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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

rugelach

easy! also, possibly the best things I've ever baked.

cream cheese dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese or neufchatel, chilled, cubed
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled, cubed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
place flour and salt in a food processor fitted with the "s" blade and pulse briefly to combine. scatter cream cheese and butter cubes over the top, then pulse 12-15 times, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. add egg yolk and cold water, then run food processor continuously until dough forms large curds. tip out onto a clean surface and knead briefly, then shape into disks (I like to make three different fillings, so I make three discs), wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours. the dough will keep three-four days in the refrigerator, and up to three months if frozen.

fillings

each of these filling recipes makes enough to fill the entire recipe of dough above -- if you want to make more than one filling, decrease the amount of ingredients in each filling accordingly.

filling 1: Israeli chocolate

  • 1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch kosher salt
pulse/process all ingredients in a food processor until chocolate is in fine crumbs.

filling 2: apricot-nut

  • 1 cup apricot jam
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots (use the soft sulphured variety), cut into bits
  • 1/2 cup toasted nuts (walnuts, pecans or almonds), finely chopped
  • pinch kosher salt
combine all ingredients.

filling 3: cherry

  • 1 cup dried sour cherries
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch kosher salt
place all ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes, until fruit is hydrated and mixture is thickened. cool to room temperature (or chill in refrigerator) before using.

assembly & baking

  • powdered sugar to roll out dough
  • melted butter (it will take 4-6 tablespoons total to fill all the rugelach)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
preheat oven to 350 degrees F. take a disc of dough out of the fridge (1/3 of the total dough, formed into a disk and chilled thoroughly). sprinkle large cutting board or clean countertop with powdered sugar, flip the disc of dough on it a couple of times to ensure it's evenly covered with the sugar, and roll out with a rolling pin into a circle, adding powdered sugar as needed to prevent sticking. once the dough is about 1/8-inch thick, spread the surface liberally with melted butter, than cover with your filling of choice. cut the circle into 4 wedges, then cut each wedge into 4 long, thin triangles. starting at the wide edge of each wedge, roll towards the center up to the point. as you roll the crescents, place each one, point down, on a buttered cookie sheet/jelly roll pan (covered with buttered parchment if you have it -- otherwise, plan to soak the pan to clean it). whisk the egg yolk, sugar and water together to make a glaze, and brush/dab this mixture evenly over all the exposed surfaces of each crescent. bake the rugelach for 20-28 minutes, until the cream cheese dough is medium-golden brown, puffed a bit and cooked all the way through. if you used parchment paper, pull the paper off the cookie sheet directly onto a rack to cool, then peel off the parchment. if you baked them directly on a buttered sheet/pan, remove them to a plate while still warm and flexible.

2 comments:

reader said...

So much more delicious than the typical Christmas cookies.

Diane McGee Hardin said...

I agree!