Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Simple Rugelach ...

The very first time I decided to make such a traditional cookie I was terrified. Rugelach is intimidating. So many layers so many ingredients. I was afraid if I missed something the whole cookie would be ruined.
Rugelach is a fantastic flaky, pastry-like cookie with a fruit and nut filling . They take very well to different fillings (such as Nutella and chopped almonds) but don't let the experts know I said it  hehehehe
I so hope you enjoy these! They are fantastic for the Holiday table among all of those decadent, chocolatey notions. Great with Christmas Morning Coffee!

My Simple Rugelach

Ingredients for Pastry:
2 1/4 cups Flour
1 tablespoon Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Cup Butter (2 sticks; cold, diced into pieces)
8 oz Cream Cheese
2 Tbsp Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
(I use Sour Cream)

Ingredients for Filling:
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 Cup Chopped Almonds
1 Cup Apricot Preserves
2/3 Cup Raisins (I use Golden)

**Note Dried Cranberries and Walnuts may be exchanged here. Works really well!
*Also with the Cranberry choice may add 1 tbsp of Orange Zest :) Yum!
With all of the Dried fruit and Preserve choices these can be so versatile. It's all up to you!

2 Beaten Egg Yolks for Egg Wash

For the Pastry: In a Mixing Bowl or (Food processor) Combine Flour, Salt and Sugar. Add the butter and combine until the mixture turns to a pea size consistency. Add the cream cheese and sour cream. Work together until it comes together as a "dough". Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll into a ball. Portion the dough into 4 equal pieces. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile Prepare Filling: In a mixing bowl (or food processor), place nuts, preserves, fruit and salt and mix until well combined. (If using a food processor pulse until becomes paste-like)

Remove dough from freezer. Place 3 portions into refrigerator and one to floured work surface.
Roll out dough to a 6 x 14 inch rectangle. (will be about 1/4 inch thick) *Don't be worried about "rough" edges they will roll inside the rugelach.
Spread 1/4 of the filling over the dough with a small spatula or spoon.
Starting with the "long side",  roll the dough up tightly into a "cylinder" ending with the seam at the bottom.
Press the top a little to flatten..
Wrap cylinder in plastic wrap and freeze for another 15 minutes.
Repeat process with remaining dough. (The cylinders can be kept frozen for up to 1 month)
Preheat Oven to 375°
Line 2 Baking Sheets with Parchment Paper
Slice Cylinders into 1 1/2 inch pieces (they should look like little rectangles if you flattened the dough a little)
Place each slice onto parchment lined baking sheets seam side down.
Whisk 2 egg yolks together add 1 tsp water or milk.
Use this mixture to glaze over top of each slice, then Sprinkle with sugar if desired.
Bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy at top.
Remove from oven, cool on rack.
Store in Sealed container.
Keep well for about 1 - 1/2 weeks if they last that long :)