Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Rugelach

I never had rugelach until I started working at the synagogue. Here it seems like every member believes that their recipe is the best. Working here has its perks, besides the being off on Jewish holidays. One of the other perks is when members volunteer to come bake in our kitchen for weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, kiddushes and luncheons. Usually they bring us (the office staff) samples of what they're making and that's when I got my first taste of rugelach. I thought it was good but it seemed like something I wouldn't be able to make on my own. Well, of course with this week's selection by Piggy of Piggy's Cooking Journal, I got to try my hand at rugelach.

This is one of my favorite TWD selections, right up there with Chocolate Chunkers. Rugelach has all the elements I love in a baked good, flaky pastry, melting chocolate, jam, crunchy nuts and the tang of dried fruit. These are so good I had to make myself stop eating them. And making them wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.
First there was the making of the dough: butter, cream cheese, flour and salt in a food processor. I learned I need a bigger processor, I've had this mini one for 4.5 years (it was a wedding gift) and it's time to upgrade. I was afraid it was going to seize up on me and my dough.
After making the dough it needed to be refrigerated for a few hours and then after that you rolled it out and starting putting in the good stuff. In the first batch I used apricot preserves (Bon Maman my favorite brand) finely chopped bittersweet chocolate, dried cherries and pecans. It was a little hard cutting through the 'topping' and then rolling them up. None of mine had the perfect crescent shape but they still tasted darn good. The second batch had a mixture of raspberry jam/strawberry preserves and the chocolate, cherries and pecans.
The rugelach got a brush of egg and white and a sprinkling of raw sugar before they went in the oven. I don't have silicone baking mats (but they're on my Christmas list) so I used parchment paper to line my sheets with. During baking the filling runs out so some between the baking sheets and the rugelach is a must.
Mine were in the oven for about 22-23 minutes. The second batch I left in a little too long and they were darker on top than I would have liked them to be but they were still delicious.

This is a recipe I see myself making again - probably very, very soon. And don't repeat this but I think mine were better than any I've had at the synagogue.
P.S. Happy Election Day! Don't forget to go vote!

11 comments:

Engineer Baker said...

Don't you love it when you realize that something that pretty is actually not too hard to make? Yours look wonderful!

Anne said...

They look great! I love that yours turned out even better and it was something you didn't think you could make before.

If you do get the silicone mats for Christmas- I would tell Santa to check ebay. :) I got mine less than half price there (so I bought twice as many, how's that for practicality!)

pinkstripes said...

How funny! somehow things we make ourselves tend to taste better. Your rugelach look tasty!

Teanna said...

Your rugelach came out so nicely!!! I am so jealous!!! You've got some good rolling skills as well!

Kimberly Johnson said...

Your rugelach turned out beautifully! I've had a silicone mat for years and it was stashed away. I dug it out when I started the TWD thing and I will never go back! So easy to work with.

kim said...

yours look wonderful!! glad you liked the recipe so much :)

Beth said...

I'll never tell your synagogue! I'm a fellow TWD baker, and I was thinking that it would be nice if we all could chip in and get Laurie some small token/gift for all the work she does. Would you be willing to contribute? If I can get enough people, it would only be about $1 per person. No pressure :-) Let me know! bethberg12@yahoo.com

lynseym said...

probably because you used butter instead of margarine......

those look so good.

Jules Someone said...

I can only imagine the competition at the synagogue. Nice looking rugelach!

Sandy Smith said...

I love the idea of adding dried sour cherries and pecans along with the chocolate. Dried cherries are awesome! Great job on these.

gwensmom said...

This was amazing! I hadn't tired rugelach either but I can't imagine how anyone else's recipe would be any better.