Tuesday, March 6, 2012

TWD: Rugelach from Baking with Julia

Rugelach in crescent shapes.
A friend recently posted on Facebook that she’d just made eight dozen rugelach. Eight dozen. That’s 96 little cream cheese and butter pastries with a sweet cinnamony filling. My husband, who really, really loves rugelach, caught the news first and told me.

Our friend is Jewish and very pregnant, so the eight dozen pastries are important for her nesting instinct, for her late-term cravings and for providing nourishment to family and guests when the baby comes home.

“Eight dozen,” he said, not really trying to hide his rugelach envy.

He brightened when I said his rugelach dreams would come true in just about two weeks as the Tuesdays with Dorie group baked a recipe from Baking with Julia.

But since that conversation, he has asked me more than once: “Now, when are you making rugelach?” as if to make sure I hadn’t changed my mind. To keep him in the loop, we discussed the recipe and what filling I would use. I prefer chocolate filling, but he insisted on cinnamon, so I followed the recipe and its cinnamon theme.

Rugelach from the book Baking with Julia.



The only sticking point was the shape. Should they be pinwheel-like slices as in the recipe directions, thicker slices cut from a log, or the more familiar crescents? My husband prefers crescents, and I like the thicker slices, so that’s what we have. The logs are easier — especially if there are generous fillings — but the crescents look cooler.


I no longer remember what rugelach recipe I used in the past, but this one from Lauren Groveman will be it from now on. In fact, it could compete in an “Ultimate Rugelach” contest due to the bounty of dried fruit and nuts.

First there is a fruit butter to slather on the pastry. I made the prune levkar, which was a good choice.

Then a traditional cinnamon-sugar mixture is sprinkled over the levkar. In this recipe, the mixture is augmented with toasted nuts ground to a powder. I used almonds. The recipe makes enough nut sugar for the filling and to cover the outside of the pastries before they are baked.

And finally there is an assortment of chopped nuts and dried fruit. I used toasted almonds with a melange of raisins, blueberries, cherries and cranberries.

With all the fillings in place, you carefully roll up the pastry, hoping that everything stays inside.

Prune levkar in place. Time for cinnamon nut sugar and other goodies.

Filled and chilled, ready for the oven.
One important step in making rugelach is to allow the dough to chill before working with it. Make the dough the night before if you have to. If the dough is too warm, it will be too delicate. A good chilling will firm up the butter and cream cheese, leading to a dough able to handle the fillings and the rolling.   

Now I’ll bet you want the recipe to make your own cream cheese pastry goodness. The way Tuesdays with Dorie works is participating bloggers take turns hosting each recipe. To get the rugelach recipe, you should visit the blogs of Jessica of My Baking Heart and Margaret of The Urban Hiker.  And if you would like to read about and view the works of other bakers and bloggers (which is what makes Tuesdays with Dorie so much fun), check out this link page on the TWD site.


22 comments:

  1. I love your story to start off your blog post :) I feel like this made almost 8 dozen, for me at least!

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  2. Yours are just gorgeous! Lucky husband.

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  3. What a great story. I bet your husband really enjoyed these. Your rugelach is so beautifully golden! Your bunny is so cute.

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  4. Katie, thank you. Yes, I think you can squeeze more pastries from this recipe than the 4 dozen it approximates.
    -Lisa

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    1. Lizzy:
      Sorry for my late reply. Thank you for your nice comment. Yes, that's a bunny. He is my kitchen assistant. Sous chef to be more proper.
      -Lisa

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  5. Jules:
    Happy husband, too! Thank you for stopping by.
    -Lisa

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  6. Elaine:
    Thank you! The bunny hangs around in the kitchen, hoping I'll drop crumb of something sweet.
    -Lisa

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  7. Beautifully done, Lisa! I'm sure your hubby was thrilled :)

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  8. PS...is that a sweet bunny I spy?

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  9. Great narrative and good looking Rugelach. I love it too, but 8 dozen would do me in!

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    1. Lynn:
      Pardon the late reply. I've been having difficulties with Blogger comment reply. Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. Yes, 8 dozen... I don't have the freezer space to store that many.
      -Lisa

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  10. Those are beautiful! I bet hubby was happy.

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    1. Thank, iluvsweets! Hubby was indeed happy.
      -Lisa

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  11. they look scrumptious, well done :)

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    1. Thank you, Jen. They are dangerously good. We froze most of them ; )

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  12. This looks amazing. We need to bake together next time you come to the Zoo. Love you!

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    1. Coreen:
      It's a baking date next time I'm in Kzoo.
      xoxo
      Lisa

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  13. What an irresistible treat this is, Lisa! Your rugelach turned out perfect and your photos are lovely. Thanks for sharing. You have a great blog and I'm glad to have found you!

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    1. Hi Georgia! Thank you so much for your kind comments. So glad you stopped by.
      -Lisa

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  14. 8 dozen - I don't think I have that much patience :-)
    Your cookies look like they came out beautifully.

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    1. Hi Cher:
      Thanks for stopping by. No, I do not have patience for 8 dozen rugelach crescents. If made in a slab, yes, but then there'd still be no room in the freezer.
      -Lisa

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-Lisa

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