November 14, 2010

Rugelach


November is the perfect time for baking as the weather is getting cooler and the fall is fully upon us. The heat from the oven keeps the house warm and toasty and fills the room with the wonderful aroma of baking. This reminds me of making these delicious goodies for the holiday season. Rugelach means "little twist" in Yiddish. It is a Jewish pastry that is filled with nuts and rolled to resemble a crescent, like a croissant. A friend's mother who also shared my joy in these pastries gave me this recipe. Thank you, Rhonda!
Ingredients: (makes about 50)
6 oz cream cheese, soften at room temperature
2 sticks or 1 cup unsalted butter, soften
2½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup raspberry preserve (or any of your favorite preserve)
1 cup raisins or currants
½ cup ground walnuts or pecans
¾ cup sugar, mixed with 2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
baking sheet
parchment paper


 Method:
1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2) Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed unitl smooth. Gently add in flour, fold until mixture forms into a dough. Divide into 3 portions and flatten and to disk-shaped. Wrap in plastic and refrigerated for about 1 hour or until it is firm enough to roll. (Dough can be prepared weeks ahead)
3) Take one portion of the dough out on a floured board or work surface. Dust hands with flour and knead dough and lightly dust with flour on all sides. Dust rolling pin with some flour and roll dough out into a 13 to 14-inch circle.
4) Brush circle thinly with preserve leaving about ¼-inch border around. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, raisins, and nuts.
5) Cut circle into 16 wedges using a pizza cutter. Separate each segment carefully and roll up from the wide end to the point, tucking point under (resembles the shape of a croissant). Note: I noticed that it is rather messy to handle the dough after it is cut into 16 wedges. The trick to not making a mess is to cut into 8 wedges and work each wedge individually, leaving the raisins to the last step. Remove wedge away from the circle, and cut into half with pizza cutter. Arrange raisins on top and roll up from the wide end to the point.
6) Sprinkle each rugelach with cinnamon sugar. Repeat with the remaining dough filling. Place them at least 2-inch apart on prepared cookie sheet.
7) Bake for 20-25 minutes until bottoms are lightly brown and tops golden. Remove to cool on wire racks. Store in airtight container or can be freeze for up to a month.

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1 comment:

Terrie said...

Yummy, can't agree more when it's cold the smell of baking makes the room and everybody warm. I'm hungry reading this in the office !