Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rugelach (A jewish pastry)

This may be my new favorite dessert. I am literally having daydreams about these suckers. I am not sure if I have ever had Rulelach before, perhaps I have, but nothing like this.

I stumbled on this recipe on one of my nightly readings of Barefoot Contessa's, "Barefoot Parties". After reading the ingredients and seeing the pictures I just had to make it. The next morning I woke up telling healthy boyfriend,
"I have to make rugelach, I have to." Confused he replied,
"What. What Arugela?"
"No baby, Rugelach."
"What, Arugela, WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?"
Finally I had to break open the book and show him what I meant. The name may be funny, but this dish is no laughing matter. I mean, laugh if you want, but they are so tasty, I would be surprised if you can speak.

Are they healthy? They are as healthy as cookies are, which is healthy for the spirit and healthy for the body, in moderation.

I used a electric mixer but you can mix this by hand, it just takes some muscle. Though I think working for sweets is probably a good idea, know what Im sayin!

A few notes to make sure you get it right. This is not a difficult dish to make, but unfortunately it's time consuming. You have to make the dough, then let it rest an hour. Then you assemble them and have to let them chill for an additional 30 minutes. So it aint no quick cookie, and is probably a weekend project.   Because it's pastry you cannot cut corners, the temperature of the dough effects the way it bakes. So let your dough rest, it works hard :)

Freezing Note: Luckily they freeze well, and you can make a bunch and then save some for later. Simply freeze the unbaked cookies, and defrost them completely before baking them.

Jam Note: Make sure you blend the preserves in a food processor, they are too thick right out of the jar.

Room Temp Note: Do make sure your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature. They will not cream together properly if they are not soft.

Rugelach (A jewish pastry)

The Goods: 
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 pound(2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 9 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
3/4 cup apricot preserves, pureed in food processor
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk(or water) for egg wash

The Deal: 
1. Cream the cheese and butter in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the salt and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add the flour slowly and mix until just combined.

2. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and roll into a ball. Cut the ball into quarters, and create a small ball out of each quarter. Wrap each quarter in plastic wrap(or ziplock bag) and refrigerate for 1 hour.

dough in quarters, roll each into balls
3. To make the filling combine 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the raisins and walnuts.

4. Once your dough has rested roll out each ball into a 9 inch circle(which is the same size as a standard pie plate). Spread the dough with 2-3 tablespoons of apricot preserves, making sure all the dough is covered. Then sprinkle 1/2 cup of the filling on each circle, again making sure its fully covered. Lightly press the filling into the dough.
healthy boyfriend rolling out the dough!
5. Cut each circle into 12 equal wedges, first cutting the circle into quarters, and then cutting each quarter into thirds. They will look like crescent rolls before you roll them. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Place the cookies, points tucked under on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes.
Not a pizza, but just as tasty!
make sure to refrigerate them before baking

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

7. Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Brush each cookie with egg wash and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browed. Remove from heat and serve warm or place on a rack to cool.

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