Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I live in an area with a high Jewish population. So where I work, many Jewish people come in looking for rugelach. We have something that LOOKS like rugelach, yes. Maybe it even has some cream cheese in the dough. But dear Pete they do not TASTE like rugelach. Granted I'm not Jewish, I'm not an expert on this subject, but I have always made my own rugelach from scratch. It's no more difficult than making any other cookie and homemade are always sooooo much better. I honestly couldn't believe how gross (weird aftertaste, weird texture) the ones are that are baked (they come in frozen) where I work. (As a side note, I can't believe people actually pay $9.99 a pound for cookies!)
Anyway, if you're looking for real rugelach, make this recipe. I've seen versions like this where the cream cheese and butter are creamed together, and then I've also seen recipes where the dry ingredients are mixed together first and then cold butter and cream cheese are added in, like a biscuit dough. Both give delicious results and taste much better than the kind from a store :)
Rugelach (basic dough recipe taken from Tish Boyle's "The Good Cookie")
1 1/3 cups AP flour (the original calls for cake flour, I didn't have any, turned out fine with AP)
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugar together until very light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sour cream, egg yolk and vanilla and combine. Add the dry ingredients and stir until everything comes together in a nice dough.
Divide the dough into three equal parts and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate for 6 hours. (Or actually this is what the recipe says to do. I wrapped each and threw them in the freezer for 1 hour because I'm impatient and wanted rugelach TODAY dammit.)
Filling: You can have lots of fun with this!
3/4 cup any jam you have around (I used raspberry, seeds strained out)
1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar, combined in a small bowl
1 cup toasted, finely chopped nuts (I used walnuts and almonds) combined with 1 cup finely chopped dried fruit (I used cranberries)
When the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll it out on a floured surface to about 12 inches in diameter. Spread about 1/3 of the jam on the circle, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon sugar, and about 1/3 of the nut/fruit combination. Press into the jam lightly so it doesn't spill out too much. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the circle into fourths, then each fourth into fourths, so you end up with 16 triangles all together. Take each triangle and roll it up starting at the wider end and tuck the little point underneath the roll, then place that side down onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Continue with the other pieces of dough.
Bake each sheet for about 20 to 30 minutes or until nice and golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack. These are good with just about any beverage and although I have a mug of milk in this picture, my drink of choice was actually YooHoo.