Tuesday, March 6, 2012


This week's recipe for the all-new Tuesdays With Dorie (Baking With Julia edition) is Rugelach.  I have baked rugelach once: Dorie Greenspan's recipe in the original TWD group, which I posted here.  Rugelach is a traditional Jewish cookie, and consists of a cream cheese dough filled with a jam or jam-like spread, and sprinkled with nuts and dried fruit then rolled and baked.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- The host blogs for the rugelach are Jessica of My Baking Heart and Margaret of The Urban Hiker; you can find the recipe if you visit their posts (here and here).

-  The rugelach recipe in Baking With Julia contains several different components.  One is prune or apricot lekvar - a sort of a spread or paste made from dried fruit.  I had some nice soft prunes that I had used for a different recipe and wanted to use them up while they were still fresh.  I made 1/2 recipe of the prune lekvar.  It was easy enough to prepare and I froze the leftover lekvar for a future baking projects.

- For the dough, I had 2 ounces of cream cheese in the fridge to use up so I decided to make 1/6 recipe of the dough and the other components.  I know that I mixed up the dough without incident, but got a little tricky when I moved onto the "filling and topping" component(s)  I was cruising along with my mental calculations and then suddenly I got totally confused by my math in the sugar and nuts measurements.  I know that I reduced the sugar by a little bit, and reduced the cinnamon by a good bit (I wanted the fruit and nuts, not to mention the prune lekvar, to shine)

-  Roll-and-sliced was the recipe's preferred method of shaping the cookies, but it also allowed for the traditional crescent shaping - where you form long thin triangles of dough and rolling those around the fillings.  I decided to go for the crescent shape even though I suspected it would be hard to fit all of the filling inside the cookies.  I rolled my dough into a rough semicircle, spread it with the prune lekvar, scattered the fillings, and cut triangular wedges.  The recipe cautions against rolling the dough too thin, because it has a lot of filling to hold.  As it turned out, filling was spilling out, even before my cookies made it to the baking sheet.

halfway through the process of coating with egg wash and sugar/spices/nuts before baking
-  Once filled and formed, the cookies were treated to an egg wash and rolled in a mixture of  cinnamon, sugar, and nuts.  It turned out that the egg wash glued all of the elements of the cookies together.

-  These cookies, in my hands, were an unholy, glorious mess. They melted all over the baking sheet (thank goodness for silicone mats!) and stopped this side of charring before the pastry was finished baking, but they ended up perfectly baked inside.

the verdict:

Matching their untidy appearance, my rugelach were a riot of fruit and nut flavors, with a hint of sweetness + cinnamon.  My husband and I had no trouble polishing off the half dozen or cookies and wishing for more.  They were especially good with a cup of hot coffee or tea.


wendy (pinkstripes) said...

Rugelach may not win for appearance, but they certainly win for taste. They were a good tea cookie.

Is that a personalized cutting board with your blog name on it? How cool!

Abby said...

I think they look beautiful, Nancy! I wonder if the crescent shape actually works better than the jelly roll for holding things inside.....

Kayte said...

I looked at the whole thing in the book and just lost interest. No explanation other than I love, love, love my rugelach recipe (Ina's) and I have no desire to find another or try another as they work beautifully each time, are fun to make, a lot less work, and present ever so nicely. I'm a bad TWD BWJ participant already.

Cher Rockwell said...

These definitely tasted better than they look (I would rather have it that way than the opposite...)
I halved the recipe and had to think about - my head probably would have exploded if I tackled 1/6th!

Di said...

I haven't decided yet whether to go with the shaping in the book or try the crescents. Your rugelach sound great, with all the stuff crammed inside (and falling out). I'm going to have to simplify mine if I'm going to get anyone here to eat them. =)

Pamela said...

They looked great in the crescent shape. That is what I remember from making them the first time with TWD. Good stuff. And I admire your math skills, too! ;)