• Rutabaga, Celery, Dill, & Smoked Chicken Soup
  • Matcha Whoopie Pies with Sakura Buttercream Filling
  • Chicken with Oyster Mushrooms, Portobellos, & Napa Cabbage
  • Mushroom Chicken Pie
  • Pistachio Wasabi Beets
  • Sichuan Chili Oil, and variety of cold-chicken-based lunches
  • Lemony Pea and Radish Salad with Mint
  • The Fort Greene
  • East African Sweet Pea Soup
  • Lazy, Rustic, Haphazard, and Amazing Sour Cherry Pies
  • Malaysian Chicken Satay
  • The Wildman’s iPhone App
  • Welsh Cakes with Dried Apricots and Candied Ginger
  • Farmhouse Pork with Black Beans and Green Peppers (and Trotter Gear)
  • Black Pepper Tofu with Pork
  • Peposo
  • Toasted Hazelnut Chai
  • Kentucky Coffee Spread
  • Banana Guacamole
  • Spicy Shrimp with Wine Rice
  • Double Ginger Chocolate Chunk Scones
  • Artichoke and Blood Orange Salad (with frisee, parsley, and cardamom)
  • Chevre Truffles
  • Clementine Sassafras Ice Cream
  • Jack is Closed (but you can vote for our pie on Sunday)
  • Our Wedding
  • Pecan Mole
  • Son-in-Law Eggs
  • Saffron Turmeric Cake with Meyer Lemon Sorbet, Argan Oil Whipped Cream, Almond Brittle, and Thyme
  • My Triumphant Return, with a Book Giveaway!

« | Main | »

Cocoa Nib and Currant Rugelach

My mother’s side of the family is Hungarian. Her parents were born in a small town in Hungary, and their paths took them from there to Auschwitz, from Auschwitz back to Hungary (with a few countries in between), from Hungary to Italy (briefly), from Italy to Israel (where they helped found a moshav), and finally from Israel to Brooklyn, NY, where my grandmother still lives today, just a few blocks away from me.

I do not make traditional Hungarian rugelach. For one thing, there aren’t any nuts in mine. Heretic that I am, I think these are much tastier than the kind my grandmother is used to eating. The cocoa nibs scan as much more chocolatey in these than they do in my cocoa nib ice cream, and their crunch works well with the juiciness of the currants.

This is another recipe from Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate by Alice Medrich, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite cookbooks.

Cocoa Nib and Currant Rugelach
For the pastry
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter (cut into pieces)
One 8 oz. package cream cheese (chilled and cut into pieces)
For the filling
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 C packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 C roasted cocoa nibs
1/2 C dried currants (soaked briefly in boiling water, and then drained and patted dry)

Make the pastry in advance, as usual. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the butter pieces are about the size of bread crumbs. Add the cream cheese and process until the dough begins to clump together, about 30 seconds. (I sometimes cheat and just make this in my Kitchenaid mixer. Doesn’t seem to do any harm.)

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and slam it to get out the air bubbles (as if you were working with clay), then divide it into 4 pieces. Press each piece into a flat patty about 4″ in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours. You can leave it in the fridge overnight if you like.

When you’re ready to make the cookies, position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

For the filling, mix the sugars, cinnamon, nibs, and currants together in a medium bowl.

Remove one patty of dough from the refrigerator at a time, and deal with each as follows: Roll it out between two pieces of wax paper into a 12″ diameter circle that’s about 1/8″ thick (err on the side of too thin, if need be). I find that it helps to peel the dough off the wax paper and flip it over from time to time when rolling it out. When it’s ready, peel off the top sheet of wax paper and place the paper on a counter or cutting board. Flip the dough onto the paper and peel off the second sheet. Sprinkle a quarter of the filling over the dough. Place a fresh, non-sticky piece of wax paper over it, and gently roll over the filling with a rolling pin to press it into the dough. Remove the top layer of wax paper.

Cut the dough into 12 equal wedges like a pie. Roll up each wedge, starting at the wide end and working towards the narrow point, and place them on the cookie sheets with the point underneath to keep it from unrolling. They don’t need to be too far apart, as they won’t expand much. Just a bit of breathing room between them will suffice.

Bake, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time, for about 25 minutes, or until light golden brown at the edges. Cool on wire racks.

Post a comment

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “Cocoa Nib and Currant Rugelach”

  1. rob says:

    Rugelach are not, generally, something I go out of my way to eat, but the cocoa nib rugelach look fantastic. I have to admit, I’m something of a sucker for anything with cocoa nibs.

  2. Ivonne says:


    How serendipitous! I just happen to have a packet of cocoa nibs hanging around and I was thinking that I should use them but couldn’t find a recipe I liked so thanks for sharing yours.

    I love the story about your grandmother and family … and I think it’s so sweet that you live so close to her!

  3. The rugelach looks fantastic … and then the bread … decisions, decisions.

  4. Danielle says:

    Rob, so am I.

    Ivonne, let me know how the recipe works out for you! If you want to hear more stories about my grandmother, though, poke me over email instead – I probably shouldn’t turn this blog into All Hitler, All the Time.

    Cate, obviously you should make both. ^^

  5. zsofi says:

    Dear Danielle,
    I discovered your blog via SHF (that syllabub looks faboulous!)
    I’m Hungarian so I’ve read the story about yor grandmother with great
    interest. With regard to that rugelach, to tell you the thruth,
    I don’t think they are of Hungarian origin. Although I’m Jewish myself,
    the first time I’ve ever seen rugelach was at Zabars in NY:)
    Your other recipes are also mouthwatering,I will be coming again.

  6. BNA says:

    What gorgeous rugelach — and with currants, which I adore. Marvelous.

Leave a Reply

March 2006
« Feb   Apr »