February 5th is World Nutella Day. American bloggers in Italy, Sara and Michelle, began the holiday in 2007 to celebrate and eat that wonderful chocolate hazelnut spread called Nutella.
I participated in that very first World Nutella Day in February 2007 by baking Nutella Cheesecake Brownies and again in 2008 with my Valentine's Day inspired heart-shaped Hazelnut Nutella Sandwich Cookies.
It's been far too long since I've used Nutella. So for this 6th annual World Nutella Day I am showing some chocolate hazelnut spread love with these Nutella-filled rugelach bar cookies. I found the recipe on Hungry Rabbit and he calls them "rugetella" since it's a combination of rugelach and Nutella.
I'm not sure what my problem is but I always have trouble rolling out and making the traditional crescent shapes when making rugelach. I mean, I can do it, but I seem to always end up with some very irregular shapes and sizes. So baking the cookies in a pan and cutting them into fingers/rectangles was so much easier for me. Same great taste and less work!
Since it's supposed to be all about Nutella, a chocolate HAZELNUT spread, I embarrassingly admit that I didn't have any hazelnuts and substituted walnuts in my cookie. It was a decent last minute substitution, but next time I will definitely use hazelnuts. My sincerest apologies to Nutella for this little faux pas.
All that cream cheese and butter definitely makes a very rich and extremely flaky dough. That's the beauty of rugelach dough. And it was a great showcase for Nutella, but I can see that a sour cherry jam or bitter orange marmalade would be great as well.
Nutella Rugelach Bar Cookies
Recipe adapted from Hungry Rabbit
6 ounces (1.5 sticks/12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
8 ounces cream cheese (use block not whipped), softened but still cool
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 cup Nutella (or any other brand of chocolate hazelnut spread)
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
2 or 3 tablespoons turbinado or granulated sugar (for sprinkling)
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy and light and has increased in volume, about 5 minutes on medium speed. On low speed, add flour, sugar and salt. Beat until just combined.
2. Divide dough into two halves. Shape each half into a rectangle about 1-inch thick and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.
3. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Make the paper a little longer so you have a 2-inch overhang to use a handles to help you lift your baked goodies out of the pan.
4. Make the filling by mixing chopped nuts and Nutella. Set aside.
5. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg yolk with the water and set aside. This is your egg wash.
6. Take one piece of chilled dough out of refrigerator. If it's too firm to roll, let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes. Place dough between two 9 x 13-inch pieces of parchment or waxed paper. Roll dough into a rectangle the size of the bottom of the baking pan. Line the bottom of your prepared baking pan with the dough.
6. Spread dough evenly with the Nutella- nut filling. Roll out the remaining half of dough and place on top of the filling. Trim the edges of the dough so they are even. Brush the top of dough lightly with egg wash. (Most likely you will not use up all the egg wash.) Sprinkle dough evenly with turbinado sugar.
7. Bake at 350F until golden, about 30-35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a cooling rack. Remove from pan and slice into 24 rectangles.