Mocha Rugelach

mocha rugelach

These light and flaky pastries, popular among American and European Jews, get a rich chocolate espresso filling for a twist on the jam-filled classic. Cream cheese is the secret to these incredibly tender cookie crescents, and the sweet- bitter combination of dark chocolate and espresso powder in the filling makes for a delicately delicious treat.

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out our November/December 2021 issue for a Chocolate Rugelach Cake and other cookies turned cake!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Mocha Rugelach
Makes 32 rugelach
  • 2¾ cups (344 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt, divided
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ⅔ cup (150 grams) cold cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams), room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (6 grams) plus 1½ teaspoons (3 grams) instant espresso powder, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) 60% cacao dark chocolate, melted
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, place flour, granulated sugar, and ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) salt; pulse until combined. Add cold butter, cold cream cheese, egg yolk, 1½ teaspoons (3 grams) espresso powder, and vanilla; process just until a crumbly, pale yellow dough forms. (Do not overprocess. Mixture should appear crumbly. It should be moist and hold together when pinched.) Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into 2 disks (about 394 grams each). Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together melted chocolate, brown sugar, remaining 1 tablespoon (6 grams) espresso powder, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of dough into a 12-inch circle (about ¼ inch thick). (Keep remaining dough refrigerated until ready to use.) Working quickly, using a small offset spatula, spread half of chocolate mixture onto dough. Using a sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut dough into 16 triangles. Starting at base of each triangle, carefully roll toward sharpest point of dough. Place on prepared pan, tucking ends under. Repeat with remaining dough and remaining chocolate mixture. (See Note.) Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place another rimmed baking sheet under prepared pan.
  6. Place rugelach 2 inches apart on a prepared pan. (Keeping remaining rugelach in refrigerator.)
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water. Brush egg wash on tops and sides of rugelach.
  8. Bake until tops are shiny and edges are lightly golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly on pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on wire racks. Repeat with remaining rugelach. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Be sure to work quickly with the filling. Otherwise, the filling will harden on the dough, causing the dough to rip when rolling, and the cookies will not work.


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  1. Very delicious, sophisticated!

    But your NOTE* (work quickly to prevent filling from hardening) was ominous–but I think I figured it out.

    There’s no way to work that quickly — the filling spread that thin hardens by the time you spread it all around. It’s the nature of the stuff. In the first half, I repaired as I went, losing a few.

    By the time I got to the second batch, I figured out that if I popped the filling in the microwave for just a few seconds as I went along, and spread only 1/4 of the round at a time, I could roll without damaging. This worked pretty well.


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