Shoo, the first Tuesdays with Dorie recipe for March really challenged me! But, it also challenged my brand new, beautiful, shiny Kenwood Titanium Major – so much in love! I was spoilt with a very early birthday present by my lovely fiancé after I’d been boring him with my whining about how all these recipes were so challenging without a stand mixer.
For those who are as clueless as I was when I first saw this recipe, rugelach is a Jewish pastry. It is made from a cream cheese pastry, spread with lekvar (a jam or butter made from dried fruit), sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, chopped nuts and dried fruit and then rolled up and dipped in nutty, cinnamon sugar. All this is then baked in the oven until the sugar has caramelised and the smell is more than you can bear!
So, how did it go? Well, the apricot lekvar went really smoothly (no pun intended!). I used lemon juice, rather than the amaretto, for no reason other than personal choice. It was quick and easy, and I really enjoyed the sweet yet slightly tart flavour.
The cream cheese pastry was super easy in my new mixer, it all came together really easily and then went into the fridge for chilling – there is a lot of chilling in this recipe, so be sure to have lots of time on your hands!
The wonderful fiancé did a sterling job of chopping the dried fruit up for me, his chopping skills far surpass mine and his patience is enviable when it comes to that sort of thing. I win the patience battle in other areas though 😉
The troubles started when it came time to filling and rolling the dough with its insides up – I don’t see how with the dough at the width that is prescribed in the recipe one can achieve the roll that appears in the recipe book. Partly I think this is my fault for putting too much topping on the rolled out dough, but I don’t think it was the only problem. To me it seemed like if I hadn’t cut the dough in half as instructed I would have had a much better chance of rolling the rugelach up like a wheel.
Never mind, I rolled them up as best I could, re-chilled them and then baked them until they looked lovely and ready to eat. Never having tasted rugelach before it is hard to say whether they taste “right”, but they tasted good – I really like the cream cheese pastry, and the dried fruit and nuts were great settled in amongst the lekvar, all topped off by the sweet, crunchiness of the cinnamon sugar.
All that being said, I’m not sure I’d make them again in a hurry – I’m not really a dried fruits kind of girl and they were a lot of work. I think there are way more delicious treats out there that don’t require so much chilling and rolling and prepping! But it’s my own personal thing.