Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rugelach

This year as a holiday gift i decided to make Rugelach.  This is one of my favorite holidays treats right behind the Babka.  For years i have made the Babka, then i did some Salted Caramel last year and i was playing around with Fudge this year – but after making all the different kind of fudge i went back to the Rugelach.  To me it is just such a delicious little pastry filled with fruits and nuts.  Since i am married to a person that comes from Jewish traditions i like to keep some of those traditions.  One of them is celebrating Hanukkah!  So Happy Hanukkah and in celebration of Hanukkah here is this awesome Rugelach recipe. This recipe is easy to make but somewhat time consuming due to the chilling but if you split it up in two days it is much quicker.

For those not familiar with Hanukkah, it is one of the less important Jewish holidays. However, Hanukkah has become much more popular in modern practice because of its proximity to Christmas.

Hanukkah falls on the twenty-fifth day of the Jewish month of Kislev. Since the Jewish calendar is lunar based, every year the first day of Hanukkah falls on a different day – usually sometime between late November and late December. Because many Jews live in predominately Christian societies, over time Hanukkah has become much more festive and Christmas-like. Jewish children receive gifts for Hanukkah – often one gift for each of the eight nights of the holiday. Many parents hope that by making Hanukkah extra special their children won’t feel left out of all the Christmas festivities going on around them.

Everyone has different traditions – we light the hanukkuyah one night and eat Latkes and then we move on to my Swedish Christmas traditions.

As we say in Swedish “God Jul och Gott Nytt År”  or Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Rugelach

Adapted from: Baking with Julia Child

Yields:  About  48 pastries | Prep Time: 60 minute | Chill Time:  6 hours in refrigerator or 1 hour in freezer

The Cream Cheese Pasty
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
½ tsp salt
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Beat the butter, cream cheese, and salt together until smooth with a mixer, add the sugar and beat until light.  Once that is done switch to a paddle attachment.  Mixing on low speed add the flour, mixing only until the dough comes together.  Turn the dough out onto a counter and work it gently into a ball.  Divide the dough in half and press each half into a rough rectangle.

Wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate about 2 hour or 30 minutes in the freezer.  The dough can be wrapped well and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen for a month.

Apricot Lekvar

Yields: 2 cups | Prep Time: 20 minutes

6 cups whole dried apricots
2/4 cups brown sugar
4 ½ tbsp of fresh lemon juice

Place the apricots in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and simmer until the fruit is soft, about 15 minutes.  Drain the apricots, reserving about 1 tbsp of the liquid, and put the fruit in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Puree the apricots with the brown sugar and lemon juice, adding a bit of the reserved liquid if the mixture seems too stiff to be spreadable.

This will keep in the refrigerator up to two weeks.

The Filling and Topping
1 cups granulated sugar
½ cup of brown sugar
3 ½ tbsp cinnamon
3 ½ cups coarsely chopped assorted nuts ( I used pecans and walnuts)
2 cups of apricot lekvar (recipe above) or apricot marmalade could work too.
2 cups of assorted dried fruits (I used golden raisins, apricots and figs)
1 large egg for egg wash

You are going to need 3 bowls here:

First bowl -   ½ cup of granulated sugar and ½ of the brown sugar and I tbsp of cinnamon and mix.

Second bowl – 1 ½ cups of the remaining sugar, 2 ½ tbsp of cinnamons and 1 ½ cups of the assorted nuts   and add to a food processor and pulses a few time until nuts are chopped and put back into your bowl.  This is for topping the rugelach.

Third bowl – put the remainder of the 2 cups of the nuts and all the dried fruit (2 cups) into a food processor and pulse a few times and put into a bowl.

Working with one pieces of the chilled dough at a time, place it on lightly floured work surface and let it soften for a few minutes.

Here you have two options of how to roll your rugelach:

Jellyroll – Flour your rolling pin and roll the dough into a rectangle 14 inches by 10 inches and ¼ inch thick.   Do not make it much thinner because you need a sturdy wrapper for all the chunky fillings.  Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough in half lengthwise, to make two 14×15 inch rectangles; leave the half in place.

Spread each half generously with one quarter (1/2 cup total) of the apricot lekvar.  Sprinkle one quarter (1/4 cup) of the cinnamon/sugar mixture from first bowl. Press it down lightly with your fingers.  Then sprinkle half (1 cup) of the nuts/fruit mixture third bowl and press it down lightly with your fingers.

Starting with he long edge of dough, roll up each rectangle jelly-roll fashion, tucking in any fruit or nuts that fall out along the way.

Cover the two rolls and put into your refrigerator until firm for about 4 hours or freezer for 30 minutes.

Repeat the steps for the second piece of dough.

The rolls can be covered and refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

Brush the roll all over with the egg wash.  Using a serrated knife and a sawing motion, slice the roll into pieces that are 1 to ½ inches wide.

Crescent shape – Flour your rolling pin and roll the dough into an 11- to 12-inch circle and about ¼ inch thick.  Do not make it much thinner because you need a sturdy wrapper for all the chunky fillings.

Spread one quarter (1/2 cup total) of the apricot lekvar evenly.  Sprinkle one quarter (1/4 cup) of the cinnamon/sugar mixture from first bowl. Press it down lightly with your fingers.  Then sprinkle half (1 cup) of the nuts/fruit mixture third bowl and press it down lightly with your fingers.

Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 wedges, or triangles. (The easiest way to do this is to cut the dough into quarters, then to cut each quarter into 4 triangles.) Starting at the base of each triangle, roll the dough up so that each pastry becomes a little crescent.

Arrange the roll-ups on one baking sheet, making sure the points are tucked under the pastry, and refrigerate until firm for about 4 hours or freezer for 30 minutes.

Repeat the steps for the second piece of dough.

The pastries can be covered and refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

Brush the roll all over with the egg wash.

Final Steps and Baking
Position the oven racks to that they divide the over into thirds and preheat the oven to 375F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon.  Although you can probably bake all the pastries at the same time I would do it in batches.

Tosh each pastry in the cinnamon/sugar/nut mixture bowl two to coat generously.  Transfer the rugelach to the prepared baking sheet, cut sides down for the jellyroll version, leaving an inch between each pastry.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pans top to bottom and from to back halfway through the baking period.  The rugelach are done when the tops are golden and bottoms are caramelized.  Cool the pastries on the pans for 5-10 minutes, then releases them from the sheet by running a think spatula under them.  Cool to room temperature on a rack. Repeat with the remaining rolls of dough.

The rugelach will keep for a week in airtight containers, seals in plastic bags; they can be frozen up to 2 months.

Here are a few extra tips:

  • Take the cream cheese and butter out of the refrigerator just 10 minutes before you’re going to use them – they should be still cold and only a tad soft.
  • Give the dough a leisurely chill in the fridge before rolling it out, it makes a big difference.  30 minutes in freezer is min, 4 hours in the refrigerator or overnight even better.
  • Refrigerate the pastries after you’ve assembled them – they’ll hold their shape a lot better if you bake them when they’re cold, trust me I have tried not to and they fall apart.

One Year Ago: Rice Porridge “Risgrynsgröt” and Swedish Santa Claus “Jultomten”

 

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35 Responses to “Rugelach”

  1. 1

    Deanna — December 21, 2011 @ 10:08 am

    Every year I make jam to give out as gifts, and I still have some apricot jam left that will be perfect in rugelach.

  2. 2

    Gursahiba @ Exquisite Niche — December 21, 2011 @ 10:29 am

    Really nice recipe ..Very Festive! Liked your blog! Buzzed on foodbuzz as well!

  3. 3

    Juliana — December 21, 2011 @ 11:09 am

    Wow, these Rugelach are so elegant…love the cream cheese in the pastry and the fruits in the it…beautiful. Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones :-)

  4. 4

    Sissi — December 21, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

    I have heard so many times about rugelach, but I didn’t know it would sound and look so scrumptious. Thanks to your two different family backgrounds you have more excuses to cook and bake delicious food :-)

  5. 5

    Jennifer (Delicieux) — December 21, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

    I’ve never had rugelach before, but they look fantastic! The cream cheese pastry sounds divine!

    Happy Holidays to you and your family :D

  6. 6

    rebecca — December 21, 2011 @ 7:12 pm

    this looks wonderful love it too, never tried to make it

    Happy Hannukah

  7. 7

    LiveLikeYou — December 21, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

    Yum!! Wish I was better in the kicthen! Hoppas du har en God Jul!!

  8. 8

    Asmita — December 21, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

    I have never tasted rugelach but have heard from a few baker friends that it is outstanding. It has been on my to do baking list for a long time. I am all inspired by your post. These do look wonderful!

  9. 9

    Heather (Heather's Dish) — December 22, 2011 @ 4:34 am

    first of all, thank you so much for your sweet comments about the GD that i have. it’s certainly all about carbs (that i found out the other day) and since i found that out it’s become completely manageable. i don’t think (fingers crossed) that i’m going to have to use insulin and the baby’s doing great!

    oh, and the rugelach looks AH-mazing…i’d totally sacrifice for a bite of those :)

    • Delishhh replied: — December 23rd, 2011 @ 8:41 am

      Heather – oh any time and so glad to hear that you are feeling ok about it – knew you would, it’s not as bad as folks think as long as you can control it. And most people who get diabetes due to weight have food issues already and this just makes it worse for them and they can’t control it and when you can’t then you have health problems and concerns. But a healthy person who get’s it should have no issues. And for you with GD, it’s only temporary within 8 weeks you will be back to normal. And if you had to do shots that would have been the worst part, since who like to stick themselves with a needle. Here is some more of my advice, choose foods with low Glycemic index – here is a good link – http://www.gilisting.com/. It’s hard to remove all carbs so just be smart about it – choose brown rice vs. white and whole wheat bread vs. white, whole wheat pasta vs. normal etc. and you will be fine. I am curious to hear how you are going to feel by making these changes – i bet you will have more energy. But most important baby is doing great!!! So close to the end :) Happy Holidays!

  10. 10

    Rosa — December 22, 2011 @ 5:44 am

    A fabulous treat! Your rugelach look very tempting. I’d love one with my tea…

    Happy Holidays!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  11. 11

    Deeba Rajpal (@vindee) — December 22, 2011 @ 6:09 am

    Gorgeous! I love rugelach and yours look nice and delicious; just right for the season.Hhappy holidays to you and yours Ewa. merry Christmas!!

  12. 12

    Katarina — December 22, 2011 @ 6:31 am

    These are so lovely!

  13. 13

    Sheelbeel — December 22, 2011 @ 7:39 am

    My family loves rugelach but I never considered making it myself! Thanks for breaking it down so well – I’m excited to give it a try!

  14. 14

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — December 22, 2011 @ 7:52 pm

    I can never pass up rugelach! I just love that cream cheese pastry. Happy Holidays!

  15. 15

    Magic of Spice — December 22, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

    These look so wonderful…will have to peek at your Sweedish Christmas :)
    Happy Holidays…

  16. 16

    Monika — December 24, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

    Merry Christmas to you pretty Mama to be! You have given us tons of inspiration this year and I am looking forward to a ton more loveliness in 2012!

    You are the best Ms. Ewa – on so many levels.

    Hugs to Hubby too!

    Mon

  17. 17

    Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} — December 24, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

    I love making Babka too but have never made rugelach! I must say, they look amazing!
    Happy Holidays!

  18. 18

    Nami | Just One Cookbook — December 25, 2011 @ 1:18 am

    It’s wonderful that you try to celebrate two holidays. Although I’m married to a Chinese (Taiwanese) I barely don’t know and don’t celebrate any Chinese holidays. Now as the kids are getting older I need to make sure they learn both cultures. This looks like a delicious dessert. I think it’s a nice way to make some food to start teaching traditions. It’s a lot easier to get their interest! :-) . Merry Christmas to you and your family, Ewa!

  19. 19

    Curt — December 29, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

    Wow, this sounds so incredibly good. A lot of work, but it sounds well worth it.

  20. 20

    Cooking Rookie — December 29, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    What a lovely rugelach! I prefer the yeasted version, but your recipe also sounds lovely! And the photo is so perfect… Happy Holidays, Ewa!

    • Delishhh replied: — January 5th, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

      Cooking Rookie – I have never seen a yeasted rugelach – do you have a recipe? You made me curious now.

  21. 21

    Lemon — December 30, 2011 @ 7:48 am

    Oh, these rugelach look delicious, I would like to try them. I also very much enjoyed your explanation about Hanukkah.

  22. 22

    Laura Casey — December 30, 2011 @ 9:12 am

    Oh this rugelach recipe looks amazing! Definitely need to make this one in 2012.
    Laura

  23. 23

    Eylyn — January 1, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

    I hope I can make my own recipe too almost just like this one..

  24. 24

    Anna — January 2, 2012 @ 1:45 am

    I have never heard of this particular treat but it certainly looks amazing and I’m sure it tasted just as good!

  25. 25

    Jeziel — January 2, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

    Hi…I am glad you have this recipe and this looks really awesome then!!

  26. 26

    John Ferrel — January 3, 2012 @ 5:24 am

    It sure tastes good from this point of view.

    Why don’t you make a video of you making the recipe? Would be great :-)

  27. 27

    Best Recipes in 2011 — Delishhh — January 3, 2012 @ 8:56 am

    [...] Rugelach [...]

  28. 28

    Mickie — January 3, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

    This is very delicious and I want to try this on weekends…

  29. 29

    Yumi — January 5, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

    I love the idea you have here and for sure, this is really helpful to me…Thanks!!

  30. 30

    Khriscia — January 9, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

    I am not really into this food…I still love breads..

  31. 31

    Jasmin — January 12, 2012 @ 3:26 am

    I will definitely share this because a lot of people like my friends wants to know other recipe just like this…

  32. 32

    Shellie — January 12, 2012 @ 10:13 am

    Thanks for the big help especially to people like me…

  33. 33

    Hanukkah Decorations — May 30, 2012 @ 2:34 am

    Wow this year i am going to prepare all these food item in hanukkah festival cause that’s the only moment when all we family members are together…

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