 cup of the streusel per sheet over the hot fudge. Trim the
edges. Using a dough cutter or a pizza cutter, divide the sheet in half
lengthwise into two long strips. Working with one strip at a time and moving
crosswise, cut out triangles with flat tips, with each base approximately 1 1⁄2
inches wide and each tip approximately 1⁄4 inch wide. Shoot for 12 triangles
Using an offset spatula, separate a triangle away
from the rest of the dough. Starting from the base, roll the dough up like a
crescent roll. Place tip-side up on the prepared sheet pan and repeat with the
remaining triangles, spacing them on the pans 2 inches apart (the hot fudge
needs space to spread). Brush the tops with the egg white and sprinkle with the
remaining 1 cup streusel.
Bake one pan at a time for 15 minutes. Rotate the
pan and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until the hot fudge has oozed out
and bubbled on the sides. Let cool completely on the sheet pan so the hot fudge
solidifies around the rugelach. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Rugelach can be stored in an airtight container at
room temperature for up to 5 days. Rolled, unbaked rugelach can be refrigerated
for up to 1 week.
Makes a generous 4 cups
3 cups heavy cream
1 3⁄4 cups granulated
2 tablespoons golden syrup
(such as Lyle's, see page 269) or light corn syrup
4 ounces unsweetened
chocolate, broken into pieces
1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher
1⁄4 cup (2 ounces)
unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure
In a 6-quart or larger heavy pot over medium-high
heat, combine the cream, sugar, and syrup until dissolved, approximately 3
minutes. Add the chocolate and salt and bring to a boil. Lower to a gentle
simmer so that the bubbles percolate in the center of the pot. Cook, stirring
periodically to avoid scorching the bottom, until the mixture breaks and the
oils separate from the solids, 40 to 45 minutes.
Whisk in the butter and vanilla thoroughly (you can
also use an immersion blender to do this if you want it extra smooth) and let
Hot fudge keeps in the refrigerator for up to 6
CREAM CHEESE DOUGH
Makes 2 (13 by 18-inch) sheets of dough
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted
butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at
1⁄3 cup plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 cups unbleached
1 teaspoon kosher salt
teaspoon sea salt flakes
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle
attachment, mix the butter on medium speed for 5 to 10 seconds. Add the cream cheese
and mix on medium speed to combine, 10 to 15 seconds. Add the sugar and beat on
medium speed until aerated, approximately 3 minutes. Scrape the sides and
bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together.
On medium speed, add the vanilla, mixing briefly
until incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber
spatula to bring the batter together.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salts.
Add the flour mixture all at once and mix on low
speed until the dough just comes together but still looks shaggy, approximately
30 seconds. Do not overmix. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. With a
plastic bench scraper, bring the dough completely together by hand.
Stretch two sheets of plastic wrap on a work
surface. Divide the dough in half (each half will weigh around 14 1⁄2 ounces)
and place a half on each piece of plastic. Pat the dough into rectangles, wrap
tightly, and refrigerate until chilled throughout, at least 2 hours or up to 1