I was delighted to find that rugelach is the Tuesdays with Dorie recipe for today. The small treasures have always been among my favorite sweets. They are rather tedious to make, so I think I’ve only made them once before. But I thought it would be fun to try them again.
This baking adventure confirmed that my urge to modify a recipe is strong and I rarely resist. I would describe my final set of ingredients and preparation steps as a “mash up” of the Lauren Groveman recipe in Baking with Julia and Dorie Greenspan’s recipe as described in her National Public Radio interview.
I made a half recipe of Groveman’s dough recipe using the food processor method Greenspan recommends, rather than the stand mixer instructions in Groveman’s recipe.
When I was growing up, my favorite rugelach were from a bakery that made crescents, so I used that shape.
I filled them with a combination of Groveman’s apricot lekvar (a sweet paste based on chopped dried and reconstituted apricots), dried fruit soaked in the water used to reconstitute the apricots, chopped chocolate and a cinnamon and sugar mix. I prepared and intended to add the chopped roasted nuts specified in Groveman’s recipe, but then forgot them as I filled and rolled up the rugelach.
After painting the rugelach with an egg “wash” (egg diluted with a bit of milk), I rolled them in plain sugar as Greenspan suggested, rather than Groveman’s cinnamon/sugar mix.
Rugelach Report From the Frontlines – Lessons Learned:
- Amount of lekvar – I found (as did others in the group) that lekvar recipe makes way more than is needed. I could have halved the ½ portion I made and still had plenty.
- Amount of other filling ingredients – Groveman’s filling recipe fills the rugelach too full for my taste. It would have been difficult to roll the small pastries if I had used the nuts and I think they would have looked like rugelach on steroids. Without the nuts, they are rotund enough and rolled nicely.
- Cutting the dough – I used a pizza cutter; it is definitely the best way to go for this dough.
- Size of individual rugelach – I cut the ½ recipe of Groveman’s dough into 3 discs and made each one into 16 pastries, as Greenspan recommended. I like the size of the resulting rugelach – a bit bigger than bite sized, but certainly not mammoth.
- Resting time for completed rugelach before baking – I refrigerated them for only 30 minutes (Greenspan’s suggestion) instead of Groveman’s 4+ hours because I was pressed for time and didn’t find the shorter time problematic.
- Preparing the baking pans – Groveman suggested waxed paper, while Greenspan recommended a Silpat mat or parchment. I tried both methods, lining one pan with waxed paper and a second with a Silpat. The waxed paper was a big mistake. Rugelach stuck to the waxed paper wherever the apricot lekvar oozed out and several of the rugelach broke when I tried to remove them from the waxed paper, while those on the Silpat came right off.
The final result – excellent texture and taste. A winner!
PS – I baked only 2 of the 3 dough discs worth of the rugelach. The rest I froze until they were solid on a cookie sheet and then moved them to a plastic freezer bag. That way, I’ll have a few in reserve for a special occasion.
Update on 2012-03-07 16:06 by motherwouldknow
Although I hope you’ll buy the book Baking with Julia, if you’re interested in seeing the basic recipe for the rugelach right now, you can find it here, in the post of the Tuesdays with Dorie co-host for this project, Jessica, of My Baking Heart.