Rugelachs are small pastries that originate from within the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe. Similar in appearance to a croissant, thanks to their rolled crescent shape, they are actually quite different and much simpler to prepare. Usually found rolled and baked with sweet fillings such as various fruit jams and preserves, they actually lent themselves to this salty-sweet variation quite well. The recipe is an adaptation of this King Arthur Baking base for rugelach with a fun play on that previously mentioned sweet/savoury flavour combination. Salty bacon is turned into a jammy sticky spread and used in place of the fruit preserves usually found and they are topped with a crumble of coarsely chopped walnuts for a nutty finishing crunch. These are the perfect little snacks to serve as finger food-friendly appetizers while entertaining or part of a brunch spread. They also freeze very well once formed and actually bake even better after a deep freeze, so don't be afraid to bulk up the recipe and save them for a rainy day.
Bacon Jam and Walnut Rugelachs 4 Steps
To prepare the dough, in a food processor combine the all-purpose flour with the kosher salt and pulse a few times to combine. Dice the room temperature butter as well as the room temperature cream cheese and add it to the food processor along with the sour cream. Pulse repeatedly until the mixture resembles curds and can easily be pressed together. Turn mixture over to a floured work surface and divide into 3 equal mounds. Shape each into even disks approximately 1-inch in thickness, wrap each well with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. Note: the dough can be made up to three days in advance.
While the dough is chilling, prepare the bacon jam. Render the bacon pieces in a skillet until crispy, remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel to drain. Drain off excess fat from the pan leaving approximately 2 tablespoons. Add in the diced shallots and onions and cook on medium low heat for 10-12 minutes covered until softened and caramelized. Add in the maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, grainy mustard as well as the crisped bacon pieces and cook until thick and jammy. Allow to cool entirely before assembling.
Prior to forming, remove the dough from the fridge for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Working with one piece of dough at a time, place it on a generously floured surface. Roll it into a 12" circle and spread 1/3 of the bacon jam evenly onto the surface leaving about a 1/2-inch border from the edge. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the coarsely chopped walnuts over the bacon jam and then 1/3 of the sliced scallions. Then, using a piece of parchment paper, press over the surface of the rugelach dough and press the toppings into it. Using a pizza cutter, baker's bench knife or sharp knife, divide the dough into 12 equal wedges. Roll each wedge up, beginning with the wide end and ending with the narrow end. Place the rolls point-side down on a baking sheet; lining the baking sheet with parchment will help with cleanup. Repeat with the remaining two pieces of dough. Allow the formed rugelachs to chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes prior to baking.
Brush each rugelach with the beaten egg wash and then top with a sprinkle of the coarsely chopped walnuts. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30-35 minutes (flipping the trays halfway and rotating from top to bottom) until golden brown. Allow to cool on the trays and serve while still warm or room temperature with additional sliced scallions if desired.