Thursday, December 04, 2008

Rugelach in Red and Pecan

Gisele Jaquenod & Birdie
is a terrific blog that is having a tutorial contest. The prize is a blog design!
I am down for that! Heaven knows my blog can use some major help. I just think all of the designs at Gisele's blog are great. Give it a look by clicking on the hyper-text or the graphic above.

Rugelach is a Jewish cookie that I have incorporated for 2 years now into my Holiday cookie baking regimen. I will be making other cookies/goodies this season that I will be blogging about, but here is the kick-off to my official cookie baking!
The day before baking, throw the dough ingredients together, so they can chill for easier rolling....don't panic. They roll out great and don't stick to the counter at all.

2 1/3 cups all-purpose white flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup (two sticks) butter, slightly softened, cut in chunks
1 8-ounce package cream cheese slightly softened, cut in chunks
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour and the salt, set aside. In another large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter, cream cheese, lemon zest, and vanilla until very fluffy and well blended. Beat or stir in the flour mixture until evenly incorporated.

Divide the dough in half. Shape it into a 6 inch disk, wrap it up good and refrigerate it a couple of hours or overnight. (If it goes overnight, let it sit out for 45 minutes before rolling.) You can do this step up to two days ahead.
Here is an unnecessary photo of me wrapping the disk of dough, but it shows off my rocking wedding ring.
I used two fillings, a pecan nut filling, and a simple open the jar strawberry rhubarb jam.
To make the Pecan Nut Filling:
Toast 2 1/4 cups chopped pecans by spreading them out on a baking sheet and bake for 6-9 minutes. Watch carefully. Let them cool.

In a food processor:
3/4 cup apricot preserves
1 1/2 tablespoons clover honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
And the chopped, toasted nuts. Pulse, just until incorporated. You can do this up to 4 days ahead (stored in the fridge) if you like. Let the pecan mixture come to room temperature before using if you do. Now comes the really fun part. Roll the dough to a 12 inch circle using loads of powdered sugar instead of flour.
Spread the filling to the very edges of the dough.
Cut the dough into quarters. Then each quarter into 6 pieces.
Firmly roll up each wedge starting at the wide end.
Place them pointy part down, about 1 1/2 inches apart on parchment covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. With some of the pecan cookies you can wash them with a beaten egg, and sprinkle coarse grain sugar on them if desired.
Bake them for 15 - 20 minutes depending on your oven. Until lightly golden . Sprinkle those cuties again with some powdered sugar. Let them cool on a cooling rack.
Mazeltov! You did it!
These taste better the next day, and the next, if they last that long!


liyana said... are a great baker =D

Jordanian Princess said...

Mommy, you look so cute! The treats were awesome by the way!

The Blonde Duck said...

I need a new design too! Badly!!!

Saleem Family said...

Jordon said you would make some for me.... They look so good. I might have to try these. You are to talented. :)