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Chocolate-Cherry-Walnut Rugelach

The pastry in this recipe comes out unbelievably flaky and crisp. That is due to the freezing-then-baking process ... but the cherry, walnut, chocolate filling are the stars of this confection.

Ingredients

For dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened

For filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 tablespoons cherry preserves
8 tablespoons dried tart cherries
8 tablespoons Vahlrona bittersweet chocolate, chopped
8 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup (about) whipping cream

What you do

For dough:
Blend first 3 ingredients in processor. Add butter and cream cheese and cut in using on/off turns until dough begins to clump together. Gather dough into ball. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate 2 hours. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. Let soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.)

For filling:
Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 9-inch round. Spread 3 tablespoons cherry preserves over dough, leaving 1-inch border. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons dried cherries, then 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar and 2 tablespoons walnuts. Press filling firmly to adhere to dough.

Cut dough round into 8 equal wedges. Starting at wide end of each wedge, roll up tightly. Arrange cookies, tip side down, on prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart and bending slightly to form crescents. Repeat 3 more times with remaining dough disks, preserves, dried cherries, chocolate chips, cinnamon sugar and walnuts. Place baking sheet in freezer 30 minutes.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Brush cookies lightly with whipping cream. Bake frozen cookies until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. (Can be made ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.)

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