Life lessons via Rugelach...first off... how the heck to you say or spell this damn thing. Really how do you?
Second, and more technical question, use a food processor or kitchen aid to make the darn "flaky crust."
I choose the food processor as it was already on my counter top.
Third, next time make sure you follow the directions (dummy) and mix the darn dough to the descriptions that you should...."shaggy and flaky."I bilked and thought that I did this, but not really.
Then make sure you don't over do it with the filling. This is a lesson that should be carried into life. Like don't over fill your dessert plate, or your belly or your wine glass....guilty on all fronts.
But most importantly enjoy...enjoy and have fun. My little one enjoyed these treats (as imperfect as they were) and so did I. Lessons learned from the Rugelach from my life you to yours. Happy 2011!
Plum Walnut Rugelach
This cookie book is great! Alice has a bunch of interesting ideas and combinations of flavors. She also includes wheat free alternatives, which is nice.
Rugelach are mini pastries that you can fill, but don't dare overfill, with really anything. They were fun to make and I think next time I will achieve much greater Rugelach heights.
For the Dough
2 & 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter (cold)
8 oz cream cheese (cold)
For the Filling
1 cup jam, I used plum, but would have rather used apricot.
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
About 1 cup finely chopped chopped walnuts
Pinch of salt to sprinkle over the filling
Cookie sheets lined with parchment
Pizza cutter or a sharp knife
To Make the Dough
Combine the flour, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in the food processor. Mix to combine.
Add the butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Cut in the cream cheese and mix again until the mixture looks damp and hold together when you press it with your fingers. Dump the dough onto a work surface (covered with parchment or wax paper) and knead a couple of times until any loose bits are incorporated. You should still see large streaks of butter and cream cheese.
Divide the dough into 4 equal flat rounds, wrapped in wax paper and put in the fridge for 2 hours or up to 3 days.
To Make the Filling
Combine the jam with the cinnamon and mix until incorporated. Finely chop the walnuts.
Remove one piece of the dough and let it sit a bit at room temp until you can roll it out. Roll between two pieces of wax paper until it is about 1/8 of an inch thick. Add the jam evenly, but don't go crazy. Then sprinkle with the walnuts and finish with a pinch of salt. Cut into 12 equal pizza shaped pieces.
Roll the the wide side toward the pointed side. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet with the pointed side down to avoid it opening while cooking. Continue with all 12 pieces. Place the cookies about 1 and 1/2 inch apart.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown at the edges. Make sure to rotate the pans while baking. Cool the rugelach completely before storing. They can be stored in an airtight container for about 4 days. They are best the day they are baked.