This June, Audra Middleton is hosting a blog hop about food: recipes from our favorite books or stories about our favorite dishes. Literature and culinary arts combined – what could be more delicious. Thanks, Audra.
My contribution to the blog hop is a flash story I wrote recently about rugelach, which are traditional Jewish cookies. The story, Hannah’s Rugelach, is 1,000 words long. It is about love, survival, the Holocaust, and the second chances. And of course, rugelach. There is also a photo of rugelach below the story, if you’d like to see them.
Not everyone knows the word ‘rugelach’ or how they look, much less a recipe for them, so below is the recipe. Or rather one of the possible recipes. Try it. I guarantee your friends and family will love them.
200 grams cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
Optional ingredients – some people don’t use them for the dough, but I do:
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
Combine the ingredients. I do it by hand, but use food processor or mixer if you have one. Don’t do it for a long time; the dough shouldn’t be creamy. It should be kind-a crumbly. Roll the dough into a ball on a well-floured surface. Cut into 4 parts, wrap each part in plastic, and refrigerate from 1 hour to 2 days.
You can use different fillings for the rugelach. I tried various jams, Nutella, chopped walnuts, and raisins, or a combination thereof. Or use different fillings for different batches. If you want a dry filling, use nuts + raisins + sugar + cinnamon, but I prefer jam or marmalade: apricot, plum, whatever you have, as long as it’s not liquid. Sometimes I add nuts to the jam. Experiment.
On a well-floured surface, roll one ball of dough into a circle 2-3 mm thick. Spread the filling, so it covers everything, especially the edges of your dough circle. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges, like a pizza. Roll each wedge, from wide to narrow. Place the cookies, points down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until golden. Cool before serving.
Notes: while you prepare one batch, the rest of the dough should stay in the fridge, until you’re ready to roll it.
Good luck and bon appetite!