The Tastebud Traveler
Always Learn, Always Travel
Week 4 - Rugelach
Rugelach have been with me since childhood. When we visited my grandmother in New York it was always the treat she always seemed to have around. Sometimes these delicious rolls would be apricot filled, chocolate, or strawberry but always Rugelach. While Rugelach have become much more common now, even available in my southern small town bakery, the sense of childhood, family and New York is strong whenever I have them. So when I thought of what I wanted to make for today's country, Israel, I knew where I was heading.
Rugelach is A Yiddish word. The traditional European Rugelach are made with a laminated, airy layered (like croissants) yeast dough. The dense cream cheese based dough that we're trying today is an recent ( think 20th century) American Jewish variation. Both Varieties are popular in Israel.
I have made Rugelach before in the more old world rolled crescent style, but i was intent on finding the more modern cut shape that i was accustomed to and that is why i chose Epicurious' recipe. ( click for link)
Rugelach Quick Facts:
Can be Rolled like a Croissant or Cut
Popular Fillings are Chocolate, Jam, Nuts, Raisins
Amazing Anytime, But Great With Coffee for Breakfast or Tea Time (its got jam, nuts and raisins, thats healthy right?)
The Dough of Rugelach is just four ingredients. Flour, salt, cream cheese, and butter. The cream cheese based dough is what really makes it stand out and gives it a pop of flavor. Cream the butter and cream cheese together and add your dry ingredients. Then get your hands involved mixing and form into a nice smooth ball.
Next, take a break! Rugelach dough needs to chill forever! No less than 8 hours. Right before you're ready to roll out, get your toppings ready. Cinnamon sugar, raisins, pecans & strawberry-rhubarb jam. My Favorite!
After dividing your dough into 4, you roll each one out into a rectangle and sprinkle on your toppings before rolling into a tight roll from long side of rectangle to long side.
If you look at the pic below, you'll just catch a glimpse of my poor deformed Rugelach log that was rolled the wrong direction. I'm definitely not a professional!
Then slice almost through, and then bake! Once you're done baking and cooled slightly, you can then slice the Rugelach though and you have the perfect rolled square that is the American Style Rugelach!
Delicious, its sweet and chewy and flakey. Enjoy! There is a 90% chance these treats are on my list if i travel anywhere they're made, including Israel.
A few notes on the Epicurious recipe:
A personal preference, I would probably either omit raisins next time, or us less.
As is, these were a bit sweeter than i would prefer, i might do half the sprinkled sugar in this recipe next time.
Roll the rectangle from long side to long side. The recipe didn't state, and would be too thick and short if rolled from short end to short end.
Give the Rugelach a minute to cool before cutting, but not too long or your jelly will caramelize to the pan/parchment paper. NO FUN!