Another cold and snowy weekend means another baking project has been completed. When I finished work Friday afternoon and checked the weather report for the weekend I knew I'd be staying inside cooking, baking, and watching movies. I got great suggestions from people for what to cook. On Friday I asked Ross what he wants for dinner. His usual response is something along the lines of, "I don't know. Whatever you make is fine with me," which is 100% true because he literally will eat anything that I make, he's just not really one to come up with ideas. Well imagine my surprise when he replied with "How about penne with vodka sauce and chicken?". My response was an immediate yes followed by searching the internet for the best recipe. Fast forward a few hours and vodka sauce was made. It was amazing, however the pictures were not so that post will have to wait. Anyway, back to my point and the rugelach.

My point was that I got great suggestions from people all weekend long. A few hours after the vodka sauce suggestion I checked facebook where I left a status requesting movie/baking recommendations. My aunt brilliantly suggested that I make rugelach. It was the perfect idea. Rugelach is slightly time consuming, but not too complicated. If you've never had rugelach, they are sooooo good! It's a little crescent shaped pastry filled with basically whatever you want. They aren't too sweet because there is no sugar in the dough. Traditionally there is some sort of cinnamon/sugar, jam, nuts, raisins or currants, or chocolate. I made 2 types. The first was apricot/currant and the second was chocolate/cinnamon/walnut. They were both amazing but the apricot was the winner. It both looked and tasted better than the chocolate which I was surprised about.

Rugelach: Recipe from Dorie Greenspan
Makes 32 cookies

For the dough
  • 4 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the apricot filling
  • 1/3 cup raspberry jam, apricot jam or marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons dried currants or raisins (I probably used less. Just sprinkle them on till it looks like you have enough)
For the chocolate filling
  • 2 T chopped walnuts (again, I probably used less)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, or 2/3 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

For the glaze
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, preferably coarse sugar

For the dough
  1. Let the cream cheese and butter rest on counter for 10 minutes. It should be slightly softened but cool.
  2. Put the flour and salt in a food processor, scatter over the chunks of cream cheese and butter and pulse the machine for 6 to 10 times. Then process, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, just until the dough forms large curds. Do not work the dough too long that it forms a ball on the blade.
  3. Remove the dough from the food processor, divide into half, shape each half into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to a day. (Wrap airtight, the dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.)

To make the filling
  1. Heat the jam in a saucepan over low heat, or microwave until it liquefies. Mix sugar and cinnamon together.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. (Silicone baking mats are great for rugelach.)

To shape the cookies
  1. Pull one packet of dough from the refrigerator. If it is too firm to roll easily, leave it on the counter for about 10 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pin.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 11- to 12-inch circle. Add fillings as desired in the following order: jam, cinnamon sugar, nuts, chocolate, currants.
  3. Cover the filling with a piece of wax paper and gently press the filling into the dough, then remove the paper and save it for the next batch. (This helps the filling stay in place. I only found it necessary with the chocolate batch).
  4. Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 wedges, or trigangles. (The easiest way to do this is to cut into quarters, then cut each quarters into 4 pieces.)
  5. Starting at the base of each triangle, roll the dough up so that each triangle becomes a little crescent.
  6. Arrange the roll-ups on one baking sheet, making sure the points are tucked under the cookies, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (The cookies can be refrigerate overnight or frozen for up to 2 months; don't defrost before baking, just add a couple of minutes to the baking time.)

Getting ready to bake
  1. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degree F.

To glaze
  1. Stir the egg and water together. Brush a bit of the glaze over each rugelach. Sprinkle the cookies with sugar.
  2. Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until they are puffed and golden.
  3. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool to just warm or to room temperature.


Smitten Sugar said...

I have never eaten Rugelach but it does sound delicious!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful and yummy! LeeYong

Anonymous said...

I adore these cookies. I've never made them though because I'm afraid I'd end up with something sad looking. Yours are beautiful though!

grace said...

so would an apricot/currant/chocolate/cinnamon/walnut be overkill? :)
these look perfect--nicely done!

SugarCooking said...

Grace, that's actually exactly what Dorie Greenspan recommends in her recipe... throwing it all in there. I'm really weird about what I like chocolate with though. I don't really like chocolate with fruit so I thought the apricots and currants would clash with the chocolate. But if you're of the opinion that chocolate makes everything better, then throw it all in one!

cookies and cups said...

you know I have never even eaten rugelach, let alone make it!

Kristina said...

Brilliant! This recipe is exactly what I was looking for, and I can't wait to try it out. Your pictures, btw, are stunning. What kind of lens do you use?

SugarCooking said...

Thanks, Kristina! I use this lens:

I think it's a great lens for the price!

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