This week's Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) recipe was chosen by Piggy of Piggy's Cooking Journal: Rugelach. Rugelach is a Jewish pastry made with a dough that often contains cream cheese. It's typically filled with some type of fruit preserve, cinnamon and sugar, dried fruit, and nuts.
Being the nut hater that I am, I omitted the nuts from this recipe. I decided to go with two different types of fillings. I still had ginger preserves in my refrigerator from when we made the Blackberry Nectarine Galette, so I thought it would be perfect here. So the first batch I made with ginger preserves, cinnamon and sugar, and tart Montmorency cherries.
The other batch I made with raspberry preserves, cinnamon and sugar, chocolate, and orange flavored cranberries from Trader Joe's.
I didn't have any mini chocolate chips on hand, so I chopped up some regular chocolate chips. I only added a small amount of chocolate, though, as a few TWD bakers noted that the chocolate in this recipe was overpowering. For a few of the pastries, I also tried adding in some cacao nibs I received from TCHO Chocolate.
Cacao nibs are small pieces of crushed roasted cacao beans. They have a delicate citrusy undertone.
In small quantities, the chocolate complemented the other flavors in these quite well. Rugelach is one of my favorite pastries because I love fruit preserves and it is so simple to make. Between the two different types I made this time, both my husband and myself preferred the ginger and cherry combination. (They didn't last long enough for us to share them with anyone else.)
Having made rugelach in the past, I've never had much success making them in the nice crescent shape, as depicted in the book. I simply roll the dough out into a rectangle, then cut it into strips and then roll them up individually. I know a few TWD bakers mentioned rolling it up into a log and then cutting them into pieces, as you would a cinnamon roll, but I find that it's easier to get the rolls tighter if you do it this way instead.
The recipe I've used in the past to make rugelach is from the Barefoot Contessa. Both recipes are good, but I like that Ina's recipe only requires 1 hour of refrigeration before assembly (plus the dough can be made in the mixer instead of in the food processor). I'll probably continue to use her recipe in the future, but I will use Dorie's method of just popping the preserves in the microwave before spreading instead of pureeing them in the food processor like Ina does. There wasn't a noticeable difference between the two methods, and I'd rather not dirty the food processor if I don't have to.
- When making these, make sure you plan ahead. The dough only takes a few minutes to make and the assembly doesn't take too long, either, but the dough requires quite some time in the refrigerator. It needs to be chilled for 2 hours after you make it, and then another 30 minutes after the filling has been added.
- I'd recommend chopping your dried fruit in half - having larger pieces can make it difficult to roll the dough up.
- As noted above, unless you really love chocolate, I'd decrease the quantity in this recipe. (I didn't measure it out, but you can see from the picture above about how much chocolate I added - about 4-5 small pieces per roll.)
- If you're going to roll them up like I did, you'll want to roll your dough out until into a rectangle that is approximately 9" wide by 6" long and 1/8" thick. Cut your dough into strips that are about 1.5" wide.
- I had to bake my rugelach longer than recommended. It took 30 minutes before becoming nice and golden.
- The fruit preserves can ooze a lot with these, so if you are not using a rimmed baking sheet, make sure you don't place them too close to the edges or else the juices will drip on to the bottom of your oven, making a mess.
- Wrapped airtight, these can be frozen for up to 2 months.
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