|Rugelach in crescent shapes.|
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.|
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.