Monday, February 1, 2010

Rugelach with mom

Every Christmas I go a little bake crazy. It's the time of year where I get to show my love through what I bake people. Cookies, cakes, pies, pastries. You name it, I want to bake it and feed it to someone!

So in the beginning of December my mom came over to school me in a new recipe. Well, new to me anyway. Rugelach!

Rugelach is such an easy, and versatile recipe. You can really do anything with it. The dough itself does not have sugar in it, so the possibilities are endless. So, let's get this show on the road!

We made a double batch, so you could really cute this in half to make fewer.

-4 sticks of butter, at room temp
-8 ounces of cream cheese
-4.5 cups of flour

1. Put the butter and cream cheese in your mixer (you can use a hand mixer also).
2. Once mixed, add the flour, and mix together well.
3. Dump the dough onto a well floured counter, and shape into six balls.
4. Flatten the balls into discs, wrap in plastic, and store in the fridge for 1 hour to overnight.
5. Place dough on a floured surface. Roll dough out into an approx 14 inch circle.
6. Place toppings of your choice on the round.
7. Using a pizza cutter, cut round into 16 slices.
8. Roll slices from the outside, toward the middle, to create a crescent shape.
9. Place the crescents on a baking sheet covered in aluminum & sprayed with non stick spray. We did not do this and what a hot mess we had on our hands, as you will see below.
10. Bake at 350 until just starting to brown.

Here are our ingredients, including some of the filling we chose.
For the fillings we have hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, two types of jams, chocolate chips, and some natural sugar.

These are preserves that my mom got at the local Grocery Outlet store. Bargain shopping score! These were delicious. Very good quality.
We toss the butter and cream cheese into my beloved kitchenaid mixer.
We mix it until it looks like so.
Creamy delicious.
At that point we add the flour, and mix until it forms a nice dough.
Meanwhile, my own living handy vac is making sure I haven't dropped an goodies. I mean hey, you never know when a whole stick of butter might drop down from the heavens.
Once the dough is mixed, we slap it down onto a well floured counter.
And mom gets to work kneading and rolling the dough.
she has done this so much in her life I think it comes as second nature. She could knead dough in her sleep!
Flatten the ball slightly, and cut it into six pieces.
Then shape these pieces into balls,
and flatten them.
These will be wrapped in plastic, and placed in the fridge for 1 hour to overnight.
While the dough chills, we get to work on some of the toppings. Well... my mom does. I just snack and take pictures.
After chop, chop, chopping, we came up with an easier solution. While my sidekick waits patiently by, always on the look out for any escapees.
This is the closest thing I have to a food processor. I know! It's a crime! But it works well enough for a small job like this.
Tada! Beautiful, uniform, chopped nuts.
Now the chocolate chips get the same treatment. You do not want to keep these whole. It makes it really difficult to roll the rugelach.
Now we have our filling all set out and organized. We also decided to go with some cinnamon and sugar as you see below.
Now we get the dough from the fridge, one disc at a time.
Sprinkle some flour on the counter,
Then roll the dough out into a circle.
Now this is where you can go crazy. We spread raspberry preserves across the circle of dough.
Take it far out to the edges, like such.
Then it was sprinkled with crushed hazelnuts,
Followed by some white chocolate.
And what the hell, why not toss some cinnamon/sugar on there. Wild and crazy, that's us!
Now it's ready to slice.
When you get towards the middle, just go slow and steady, as the dough wants to roll up into the wheel sometimes.
From there, roll from the outside, toward the center. You will get little crescents like this:
Now this is the part I would NOT advise. We just put them right on an ungreased cookie sheet, which caused a mess when the filling would sometimes leak out a bit. Speaking of cookie sheets, isn't this one of the most loved ones you have seen? Now THAT cookie sheet has clearly seen it's share of delicious baked goods.
Pop quiz, can you spot the big NO NO in this picture?
That would be the wooden cutting board in the upper left. Yeah, don't put cutting boards on the stove top. When I was about three, my mom had left a wooden cutting board on an electric heating element on the stove. I remember walking through the kitchen and seeing billows of smoke coming up from the board. I wander into the living room and say "Fire in the kitchen!", and I get shooed from the room. Surely she would notice if there was a FIRE in the KITCHEN. Right? Well apparently not, because she did indeed find the kitchen filled with smoke. See? It isn't always just a case of over active imagination. ANYHOW. On we go.
This is a large sheet, so we go ahead and fill, cut, and roll another ball of dough.
Using apricot to start this one.
We covered these with the natural sugar.
Followed of course, by more spreading, cutting, and rolling...

I got adventurous and pulled a bag of craisins out of the cabinet to use as a filling as well.
Then into a 350degree oven until is JUST starts to brown. See the spillage of the ones on top? Yeah, hence the reason non stick spray and/or aluminum, is a good idea.
Pouty dog is pouting. This is my mom's Jack Russell, Toby. He is a handful and a half, but so cute it almost makes up for it.
Yum! These are really delicious. They are not overly sweet, and are perfect with a hot cup of coffee.
Of course, if you make these during the holidays, it is a must to arrange them on a tacky Christmas plate like this one.
Have fun baking, and enjoy!
Okay, I admit it. I have been a complete slacker witht the blog the last few months. Life hasn't been handing me lemons. It's been THROWING them at my FACE. By the truck loads. So I've been here, scrambling my butt off to make the biggest batch of lemonaid you've ever seen.

That being said, I am back with renewed energy and passion. I have some great recipe ideas, and will be posting on a more regular basis. I'm baaaaacccckkkkkk!!