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Monday, February 6, 2012

Lora Brody's Rugelach

Hello! Here is a recipe that is most certainly not my own, and comes from a newspaper cutout that we have downstairs in our recipe files- it's torn and stained and has clearly been read from a thousand times. Rugelach is an absolutely divine Jewish cookie that's flaky and ahh, just amazing! They are possibly my favorite cookie of all time, and that would be saying something. I only have one picture this week, as I forgot to take pictures of the process as it was happening. However, the recipe is thorough and gives you instructions for everything, and I'll reprint the recipe below.

The finished Rugelach!! Fantastic.

Lora Brody’s Rugelach
-dough ingredients
            -1 8-oz package cream cheese
            -1 cup unsalted butter
            -1/4 cup sugar
            -1 teaspoon vanilla
            -2 cups flour
            -1/4 teaspoon salt
-filling ingredients- (go light, there is always extra of this!)
            -1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
            -1/4 cup light brown sugar
            -1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
            -3/4 cup golden raisins
            -1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
            -1/2 cup apricot preserves (well stirred)
-topping ingredients
            -1/4 cup milk
            -2 tablespoons sugar
            -1 teaspoons cinnamon
-dough process
Food Processor Method: Into a food processor with the metal blade, place the cream cheese. Cut the butter into a few pieces and add it with the motor running. Process until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and process until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the flour and the optional salt and pulse in just until the dough starts to clump together.
Electric Mixer Method: soften the cream cheese and butter. In a mixing bowl, cream the cream cheese and butter until blended. Beat in the sugar and vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in the flour and the optional salt until incorporated.
For both methods: scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and press it together to form a ball. Divide the dough into 4 portions and cover each with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
-filling process
   In a medium bowl, combine the sugars, cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts and stir with a spatula or fork until well mixed.
-putting it all together
      Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to sit on the counter for about 15 minutes or until it is malleable enough to roll. Place 2 oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat it to 350o.
      Using a floured rolling pin, on a lightly floured board, roll out each dough portion, one at a time to a 1/8-inch thickness, rotating the dough often to be sure that it isn’t sticking. Using the back of a tablespoon, spread the dough evenly with 2 tablespoons of the apricot preserves. Sprinkle about ½ cup of the raisin-walnut filling over the preserves. (Do not put topping on the outer edge or right in the middle or it will fall out and be difficult to handle) Press the filling firmly and evenly over the dough. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough circle into 12 triangles or pieces of “pie”.
      Use a thin knife, if necessary, to loosen the triangles from the board. Starting at the wide end, roll up the triangle and bend the ends around to form a slight crescent shape. Place the rugelach, point underneath, about 1 ½ inches apart on buttered baking sheets (or baking sheets with parchment paper on them). Refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 30 minutes, or until firm. (optional! we just bake them)
      Clean the work surface of excess filling before rolling out each batch.
      For the topping, brush the rugelach with milk. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle the rugelach with it.
      Bake for 16-18 minutes or until lightly browned. For even baking, rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking period.
      Use a small, angled metal spatula or pancake turner to transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the refrigerator or freezer).

Though this recipe is long, it just has several steps which are really not hard to accomplish if you take it one step at a time. I hope you try these- you really will be delighted.

Savor it!
love, rue

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