Harissa and Goat Cheese Rugelach | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Harissa and Goat Cheese Rugelach

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Harissa and Goat Cheese Rugelach

Harissa and Goat Cheese Rugelach. Courtesy of Veronica Sage McAvoy/The Countryman Press

Harissa is a classic North African pepper condiment with a pesto like consistency that spreads easily. Although it is not difficult to make a homemade version of harissa, it has become pretty easy to find at the supermarket (different brands vary in spiciness; try a few to see what you like). Topped with creamy goat cheese to balance the heat, this rugelach is a perfect match between Ashkenazi pastries and Middle Eastern flavors.

Servings & Times
  • 2 ½ dozen pastries

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

8 ounces full fat cream cheese, at room temperature

2 tablespoons sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

½–¾ cup harissa

2 ounces goat cheese

1 egg, beaten (for glaze)

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add the sugar and salt and beat until combined. You can also do this by hand.
  2. Add the flour and mix just until dough comes together. Divide the dough into four pieces. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  4. Roll each piece of dough into a large circle. Using an 8 or 9-inch round, cut the dough into a perfect circle. I recommend using a pizza cutter for this task.
  5. Spread each circle of dough with 2 to 3 tablespoons harissa in a thin layer, leaving ¼ inch border all around. Sprinkle ½ ounce of goat cheese on each circle, and use a small spatula to spread goat cheese gently into harissa.
  6. Using the pizza cutter, cut the dough into 8 even triangles. Starting at the longer end, roll up each triangle.
  7. Place the point side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  8. Brush each rugelach with beaten egg.
  9. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool on wire rack.

This recipe is an exclusive preview from Shannon Sarna’s new cookbook, “Modern Jewish Baker” (The Countryman Press) where Sarna reinvents Jewish bakery classics. This recipe has been republished with permission of the author. For more recipes click here, and to purchase the book go to Amazon.com.