Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 8: Rugelach

The menorah on display at Long Wharf reminded me that, although it's been a busy week, I shouldn't let Chanukah come and go without making traditional rugelach. I'll serve them tonight, after a dinner of honey-glazed roast chicken and, of course, Potato Latkes. Here's the rugelach recipe:

Chanukah Rugelach
Makes 32 cookies

Don't try to bake these cookies without the parchment paper--they get very sticky and you won't be able to lift them from an unlined baking sheet.

For the dough:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces

For the filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped almonds
2/3 cup apricot jam
1 cup mini chocolate chips
2/3 cup golden raisins

For the glaze:
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Make the dough: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the workbowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the cream cheese and butter and pulse until the mixture just comes together in clumps.
2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured countertop and press into a ball. Divide the ball into 4 equal pieces, press each piece into a 4-inch disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lien 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. Make the filling. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place the almonds, jam, chocolate chips, and golden raisins in separate small bowls.
5. Remove one dough disk from the refrigerator and with a lightly floured rolling pin roll out the dough into a 9-inch circle on a lightly floured work surface. Using a 9-inch plate or pie plate as a guide, trim the edges to make a neat circle.
6. Spread 2 1/2 tablespoons of the jam over the dough. Sprinkle with 2 1/2 tablespoons of the raisins and 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the almonds. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon sugar. Pat the filling firmly with your fingertips to secure it to the dough. Cut the dough circle into 8 wedges. Roll each wedge into a crescent and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough disks.
7. Brush the frozen rugelach with the heavy cream and bake them until they are golden, 24 to 26 minutes. Transfer them to wire racks with a metal spatula and let them cool completely. Rugelach will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

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