Posted by: Hil | August 6, 2008

Rougelach from Blueberry Sis

 

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As promised, a special guest blog from Blueberry Sis.  Enjoy!

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Hi! I’m Blueberry Sis. I’m a college student, and like my sister, I love to cook. I like to cook a variety of different dishes, but my favorite things to make are desserts. Let me explain my philosophy on desserts: a dessert should never be “okay” or “pretty good.” In my opinion, it should always be ridiculously delicious and completely satisfying—and ideally savored with a strong cup of coffee. And, above all, it should make you **supremely** happy during every single bite.

One dessert that makes me extremely happy right now is rougelach (a type of Jewish cookie typically filled with nuts and jam). I normally tend to veer away from desserts that don’t involve large quantities of dark chocolate, but this recipe for rougelach from www.epicurious.com (with some of my own modifications) is absolutely heavenly. These exquisite cookies have a delicate texture that is light and flaky, making them seem more like small pastries than like cookies, and in this particular rougelach filling (I used apricot jam and white chocolate), the flavors of the tart jam and the creamy white chocolate combine to create a result that is just spectacular. And, as an added bonus, rougelach seems special and unusual, but it’s actually super easy to make!

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup apricot jam (or another flavor of your choice; I think lemon curd would also be amazing in these)
approx.
2/3 cup of white chocolate, finely chopped (nuts are also supposed to be really great in rouglach, but I’m allergic to nuts, so I obviously don’t use them)
approx. ½ cup of heavy whipping cream
approx. ½ teaspoon cinnamon
approx. ½ teaspoon nutmeg

Preparation

1.  Beat together butter and cream cheese in a large bowl until combined well. Add the flour and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms (mix as little as possible, because otherwise the cookies won’t be flaky)

2.  Gather dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill until firm (they say to do this for 8 to 12 hours, but I find that sticking it in the freezer for 10 minutes works just fine)

3.  Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of a 1- to 1 1/2-inch-deep large shallow baking pan with parchment paper (this is basically just for faster clean up; the jam has a tendency to leak from the cookies, and if you don’t have parchment paper under them, the jam will cook onto the pan and be a pain to scrub off)

4.  Cut dough into 4 pieces. Chill 3 pieces, wrapped in plastic wrap, and roll out remaining piece into a circle, about 10 inches in diameter, on a well-floured surface (the dough is usually pretty sticky—I’m sure it’s not because I never chill it long enough—so add flour to it as you roll it out. Also make sure that you keep flipping it over as you go so that it doesn’t stick to your surface). Spread a thin but thorough layer of apricot jam over the dough, and then evenly cover the whole surface with white chocolate (optional: add a light dusting of nutmeg and cinnamon over the whole thing)

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The rougelach dough, rolled flat and spread with jam and white chocolate (Note: I usually cover the entire surface with white chocolate, but I ran out, so I only covered the center).

5.  Cut the circle into 8 equal parts. Roll each section into a crescent, starting from the outer edge and finishing with the tip. If desired, bend slightly to create a more circular shape. Brush each crescent with heavy whipping cream and sprinkle with a small amount of cinnamon and nutmeg.

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Rougelach, rolled.  They’re pretty unattractive-looking at this stage, but don’t worry; they’ll be full and gorgeous after they come out of the oven .

Repeat the process with each remaining piece of dough (Note: if you’re short on time, another way to form each piece of rougelach is to flatten the dough into a 9×12 inch rectangle and roll the whole thing up into one long log. Slice along the log twelve times, with each cut one inch apart and only going through three-quarters of the height of the dough. After the log comes out of the oven and cools, slice the cuts all the way through).

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Rougelach, log-style.  I tried it for the first time the other day, and I was disappointed with the results.  The cookies were soggy in the middle — not light and flaky all-the-way-through, the way they’re supposed to be.  So I recommend doing it the other way.

6.  Bake until golden, 45 to 50 minutes, and cool on a rack.

7.  Enjoy one or two cookies with a cup of espresso!

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Note: Don’t store these in an airtight container; they get soggy after a few days that way. Leaving them out in open air seems to work pretty well; freezing might also work, although I haven’t tried that.

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Responses

  1. Loved this post- thanks so much!

    And TAG. Check out my post today for deets.

  2. Thanks, Blueberry Sis! I’m totally with you on the dessert philosophy – if it’s not what will truly make me happy, it’s not worth my time 🙂

  3. Hey Blueberry Sis!

    Just in case you are looking for another Ruggala recipe, here is the one that has been passed down my family. My great grandmother was known for using tons of extra filling, so the quantities of that might be off (unless my mom has updated it) but the ratios should be right.

    Cute sidenote – these bake for 20 minutes. My mom was making them while 9 months pregnant with my brother and labor. Her labor pains were 20 minutes apart, so she just timed the ruggalas based on her labor pains. She knew it was time to go to the hospital when they started coming out underdone.

    RUGGELAS
    Ingredients for Dough:
    1/2 lb cream cheese, softened at room temperature
    1/2 lb butter, softened at room temperature
    2 cups flour
    pinch salt
    Ingredients for Filling:
    1 cup raisins
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 tsp. cinnamon
    Directions:
    • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    • Soften butter and cream cheese at room temperature overnight.
    • Mix butter and cheese very well at the highest speed on the electric mixer.
    • Slowly add flour to the mixture.
    • Wrap in floured wax paper and refrigerate or freeze a least one day.
    • Cut dough into 6-8 parts. Take one part and roll into a circle. Cut into 8 pieces, Fill with filling mix and roll into a crescent shape.
    • Bake at for 20 minutes.

  4. And I just remembered that the nuts may be a problem for you Sis, but you can always use different fillings. Chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar is actually my favorite…


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