Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Rugelach: 'TWD : Baking with Julia'

When the "TWD: Baking with Julia" group chose 'Rugelach' for this week's recipe, I was more than ready for it. In my wanderings across the world of food blogs, I had come across these croissant-shaped cookies and their unique shape held enough appeal for me to say, "I have to make these one day!!".

For those not in the know, Rugelach (pronounced as rŭg’ə-ləKH) are rolled cookies of eastern European, Jewish origin made from a cream cheese dough and stuffed with fillings that could include nuts, dried fruits, chocolate, cinnamon and fruit preserves. Got your attention too, didn't that!??!


So, with much enthusiasm I opened the page to the recipe only to realise with horror that the recipe had decided to use an alternative method to making these cookies. The recipe prescribed constructing the dough and the filling along the lines of a Swiss roll and then cutting the roll into slices to make pin-wheel shaped cookies. 'Eh?? no croissant-shaped cookies?!!?', I despaired and walked away. Only when I read other bloggers comment on the forum that there were going to go ahead with the croissant-shaped cookies that I was lured back to the recipe.

The dough was extremely simple to make, a bit on the softer side but that was expected with the amount of cream cheese and butter used. And I did only make a third of the dough because if the cookies did not turn out as expected, I had no clue what to do with 4 dozen of them!! For the filling, I modified and decided to go with the apricot lekvar, walnuts, cinnamon sugar and chocolate!! I was keen on making the apricot lekvar because, let's face it, sitting in India there is not much chance of me coming across any of it. It is essentially a thick puree of rehydrated dried apricots, sugar and lemon juice.

For the technique I turned to pastry chef, Zoe Francois post on rugelach where she clearly explains step-by-step on how to assemble these cookies. With the dough and filling ready, I was good to go...after all I thought...it all looked so simple....


Well.. not really..as it would turn out. The Indian summer has started making its presence felt and that was bad news for the cream cheese dough which turned too soft too soon too often. At one time while working with the dough,  I kid you not, I was refrigerating it almost every five minutes before I could go to the next step. The entire process of rolling out the dough, filling and then rolling up the triangles of dough tested the limits of my patience like none other....if only I could show what a mess my kitchen counter was by the end of it all!! I would have liked the cookies to have an extra fold around them but by the time I was done I was past caring!!

Overnight in the refrigerator and they were ready to be baked the next morning. After the mess of the night before, I must confess, I wasn't really looking forward to these lil fellas!! But then...few minutes into baking and with the aroma of cinnamon sugar invading my kitchen...the world was beginning to look a better place!!
Once baked and cooled, a pleasant surprise was in store for me!! The cream cheese dough was beyond spectacular...flaky, sweet and golden brown (thanks to a cream wash)!! All the flavours of the filling had come together...a hint of cinnamon, a hint of apricot, a hint of chocolate... with no particular one overpowering the other. But, for me that dough was clearly the winner...I have never tried it before...and if you haven't.. you too are really missing something. Before I baked them I thought these rugelach would be an one-off affair but after tasting them you realise they are too good to not be made again!!!

Due to copyright considerations, only the person hosting the recipe for the group 'TWD:Baking with Julia' can post the recipe on their blog. The recipe for the rugelach will be available on the blogs of Jessica and Margaret. Alternately, you can write to me at bakerindisguise@gmail.com and I will mail you the recipe.

36 comments:

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    1. Thank you!! It was one crazy, messy recipe!!! :)

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  2. They sure turned out very pretty, congrats! Mini croissants are messy and you did a perfect job.

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  3. After all their fussiness, your rugelach turned out beautifully. I agree, these are so yummy...they are worth all the effort it takes to make them.

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    1. Thanks Kris!! They tasted soo good .. I forgave them for all that they put me through!!

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  4. I found that the dough was amazing too!! Yours looks fabulous!

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  5. Wow, they look perfect! I'm glad they turned out to be worth doing. :)

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    1. Thanks Rebecca!! after all that work....

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  6. They look so great! You have me wishing I would have rolled them like that instead of trying to follow the instructions! Actually I was already kind of wishing that whilst rolling mine up, but you made me want to more.

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    1. Thanks Amanda!! But trust me..rolling them up this way was not any less messy...but i agree they do look kinda cute!!

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  7. I would love to have these. These look amazing!!!

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    1. Thank you Asmita!! You should try these sometime!!:)

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  8. They look great! I may try this shape with half of the dough next time..

    I also love the cream cheese dough.. Thinking of ways to use it other than rugelach :)

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    1. Thanks ferda!! The dough was great .. just won't be making any till the summer gets over!!!! :)

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  9. They look beautiful. You would never know that you had so many issues rolling them out!
    Well done

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    1. Thanks Cher!! :) .. But it did take up a lot of time..didn't it?!?!

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  10. Gorgeous rugelach! And worth placing the dough back in the fridge every five minutes. :)

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    1. Haha.. Thanks Wendy!!! It was crazy ..and now when i think about it..I can laugh about it...at that time I was ready to tear out my hair!!!:)

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  11. I agree--the dough was definitely the best part!

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    1. Julia!! That was the one good discovery of this recipe!!

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  12. you were wise not to toss them in the cinnamon/sugar/nut topping - I did on my first attempt and they became unrecognizable!

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    1. Oh I can imagine Jen... the sugar must have caramelised and oozed all over the place!!! Buts hats off to you for trying them a second time!!

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  13. Your rugelach looks beautiful. I also had a difficult time rolling up the dough and it is still winter here. I made both the crescent shaped and the rolled and liked it both ways!

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    1. U tried it both ways..way to go Elaine!! :)Thats amazing patience!!

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  14. You are certainly not alone in having trouble rolling the rugelach! I'm sort of surprised you could find cream cheese in India. Several people I know in other parts of the world can't get it. Looks like your rugelach turned out great in spite of the heat and difficulties.

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    1. Thanks Guyla! For the past few years, cream cheese is easily available in most of India's big cities.

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  15. I much prefer the traditional crescent-shaped ones that arent't so over-stuffed! Although I was happy to try something new, I felt like I wasted a lot of ingredients with this mehtod. Yours look great!

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    1. Thank you Susan!! I agree.. the proportion of filling prescribed by the recipe was too much.. it could easily have been a third less...

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  16. Awesome photos. Lovely photos are my weakness. Looking forward baking with you!

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    1. Thanks Emese...I try with the photographs.. its still a lot of hit and miss!! :)

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  17. I'm so envious of your crescent-shaped ones, so beautiful! They're the only type I've had but I made the spirals anyway. Next time though! And you're in India - so cool!

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    1. Thank you Lauren!! :) I had a look at your spirals and they are looking pretty good too!! but i agree the crescent shaped ones look more appealing!! I've never even tried rugelach before.. let alone make them!! :)

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  18. Those look great. Wish I had done the cresent shape because the sliced were UGLY!!

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    1. Thank you.. to be honest i've been quite enamoured by the crescent shape.. and thats why I did it that way.. otherwise i'm not one to fiddle around with recipes.. i guess i got lucky..especially after reading quite a few complaints with the sliced ones!! :)

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