I promise not to make a habit of quick posts relying on subpar iPhone photos, but I’m up in Jasper at Christmas in November for 10 days, which is always a whirlwind of food/friends/hiking trails/sessions, and if I don’t share little bits here and there it might wind up being a long radio silence. It’s like Christmas camp in a time warp.
I know it still sounds too early to start talking Christmas cookies, but it’s not too early to plant ideas… and these aren’t really Christmas cookies per se, although they are the perfect sort of cookie to become holiday tradition. It’s the kind of cookie I associate with the Canadian Living magazines of my childhood, and especially the special holiday cookie issue. And so I was suitably giddy to be able to join Elizabeth Baird and Emily Richards in a little early holiday cookie baking this afternoon.
Raspberry Rugelach Pinwheels
from Elizabeth Baird and Emily Richards, via Christmas in November
1 pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup raspberry jam
Preheat the oven to 350F and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until blended. Beat in the sugar, salt and almond extract. Stir in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Shape into four 3-inch squares; wrap and chill until firm.
Working with one square at a time, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into an 8×10-inch rectangle.
In a bowl, stir together the chocolate, almonds, sugar and cinnamon. Spread 3 Tbsp. of the jam over the rectangle, leaving a half inch border along one long edge.
Sprinkle a quarter of the chocolate mixture over the jam. Starting at a long edge opposite the un-jammed border, roll up firmly. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Chill rolls until firm, about 2 hours. (Logs can be wrapped at this point and frozen for up to 6 months.)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut into 1/2 inch slices and arrange 1 inch apart on the prepared sheets. Bake until light golden on the bottom and the filling bubbles, about 18 minutes.
Let the cookies firm up for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.
Makes about 75 rugelach.