Pineapple Tart Rugelach

Makes around 32 cookies
Adapted from Molly Yeh

This cookie is the marriage of a Jewish pastry and a Chinese New Year pineapple tart.

Pineapple Tart Rugelach, Hanukkah, Chinese New Year, JewAsian, Lauren Monaco Illustration

For the Pineapple Jam:
2 pineapples, about 2.5 pounds each*
1 star anise or clove
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 pandan leaves, knotted
2 cups / 500 grams sugar (or less depending on sweetness)

*You can also use frozen pineapple.

For the dough:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

For the topping:
1 large egg
a splash of milk or cream
sesame seeds

Make the Pineapple Jam: Peel and chop pineapple and puree in a blender until smooth. In a wok, combine pineapple puree, star anise, cinnamon stick, and knotted pandan leaves. Cook on high heat until almost dry, around 15 minutes. Add sugar and stir until melted. Continue to cook while stirring occasionally until the jam becomes light brown and begins to thicken, around 20 minutes. Lower heat slightly and continue to cook until thick and dry, stirring continually to prevent burning.

Let filling cool. Jam can be made a few days ahead.

Make the Dough: Beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add sugar and mix until just combined. Add egg yolks, one at a time. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts and salt. Gradually add the flour. Dough will still be quite sticky. Divide dough into two parts and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Pineapple Tart Rugelach, Hanukkah, ChineseNewYear, Lauren Monaco Illustration
To assemble: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide one disk of dough in half. Roll one half of dough on a lightly floured work surface into a circle that is 1/8th” thick and about 8” in diameter. I use an 8” circle pan to help guide where to trim edges of dough.

Spread 2-3 tablespoons of pineapple jam evenly over top of dough, leaving a 1/4” uncovered border around the edges of the circle. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut dough into four equal wedges. Cut each wedge in half (for a total of 8 wedges). Starting from the outer, wider edge, roll wedge in on itself until you reach the center. Place on prepared baking sheets 1/2” apart. Repeat process with remaining dough and filling. Refrigerate cookies for about 30 minutes before baking.

Mix together egg and cream to make egg wash. Brush tops of cookies with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until slightly browned, checking after 20 minutes. It may take around 25 minutes or longer until golden brown.

Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in fridge for up to 1 week. Serve at room temperature.

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