Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach with Pecans

This recipe comes from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, which is amazing.  Every recipe I have made from it has been delicious.  Raspberry. Chocolate. Pecans. You can’t go wrong!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 brick of cream cheese, 250 grams
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup raspberry jam
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbs pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup miniature bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • coarse sanding sugar (i also used maple sugar for half of them)

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For the dough.

With an electric mixer or paddle attachment on your kitchen aid, beat the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy.  In a medium bowl, whisk the salt and flour and then pour the flour mixture into the cream cheese and butter mixture.  Beat on low, just until the flour disappears.   Put the dough on some plastic wrap and make flat.  Wrap the rest of the dough with plastic and chill for at least 2 hours, up to 3 days.

Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment (I only used 2)

For the filling.

Heat the jam in a small saucepan until it simmers.  Your jam will have seeds, and I recommend removing them for this recipe.  Push the jam through a fine mesh strainer to remove them and then set the warm jam to the side.  Combine your cinnamon and sugar in a bowl.  In another small bowl, whisk the egg yolk and water together until smooth.

Things you’ll need next:

  • rolling pin
  • flour for the counter
  • spatula or butter knife to spread the jam
  • knife or pasty wheel to cut the dough
  • spoon for the dry toppings
  • large piece of waxed paper
  • brush for the egg wash

Divide your dough into 2 or 3 (i did 2).  On a well floured counter, roll the first part out into a thin circle as best you can.  It doesn’t have to be perfect (approx 12 inches in diameter).  Spread 2 tablespoons of jam thinly over the dough and then sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the cinnamon-sugar , 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of the pecans all over.  Next use your piece of waxed paper and place over top while gently pressing the toppings into the dough.  Use your knife or pastry wheel to dive the dough into wedges (approx 16).  Roll each wedge tightly from the outside to the center and then place on a baking sheet.  Space them apart 1 inch.  Put your tray in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking.

Preheat your oven to 350°.  Repeat the process with your next set of dough while the current dough chills in the fridge.

Before baking, brush the top with the egg yolk mixture and sprinkle sanding sugar on top.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden brown.  Transfer to a cooling rack while still hot, that way the jam spills out or else it will harden.

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Definitely making these again!!!

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Best Chocolate Cake – with Guinness

I have made this cake several times now and absolutely adore it.  The recipe is Katie Quinn Davies and I first spotted it on Design Sponge.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup and 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup guinness
  • ¾ cup sifted cocoa powder
  • 2 + ¼ cup all purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 + 1/3 cup cream cheese (300 grams)
  • 1 + 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream, whipped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2.  Add butter, cocoa and Guinness to medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until melted.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Add flour, baking soda and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix together well.  Then pour in the Guinness, cocoa and butter mixture, mixing until combined.  Add the vanilla, eggs and sour cream, mixing until combined.  Your batter should be thick and dark, and delicious 😉
  4. Pour batter into a greased and lined angel food pan and cook in oven for at least an hour, maybe an hour and 15 minutes.  Test by using a skewer and if it comes out clean around the centre of the cake, it’s done.  It should be moist.
  5. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the cake tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

Frost Instructions

  1. With whisk attachment, whip whipping cream for 5-1o minutes then set aside.
  2. Place cream cheese into the bowl of your mixer and beat on low/medium speed with either paddle or whisk attachment.  Whisk until it’s smooth with no lumps remaining.
  3. Gradually add sifted powdered sugar and beat until combined, scrapping down sides when necessary.
  4. Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in the whipped cream, mixing until fully combined.
  5. Once cake is cooled completely, add your icing!

*cake recipe was found from Katie Quinn Davis

Home-made gift #1 – Chocolate covered spoons

This recipe is pretty straight forward.  In fact, there is no recipe.  I found these spoons at the $ store, 3/$1.00.

Then I went over to bulk barn to get chocolate and appropriate spoon toppings.

I used:

  • Milk chocolate and white chocolate chips
  • Crushed peppermint candy canes
  • White decorating sugar
  • Holly candies, not good for hot chocolate or coffee but so cute and festive!

To start I washed my spoons.  Then I melted the chocolate using the double boiler method.  Once the chocolate was melted I dipped my spoons, generously.  I set them to cool off on a cutting board, elevated so the chocolate settled evenly.  After 20 minutes or so I added the sugar, candy cane and holly candies. You don’t want the chocolate to be soft, but you also don’t want it to be hard.  Just right…in the middle.  I waited till the chocolate was more firm to melt some white chocolate and added it on top of the milk chocolate.  After I put these spoons in the fridge, and then I was done!