Arsip Tag: rugelach
Picture this: You’re toweling off after your morning shower, your oatmeal in the microwave, looking into the mirror and thinking as per usual, “my god, am I pale. When is vacation again?” when you hear this noise from the living room. As you get closer, so does the noise, a fluttering, scratching and absolutely frantic in every little way sound. Is it (groan, another) mouse? Why does it sound like a bird? How could there be a bird in the wall? What if it’s stuck? It really sounds spazzed out in there. Calm down, Deb. Surely it’s nothing. It’s probably just a bird on the outside of your thin circa-1870 tenement walls. Sit down, eat your oatmeal, everything is going to be… #$%!!!! BIRD! BIRD! BIRD! BIRD! A BIRD FLEW OUT OF THE RADIATOR. Omg, it is THROWING itself against the window. Halp! HALP!
You do the logical thing, and call your husband, who is not yet at work, how dare he leave you at home with a WILD ANIMAL banging into the walls. You open the other window, wide, afraid to go near the one that the bird is throwing itself against because, duh, you’ve seen the movie. But it won’t pay any attention to that window, it wants to go out this window and you think, “wow, you really aren’t that bright, are you?” but no, you do not utter the word “birdbrain.” You know who’s in charge here. You finally get your husband on the phone; he’s laughing, you mentally file divorce papers.
You calm your nerves long enough to open the window that the bird is trying to exit through, which sends it cowering behind your jade plants. Now both windows are wide open (and the front door, which technically doesn’t lead outside, but whatever, this is not your problem) and what does the bird do? Nothing. This goes on for about 15 minutes. “Come on little birdie!” you reason with your new roommate. “Fly! Fly!” “Out the window!” “Come on now, I know you wanna!” “You don’t want to be here any more than I want you to be.” “Come out from behind the jade plant.” And finally, “I am TRYING to help you but you have GOT to help yourself too!” At which point it flies into the middle of the living room and lands on the floor and you’re all “No! The OTHER way! Nooo!” (imagining it making a nest out of your cashmere sweaters), and it turns around and whooshes out the open window.
And then you pour some Baileys over your oatmeal. Uh, kidding. Actually, you update your blog. I mean, who wouldn’t?
Speaking of jittery experiences… ha, no. I will not insult your attention with a painfully awkward segue. Let’s try again: In a relatively less traumatizing experience, some of you may remember a trip I took to The Martha Stewart Show a couple months ago. Despite the fact that I felt both hoodwinked and bamboozled by not being warned that we were going to be called out by the show and then tried to pretend it never happened, believe it or not, the show that day wasn’t all about us. Really!
In fact, Martha had as guest the two women who own the Sweet On You Bakery in Stamford, Conn. who made for Martha their signature pinwheel rugelach cookies. Now I love rugelach, well more than anyone should, and I spent most of the time they were cooking these questioning why anyone would fix what wasn’t broken (despite the fact that I do this all of the time).
Traditional rugelach–and hold tight, because I’ll have a recipe for these within a week, promise–are shaped more like tiny crescent rolls, but these women specifically said that they never liked how the centers got soft. But I love the soft centers! I thought, and wrote off these cookies before I even tried them.
As the credits rolled, these rugelach were passed out to audience members and guess what? They were absolutely amazing. Like, “Holy Wow OMG” good. Like, “I can’t wait to blog about these” good, which pretty much brings us up to last night.
If possible to imagine, they’re even better than I remember. They manage to be thin as a cookie while still tasting exactly like traditional rugelach–ever-so-slightly soft center and all. They’ll make your apartment smell amazing, too good even, as you might find yourself with an unwanted guest the next morning. Should this happen–and don’t say I didn’t warn you–the only advice I can give you is to cover the cookies (literally and figuratively) and don’t bother reasoning with it.
Adapted from the Sweet On You Bakery via The Martha Stewart Show
Rugelach are easily my favorite cookie, but they’re incredibly pesky to make in their traditional shape, which require that multiple circles of dough have to be rolled, spread with warmed jam then dry ingredients, cut into 8 or 16 tiny wedges, each individually rolled into crescents that are brushed with an egg wash and then, just when you thought you were done, sprinkled with more sugar before baking. A-yee. These rugelach use the same exact dough and ingredients, but save you some time by allowing you to roll it into two large logs which can be sliced and baked as needed. Plus, they’re pretty as hell. In the holiday season, I like to make a few logs and keep them in the freezer until needed. Let them warm up at room temperature for 30 minutes for easiest slicing.
Although apricot jam, raisins and walnuts are traditional, this doesn’t mean that any other jam, dried fruit or nut couldn’t be used as a replacement. We’ve used dried tart cherries instead of raisins because my husband hates raisins so much that I am certain one kicked him or something in a past life. We’ve also used dried currants, which were so tiny they required no additional chopping, and we’ve also swapped half with mini chocolate chips, to please the chocolate obsessives in the house.
New notes, added 12/22/14: Additional tips to help with rolling, slicing, cooling and restoring shape after baked, if needed. I found that only half of the final cinnamon-sugar was needed for dipping, and have adjusted below accordingly.
New note, 12/17: I found many ways to streamline and quicken the process of making rugelach dough. Those tips work here for the dough assembly (namely, no softening needed if you have a food processor). You can then continue with the rolling, filling and slicing instructions below.
Makes about 50 cookies
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup golden raisins, or another dried fruit of your choice, chopped fine
1 cup finely chopped walnuts or another nut of your choice, toasted first if you’ve got time
1/2 cup apricots or raspberry preserves, heated and cooled slightly
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Place cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and continue processing until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and pulse just until dough comes together.
Don’t have a food processor? A stand mixer or electric beaters will work just as well. Beat butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Add sugar, beat until combined. Scrape bowl down very well; I find cream cheese likes to leave hidden deposits at the bottom of the bowl. Add salt and flour and mix until just combined, with no flour visible. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make filling. In a medium bowl, toss together granulated and brown sugars, cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts; set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 piece of dough into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick, roughly 12 or so inches wide. (I find making it wider makes it harder to manage or store.) Spread a thin layer of preserves evenly over dough; sprinkle with filling mixture. Roll dough into a tight log beginning with one of the long sides; wrap in plastic wrap. Transfer dough log baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining piece of dough. Place dough logs in refrigerator; let chill at least 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar for the topping; set aside.
Slice chilled dough logs crosswise, about 1/4 inch thick. Toss each cookie in the cinnamon-sugar mixture with a fork to easily shake excess off. On the first batch, place cookies 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheets to gauge how much yours will spread; I usually find that I only need them an inch or so apart for the rest of the trays.
Bake until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. When you remove them from the oven, if any “tails” or layers have sprung loose, you can use your fingers to press the cookie back into a round shape. Let rest on baking sheet for another 2 minutes after that, after which they will set in their re-formed shape, before transferring cookies to a cooling rack which has been lightly coated with a nonstick spray. (It helps keep their warm jammy edges from sticking.) Let cool completely on racks. Repeat with remaining pinwheel dough and cinnamon-sugar.
Once cool, cookies can be packed away and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for two weeks.
We just can’t stop with the buns in the ovens over here, people.
After a long day of demonstrations at the Lodge, Ree and I decided to take it extra easy last Sunday. Or at least, I did, but when I find out what Ree puts in her coffee that gives her so much energy, I promise, you’ll hear it here first. Ree showed up in the early afternoon with a batch of her cinnamon roll dough, rising, and gave me a challenge: “I want you to put your own Smitten Kitchen spin on my recipe,” she said.
I protested. “Nooo! Please don’t make me!” You see, I firmly believe that things that are not broken (and oh, The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls are anything but broken, a conclusion I came to after… let’s just say many “tastings”; ranch life is indeed hard.) should not be “fixed”. Nothing good could come of this. I’d make something that I am would be edible and possibly even tasty, but would anyone choose it over classic cinnamon buns? Oh, heck no. Even I wouldn’t.
And no sooner did I launch my protest did my I come to fixate on a small idea, and by “idea” I mean a small box on the other counter, with a single cookie left it in it — a chocolate-orange rugelach from Russ and Daughters. This was part of the Lower East Side Care Package we brought with us (more on that soon) to Oklahoma, and I immediately started the comparison: Rugelach have butter. Rugelach have cinnamon sugar…
But rugelach — tiny cream cheese patries traditionally from Eastern Europe that like all good things, I have shamelessly hacked on this site — don’t just stop with butter and cinnamon sugar. They add jam. Dried fruit. Chopped nuts. And if you’re really, really lucky, some tiny chocolate bits. And when I imagined them cross-hacked with a soft cinnamon bun roll, I knew I was onto something great. Or maybe I was just really hungry. Equally possible.
Might they be the only thing on earth more exciting than cinnamon roll? Oh, I would never go there. But wow, we loved these rolls. Ree calls them Redneck Rugelach, and I think as someone who lives at the end of a six-mile gravel road, she can get away with that. I’ll stick to Ranch Rugelach, perhaps the most fun thing that came out of the kitchen last weekend.
More Pictures! The Pioneer Woman’s gorgeous photos of the making of Ranch Rugelach, replete with a certain intruding belly.
One year ago: Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad
Two years ago: Chicken Empanada with Chorizo and Olives
Dough adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s recipe; the filling is a product of my own warped imagination. Thanks be to Katie for jotting down these measurements!
This is the recipe embodiment of what happens when you put The Pioneer Woman and the Smitten Kitchen in the room together — you take a good old cozy country recipe and you, ahem, New York it up. But these were no second-rate cinnamon buns, I promise, but a whole different animal. They were busier and stickier and crunchier and somehow more breakfast-y. Or so I told myself when I had one for my first breakfast (at dawn, before attempting to work cattle) and then one for my second breakfast (driving around in a Jeep and taking pictures is hard work!) a couple hours later. I dare you to argue with a pregnant woman over the righteousness of pastries for breakfast.
Makes 24 muffin-sized buns
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I haven’t tried this with melted butter instead, but if you do, let us know how it goes)
1/2 cup sugar
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus plenty of extra for flouring the surface
1/2 heaping (slightly more) teaspoon baking powder
1/2 scant (slightly less) teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup jelly or jam (raspberry and/or apricot are traditional, but anything you like will work), divided
6 tablespoons salted butter melted (or unsalted, with a pinch of salt in it), divided
1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans (although there’s no reason you can’t use any other nut you prefer), divided
2/3 cup finely chopped semisweet chocolate or miniature chocolate chips, divided (optional, but use slightly more dried fruit if you’re omitting this)
2/3 cup dried currants or chopped dark raisins, divided
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk, approximately
Make the dough: Mix the milk, vegetable oil and 1/2 cup sugar in a large pot, and heat it until just before it boils. Turn off the heat, remove the pot from the burner, and let it cool for 45 minutes to one hour. When the mixture is lukewarm, sprinkle in the yeast and let it sit for a minute or two before adding the four cups of flour. Stir the mixture together, cover the pot and let it sit for at least an hour. After an hour the dough should be a giant, puffy but still pretty wet. Add another 1/2 cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir the mixture together. Either use it right away, or cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it — overnight or up to a day or two. If it starts to overflow in the pot, press it down.
Roll out the dough: Generously flour a large counter — the dough is very wet and sticky. Dump half the dough onto it, flour your rolling pin well, and roll the dough into a large rectangle about 24 inches wide and as thin as you get it in the other direction (ours ended up about 12 inches deep).
Fill the rolls: Generously spray two 12-cup muffin tins with a cooking spray, or butter them well. Go ahead and spray the flat part too, so if your jam bubbles out of the buns, it will be easier to scrub off. (This is what years of a dishwasher-less experience will teach you!)
Stir together the 1/3 cup sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon and set it aside. Spread one half of your jam evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch margin at the wider ends. (If your jam is cold from the fridge, you can heat it slightly in a small saucepan or in the microwave, not until bubbling hot but until warm enough to easily spread.)
Drizzle three tablespoons melted butter over the jam layer. (Although it would be intuitive to do it in the other order, I was concerned that the jam wouldn’t spread well over the slick melted butter. Plus, I wanted the melted butter to mingle with the cinnamon sugar, as it would in a traditional cinnamon roll. Drooling yet?)
Sprinkle the jam and butter layer with 1/4 cup of the cinnamon-sugar mixture, then half of the nuts, half the chocolate and half the dried fruit.
Starting with the wider side of the rectangle (the one that should be 24 inches), begin to tightly roll the dough, incorporating the filling. Once it is fully rolled up, cut it into two-inch segments with a sharp knife (a serrated knife works great here). Place one in each muffin cup. Sprinkle the tops of the rolls with a tablespoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture and set the tin aside to puff some more, about 20 to 30 minutes. (You could loosely cover it with plastic wrap, but we didn’t bother.)
Repeat this process with the other half of the dough, and the remaining filling ingredients.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Bake the rolls: Bake your rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, until they’re golden at the edges and the filling looks bubbly. (I was using a convection oven at the Lodge, which is nothing like my oven at home so your baking time may vary. Look for a nice color and that bubbling filling before you take them out.)
Let the rolls mostly cool on a rack.
Make the glaze: Beat the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together in a bowl with an electric mixture until fluffy. From here, you can either spread this frosting on your lukewarm buns, or thin it with milk until it is more of a drizzling consistency. Eat one at once.
In a food processor: Place flour and salt in work bowl fitted with standard blade. Pulse to combine. Add cream cheese, chopped into large chunks, and run machine until it’s fully dispersed into the flour. Add butter in large chunks and run machine until dough starts to clump. Dump out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a flattish disc.
With a mixer: Let butter and cream cheese soften at room temperature. Beat both together until light and fluffy. Beat in salt. Add flour, beating until it disappears. Scrape dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a flattish disc.
Both methods: Chill dough until totally firm — about 2 hours in the fridge you can hasten this along in the freezer for about 30 minutes. (Dough keeps in fridge for up to a week, and in freezer much longer.)
Form the cookies:
Heat oven to 350 degrees F and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
Stir cinnamon and sugar together in a small dish. Combine coarse mixture of chocolate, nuts and dried fruit in a second dish.
Divide dough into quarters and roll first quarter out on a floured counter into a rectangle about 12 inches wide and 7 to 8 inches long, with the wider side to you. Thinly spread jam to all but the furthest 1/4 inch from you — which seals better once rolled if bare — with about 2 to 3 tablespoons jam. (I find that with seedless raspberry, 2T covers nicely but with thicker jam, you’ll need 3T to coat it thinly. If your jam is difficult to spread, you can warm it gently in the microwave for a few seconds first.) Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar mixture, then 4 tablespoons coarse fruit and nut mixture.
Roll dough from the 12-inch side in front of you into as tight as a log as you can, using your fingers to lightly seal the ends onto the log. Repeat with remaining logs.
Shape your cookies [see additional images at end of recipe]:
To make classic, easy sliced cookies: Place log of filled dough in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes; it will cut more cleanly once semi-firm. Trim ends from log so they have a clean shape. Cut log into 10 to 12 even slices. Arrange on prepared baking sheets a couple inches apart from each other.
To make a ring of spirals: Place log of filled dough in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes; it will cut more cleanly once semi-firm. Trim ends from log so they have a clean shape. Cut log into 10 to 12 even slices. Arrange them in a ring formation on prepared baking sheets so that each link touches. Do note: This will be the hardest to lift in one piece from the baking sheet once cool.
To make a pull-apart wreath: Form log into a ring, connecting the ends and smoothing the dough to seal the shape. Place ring in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes; it will cut more cleanly once semi-firm. On prepared baking sheet, cut 10 to 12 evenly spaced apart notches in ring, cutting through all but the last 1/4-inch of log so it stays connected.
To make a pull-apart log: Place log of filled dough in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes; it will cut more cleanly once semi-firm. Trim ends from log so they have a clean shape. On prepared baking sheet, cut 10 to 12 evenly spaced apart notches in log, alternating sides that you cut from, cutting through all but the last 1/4-inch of log so it stays connected.
To make a split log twisted together like a babka: Don’t. It was a flopped-open mess. We couldn’t even eat it. [biggest lie, ever]
For all shapes, to bake finish: Brush top(s) lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with a total of 1 teaspoon of the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown on top. Individual cookies need to cool only a few minutes on baking sheet before they can be transferred to a cooling rack but larger rings, wreaths and logs do best if they cool at least 3/4 of the way to solidify more before attempting to carefully transfer them.
Do ahead: Cooled cookies keep in a container at room temperature for a week, and in the freezer for a month. Just not around here. Your filled log of rugelach is also easy to freeze, pre-baking, until needed. Wrap well, and you can slice it into cookies straight from the freezer, baking them while still frozen — you’ll just new a few extra minutes in the oven.