Monday, December 19, 2016

Recipe #116: Rugelach...Apricot, Raspberry, Chocolate Espresso...Take Your Pick!!!

I love rugelach, and the reason being there is so few ingredients to make the dough...four, actually.  Though I usually make it during the holiday season, it's not a heavy cookie, actually it's more like a pastry dough, and you can make them as big or as small as you want.  The filling I usually use is either apricot or raspberry with crushed almonds or almond extract.  But, you can use lemon filling, chocolate...there are endless possibilities.  Now, let's bake...

8 oz cream cheese, at room temp                        2 sticks butter, at room temp
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for filling                     1/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour                                                               1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup apricot filling (solo) or                                 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk for egg wash
    raspberry preserves                                            1/2 tsp pure almond extract

Put cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a mixer and blend until light.  Add the 1/4 cup sugar and salt.  With mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix just until combined.  Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface (I use my counter) and roll into a ball.  Cut the ball into quarters and wrap each in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.  For the filling, combine in a small bowl, 1/4 cup sugar and the 1/4 cup brown sugar.    In another small bowl, give the apricot filling or the raspberry preserves a stir, along with the almond extract.  Take dough out of frig and roll each quarter into a 9" circle.  Spread the dough 1/4 cup filling and then sprinkle with 1/4 of the sugar.  Press the sugar slightly onto the filling with the rolling pin.  At this point, I use a pizza cutter and slice the round in quarters, then another three, totaling 12 wedges.  Roll up each wedge, starting at the widest part.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with side down.  Put in the fridge for about half hour.  Since I have a side-by-side, I have to use a small cookie sheet, then transfer the cookies to my larger cookie sheet.  It's a real pain, but I have no choice.  Take cookies out and brush with egg wash.  At this point, you can sprinkle sanding sugar or regular sugar on top, or nothing if you don't want to.  Bake in a 350 oven for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Remove to a wire rack and cool.  Bon appetit!

CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO FILLING

1/2 cup sugar                                                                  2 tsp espresso powder
8 oz bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate                       4 tbsp butter, melted
  grated, or shaved

Mix sugar and espresso powder in a small bowl.  After rolling out rugelach dough in a circle, brush with melted butter, then sprinkle with sugar/espresso mixture, and then chocolate...


for this batch I used raspberry preserves with almond extract and chopped walnuts

because I can never seem to roll out a perfect circle, I tape a piece of parchment paper on the counter after tracing around a dinner plate with a sharpie...

lay on cookie tray lined with parchment paper...

now I can just throw away the parchment paper...

blurry, but you get the picture...yum...