Rugelach

SUMMARY – crunchy, sweet, buttery, nutty, sticky. Spirals of goodness that call out for a doubled recipe.

adding-butter

One of the great things about growing up in and still living in update NY is a unique level of ethnic diversity. By diversity, I mean, I was surrounded by (mostly European) immigrants. In my family and neighborhood, and within my circle of friends, there were Poles, Italians, Quebecois, Ukrainians, Greeks, Scots, French, Irish, English, East Asians, Chinese. Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists. First, second, third generation immigrants.

adding-vanilla

A lot of this diversity came out in food. I know exactly what rugelach are, even though my family never made them.

finished-dough

In comparison, my roommate Bill is from Missouri, with a short layover in San Diego (from his dad’s Navy deployment). By his own admission, he knows Mexican food and Kansas City BBQ. He does not know what a rugelach is.

different-fillings

He knows what they are now, though! 😉

rolled-dough

These reminded me a little of the Cookie Strudel we made a few months back. Make a simple dough and top with fruit, nuts and a sticky filling. Roll it up.

dough-portioned

I made the dough in the food processor. A quick observation – don’t use frozen butter. Let it soften up a bit first.

portioned-cookie-dough

I made two different batches of these. One was apricot, raisin (currants are technically Zante raisins) and walnut sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. The other was mini chocolate chips, almonds and strawberry jam sprinkled with turbinado sugar.

topped-cookie

I portioned the apricot batch out as a 12-cut. But I had some cuts that were bigger than others. Don’t you hate it when your pizza has skinny and fat pieces?

into-the-fridge

To make it easier, I portioned the strawberry batch out as a 16-cut. They were smaller, but the sizes were more consistent.

into-the-oven

I rolled them up, put them in the fridge, brushed them with milk, and coated them with either the cinnamon sugar or turbinado sugar. Put them on the foil and into the oven.

baked-rugelach

And … I had the same problem that Marie had. Sticky jelly on foil = super glue. This was similar to the problem with the birch twigs on a Silplat.

foil-aftermath

I did manage to get most of the cookies off the foil. I had a lot of bakers treats from them, that’s for sure.

cooling-rack

Even with that problem I would make these again. I brought some into work and they went over big!

rugelach-closeupjpg

I would try the Silplat. No egg white!

Meringue Birch Twigs
SUMMARY – light and tasty. Gluten-free! Easy to assemble, harder to execute. Prettier than grisini.

beating-wggwhites
I always seem to have extra egg parts. Either I need a bunch of yolks or a bunch of whites. Never at the same time, of course. BTW egg parts freeze well, in case you can’t use up your extras within a reasonable time frame. Luckily I had a mason jar in the freezer full of extra egg whites. No need to create more extra yolks!

soft-peak
FYI – I learned this fact at a Paleo baking class I took last week. Eggs are not dairy. That is all.

almosr-glossy
Making the meringue was the easy part. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar? Check!

Add sugar slowly? Check!

adding-flavor
Add flavoring? I used coconut. Beat some more? Check!

finished-meringue
Put meringue in pastry bag? Check! Line baking sheets, one with parchment and one with my solo Silplat. Check!

piped-twigs
Surprisingly, piping was easy, too! Put them in the oven, bake, cool. I also let them sit overnight. Why? Because trying to move them off the sheets broke them. Yikes.

into-the-oven
The next day, I gingerly loosened them off the parchment paper and put them between the twigs on the Silplat to drizzle the chocolate.

chocolate-added
More problems. I seriously couldn’t get them off the sheet without breaking. Don’t use a Silplat with these. Use parchment.

birch-kindling
Needless to say, my twigs look a more like kindling than branches. They are still super cute and taste really good, but they are certainly not tall enough to display in a vase. Sad face.

birch-kindling2
With that in mind, I would use a larger tip. They wouldn’t be as thin but I could get them off the sheets!