Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Rugelach

Source: northwudzgirl

Merry Christmas!! I hope your Christmas has been marvelous! Mine sure has been. Possibly the best of my married life. Not that any of the others were bad, this is just the first one that I haven't been stressed, dirt-poor, sick, or pregnant. We didn't spend nearly as much as last year (got a little overexcited with that first real-paycheck-Christmas) but I was twice as excited about the presents I got the boys. It was the first time that the Christmas season steadily built up in excitement and anticipation, instead of sneaking up on me two weeks before. Yesterday may not have been snowy, but it was a gorgeous day and we spent over two hours at our favorite park, not to mention taking the boys to see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Hilarious. I need a pet marshmallow.) and planning my parent's approaching move to Colorado!!! This morning I woke up at 5:30, before anyone else, too excited to go back to sleep! What am I, six?? When everyone else finally woke up we had the PERFECT Christmas morning. The first one with lots of thank-yous and no fights. We'll spend the rest of the day soaking up the rest of the Christmas spirit before getting back to real life tomorrow. (And I'll take a nap...)

I wish you Christmas Days full of joy and fun and love and relaxation, and a New Year full of hope, excitement, and blessings. Merry Christmas, friends!


Rugelach (adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Table To Yours)
Printable Recipe

For the dough:
4 oz cold cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
8 Tb cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tb sugar

For the filling:
2/3 cup jam (I used apricot, raspberry or marmalade are recommended too, but get creative!)
2 Tb sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped toasted nuts (I used pecans, you can use walnuts or almonds too)
For the glaze:
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cold water
sugar for sprinkling, preferably coarse sparkling sugar or turbinado

**Variation: The original recipe calls for 1/4 cup nuts, 1/4 cup dried currants and 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, (or 2/3 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips). I wanted to do a classic nut filling, but you can try this one too! Or play with it, as you can see you can put just about anything in them! Just try to keep the total filling to about a cup**

Make the dough ahead of time! Let the cream cheese and butter rest on the counter for about 10 minutes, so they aren't rock hard but still cool. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor, add the chunks of cream cheese and butter, and pulse the machine a few times. Then process,  just until the dough forms large curds, NOT so long that it forms a ball on the blade. (You can also do this without a food processor, just whisk the dry ingredients together, then cut in the cream cheese and butter until the pieces are smaller than peas, and knead dough a few times till it comes together)

Turn the dough out onto lightly floured work surface, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Shape each half into a disk, wrap the disks in plastic wrap or a ziplock bag, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 day. (You can also freeze it for up to 2 months if it is wrapped tightly)

Shortly before the dough is done chilling, warm the jam in the microwave or over low heat on the stove, till it is runny. Stir the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats and set aside.

Pull one disk of dough from the refrigerator. If it is too hard to roll, leave it on the counter for a few minutes. Bashing it a few times with my rolling pin worked too, but I have a marble one. :)
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 11-to-12-inch circle. (circles are tricky, get as close to a circle-ish shape as you can) Spread a thin layer of jam over the dough and sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar. Scatter half of the nuts (and half of any other ingredients you're using!) over the jam and cinnamon sugar. 
Cover the filling with a piece of wax paper and gently press the filling into the dough. Remove the paper and save it to use again on the next batch.

Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 wedges, or triangles. (The easiest way to do this is to cut the dough into quarters, then to cut each quarter into 4 triangles.) Starting at the base of each triangle, roll the dough up so that each cookie becomes a little crescent.
Arrange the rolled cookies on one baking sheet, making sure the points are tucked under, and refrigerate. 
Repeat with the second disk of dough, and refrigerate the cookies for at least 30 minutes before baking. (You can cover them and refrigerate overnight at this point, or freeze for 2 months. Just add a few minutes to the baking time when baking the frozen cookies.)

Spread nuts on prepared pans and toast in the oven while you preheat it to 350 degrees.

Remove the cookies from the fridge. Whisk the egg and water together, brush each cookie with a little egg glaze, and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are puffed and golden. (If you bake both pans at once, make sure to rotate the pans, top to bottom AND front to back, halfway through) Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool. Store in airtight container.
I figured you just might have room for one more Christmas treat today... and I am so excited to share this one!! I fell in love with rugelach a few months ago after trying one from Whole Foods, and have been dying to make them myself ever since!
I love their flakey, cream cheese-y, barely sweet pastry, with crunchy nuts, sweet jam and scrumptious cinnamon sugar! This is such a ME cookie! They're addicting. Completely yummy, and beautiful! Great for sharing!
Just look at those flakey layers, aren't they gorgeous?? Don't be intimidated by the steps, they really aren't that hard. The keys to remember are: don't process the dough too much, and keep it cool. You'll be just fine!

2 comments :

  1. Make the best & tasty food by using this food processor .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your Rugelach looks positively perfect April! Well done you! How fab that your parents are moving to Colorado! You are so blessed! Sounds like you had the best Christmas Day ever! Love and hugs! xxoo

    ReplyDelete

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