adapted from recipes by Leah Koenig and Shannon Sarna

I’m ridiculously excited about this recipe, I have taken recipes of two of the best Jewish recipe writers out there today and synthesized them into something I think (I hope) they would both be proud of. Leah’s Chocolate rugelach recipe has married Shannon’s chocolate filling and together they have recreated one of my favorite Jerusalem foods when I’m so far away.

In Jerusalem, in the Machane Yehudah market, there is a bakery called Marzipan, best known for their tiny rugelach that feel like they are barely cooked, and are oozing with chocolate. Our rugelach are cooked, yet still gooey with chocolate (and don’t tell them, but I think our version may be ever so slightly better) but then again Jerusalem adds a flavor all its own!

Sugar syrup:

  • 100g (½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 120ml (½ cup) water
  • Dough:
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dry yeast
  • 50g (½ cup) plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 175ml (¾ cup) warm water
  • 420-490g (3 ⅓ – 4 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 60ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Chocolate filling:
  • 170g (6 ounces) plain (dark) chocolate, cut into pieces
  • 170g (¾ cup) betterine or margarine
  • 100g (½ cup) sugar
  • 40g (⅓ cup) cocoa powder
  • Cinnamon Sugar Filling:
  • 170g (¾ cup) betterine or margarine, melted
  • 300g (1 ½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

For the sugar syrup:

  1. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan, bring to the boil, and let it boil for two minutes until it has thickened slightly. Let the syrup cool completely. The sugar syrup can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

For the dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, combine the yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and the warm water, and let stand until foamy 5-10 minutes.
  2. While the yeast proves, prepare the flour mixture: In a medium bowl combine 375g (3 cups) flour with 100g (½ cup) sugar and the teaspoon of salt, whisk, and set aside.
  3. In a measuring cup, combine the vegetable oil, egg yolks, and vanilla.
  4. Pour the oil mixture into the proven yeast, and start the machine running at the lowest setting, slowly adding the flour mixture until it’s incorporated and the dough starts coming together.
  5. Keep the machine going, and if needed slowly add flour from the remaining cup of flour you have in reserve, you may not need all or any of the reserved flour, just keep on adding until the dough looks smooth and supple.
  6. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times, to make sure the dough is soft and not sticky, add more flour if needed, but keep in mind you are after a soft dough, if too much flour is added the dough may toughen up. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning the dough to coat it on all sides. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.

For the Chocolate Filling:

  1. Place the chopped up chocolate, betterine (or margarine), sugar, and cocoa powder in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, and mix, keep microwaving in 30-second blasts and mixing in between each blast until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  2. Cool in the fridge for 30-60 minutes, just until the mixture sets up and is of spreading consistency (keep an eye on this as you don’t want it to get so cool it’s difficult to spread).

For Cinnamon Sugar Filling:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and let cool to spreading consistency.

To assemble:

  1. Heat oven to 180℃ (350℉). Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper and set aside.
  2. Gently deflate the dough and divide in half, return the half you aren’t working with to the bowl and cover.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle that is longer than it is wide (I know that is the definition of a rectangle – but exaggerate the rectangledness of the situation). The dough should be no more than 3 mm (⅛ inch) thick.
  4. Spread half the mixture all over the dough, all the way to the edges.
  5. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut triangles that are about 5 cm (2 inches) wide at the base and taper to a sharp point.
  6. Starting with the wide end, roll up the dough, like a croissant, and place on a prepared baking sheet.
  7. As soon as you are done with the first batch, bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately brush with sugar syrup.
  8. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.