Tuesday, December 9, 2008

12 Days of Cookies - A Gourmet cookie extravaganza

This wonderful event is the brain child of Andrea of Andreas Recipes. How I got asked to be involved with this incredible group is beyond me but all the thanks goes to Kelly of Sass & Veracity. There are 7 of us that have decided to do The 12 Days of Cookies - A Gourmet cookie extravaganza. We will be choosing, baking, tasting, blogging and sharing with you a cookie a day for the next 12 days of December.

These cookies are coming from Gourmet's Favorite Cookie Recipes: 1941-2008.
They’ve published a lot of cookie recipes in their 68-year history, many of them around the winter holidays. This season they decided to choose the very best from each year.

These are my partners in crime. We will all be choosing different cookies and surprising each other. How fun is that???? Be sure to check out their selections for the day!

Jerry - Cooking...by the seat of my Pants
Sandy -At the Baker's Bench
Courtney - Coco Cooks
Kelly - Sass & Veracity
Claire - The Barefoot Kitchen
Andrea - Andreas Recipes

Day 9 of the 12 Days of Cookies features Rugelach!

This very homey recipe for rugelach was handed down through 4 generations of food editor Melissa Roberts’s family; though rugelach is typically rolled, then sliced and baked, these are scored first, baked, and then broken into individual cookies afterwards, for a wonderful variety of textures from top to bottom.-Gourmet

Rugelach - May 2004 (link to the recipe as it was originally printed)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup plus 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup apricot preserves or raspberry jam (I used raspberry jam)
  • 1 cup loosely packed golden raisins, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups walnuts (1/4 lb), finely chopped
  • Milk for brushing cookies
  • Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined well. Add flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Gather dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap, then flatten (in wrap) into a roughly 7- by 5- inch rectangle. Chill until firm, 8 to 24 hours.
  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of a 1- to 1 1/2-inch-deep large shallow baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Cut dough into 4 pieces. Chill 3 pieces, wrapped in plastic wrap, and roll out remaining piece into a 12- by 8-inch rectangle on a well-floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Transfer dough to a sheet of parchment, then transfer to a tray and chill while rolling out remaining dough in same manner, transferring each to another sheet of parchment and stacking on tray.
  • Whisk 1/2 cup sugar with cinnamon.
  • Arrange 1 dough rectangle on work surface with long side nearest you. Spread 1/4 cup preserves evenly over dough with offset spatula. Sprinkle 1/4 cup raising and a rounded 1/4 cup walnuts over jam, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar.
  • Using parchment as an aid, roll up dough tightly into a log. Place, seam side down, in lined baking pan, then pinch ends closed and tuck underneath. Make 3 more logs in same manner and arrange 1 inch apart in pan. Brush logs with milk and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of remaining granulated sugar. With a sharp large knife, make 3/4-inch-deep cuts crosswise in dough (not all the way through) at 1-inch-intervals. (If dough is too soft to cut, chill until firmer, 20 to 30 minutes.)
  • Bake until golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool to warm in pan on a rack, about 30 minutes, then transfer logs to a cutting board and slice cookies all the way through.
See how moist and tender these look? They really were!

I really liked these cookies. Their flavor reminded me of something from my childhood. It reminds me of our Christmas dinners at my Grandma's house but I can't quite put my finger on what it was. I don't think it was these exact cookies but...

They called for golden raisins and for some reason I could not find them so I used regular raisins. They probably are a bit stronger flavored but they were still delicious. T. does not like raisins so I made one log with just the nuts and the sugar. Those were good too.

Would I make these again? Probably but only for someone really special. Not that they were hard or anything but they seem really special for some reason. Could that just be the memory attached to it? Not sure.

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!



Vicki said...

Hooray for rugelach! I've never made them this way, maybe I'll try it next time I need a fix.

RecipeGirl said...

Sometimes those golden raisins are tough to find. This looks great! Something I haven't tried yet!

Michele said...

Your rugelach turned out beautifully! Anything made with raisins and spice reminds me of my grandmother.

glamah16 said...

Yes, these are definately a winner. Everyone love them and you can change up the fillings. Wonderful job.

Sandy Smith said...

These are beautiful, and I'm so glad you had a success with them! I've made Dorie's rugelach and they're delicious, but these seem to shorten the process by rolling and scoring in log form. I'd like to try with raspberry jam and walnuts inside.
Great job!

Elle said...

Those are beautiful, Judy! I'll bet they're delicious!

Peter M said...

Yay...the antithesis of yesterday's mess!

You're back on track and I like the strudel-style method of your Rugelach.

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Thanks Vicki. They seemed much less fussy than the regular ones and every bit as tasty!

Hey Recipegirl-These are nice to make. The flavor was wonderful!

Hey Michele-that happened to me too. Very strange!

Hey Courtney-I love the flexibility that you have with the filling and they were great!

Thanks Sandy-these are worth another try!

Thanks Elle-they sure were!

Oh yes and thank goodness Peter, I am so back on track!!!

Thistlemoon said...

I love rugelach! They are so good. Your look gorgeous, Judy! :)

Stacey Snacks said...

Hi Judy,
Your rugelach looks very authentic, just like my grandmother's!!!
Thanks for stumbling my saltimbocca recipe!
Stacey Snacks

Andrea Meyers said...

I agree, these are very special and yours turned out great!

Anonymous said...

These remind me of a strudle ? so I was a bit surprised that you called them cookies. All the same they really look great and worth the effort :).

Darius T. Williams said...

You know what? A big handful of these right before I go to bed would make me really happy!


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I love this method of making the rugelach rather than the little fussy croissant type. They are just so darn good!!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE rugelach. Yours turned out so beautifully. Dangerous, because I'd have trouble not eating all of it. I just may have to fit this one in!

RJ Flamingo said...

I also love Rugelach! You're so right in thinking them special - they're traditionally Eastern European/Jewish, and no special occasion is complete without them. Yours are gorgeous and I may try this particular recipe - seems so much easier than the one I'd been using. And you can change up the fillings however you'd like. Nutella, anyone? :D