ARUGULA does not = RUGELACH
Sorry for the confusing title of this post, but one of my pet peeves is when people call RUGELACH, "Arugula".
Arugula is a green peppery leafy vegetable, also known as rocket.
Rugelach is a rolled Eastern European cookie made with cream cheese and butter dough.
It is Rugelach (pronounced Ruh-guh-luch, pretend you have phlegm in the back of your throat when you say the ch part, I know it's hard to say), or if you live in Brooklyn and go to a Jewish bakery, you can ask for "ruggies" and they will know what you mean.
Now that the food bitch has left the building, let's get on with it.
This is my grandmother's recipe for rugelach.
It seriously took me a half a day to make these and I now totally get it why the bakery charges $19.99 per lb.
It's truly a labor of love, so if you don't love to bake (like me), buy them at the bakery (but please don't buy them at Costco, they are so gross!).
They are definitely not on the low calorie listing of treats, the pastry is all butter and a bar of cream cheese (w/ sugar of course!).
There are so many different types of fillings to choose from.
Apricot, poppy seed (my fave), chocolate, and raspberry.
The possibilities are endless.
Just please no arugula inside.
I decided to be daring and make rugelach 2 ways.
I stuck to my grandmother's original traditional crescent shape, and then the second batch I made Smitten Kitchen's way, by rolling them into pinwheels.
I also baked some on parchment paper, some on a Silpat.
This way you would know which way works best.
Well, my grandmother's old school recipe was better. I found by rolling them into pinwheels as Deborah did, they fell apart and unraveled, but the crescent shaped grandma ones stayed together.
The parchment paper won over the Silpat.
By the 4th batch, I got it right, I also felt insane by then!
I made them nice and thick and they came out perfectly. This was my first time, so I cut myself some slack.
The raspberry ones were our favorite, filled w/ chopped walnuts, sugar and cinnamon and raisins.
My grandmother would've been proud!
Make these if you dare!
Basic rugelach dough:
1 bar of cream cheese, room temperature
2 sticks butter, room temperature cut into small pcs
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups of flour
a jar of any preserves or jam (I used apricot and raspberry)
1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped fine
1/2 cup of golden raisins, chopped fine
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a plate of cinnamon sugar for rolling the cookies in before baking
Process the butter, cream cheese and sugar either in a food processor or with a mix master. Add the 2 cups of flour after the dough starts to come together. Make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated.
You will have an annoying sticky, thick buttery dough.
I made 6 individual balls with the dough. I flattened them out with my hand into 8" discs and wrapped each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerated for 2 hours.
This is sort of like pizza.
Take each disc out of the fridge, and slice into eighths, like you are slicing a pizza pie.
Spread some of the cooled preserves on the slices, then sprinkle with the chopped walnut raisin sugar mixture.
Now roll each slice into a crescent shape, starting with the larger side, ending with the point.
Roll each little crescent (rugelach) in the cinnamon sugar and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets.
Bake around 20-25 minutes at 350F.
Cool on cooling racks for about 20 minutes. Can be stored for a week in an airtight container.
Here is Deborah's recipe from Smitten Kitchen.
I found her way was much easier, not having to slice the dough into eighths.
Her way you just roll out the dough into 2 long cylinders and slice into pinwheels.
But......mine unraveled in the baking process and I am not sure why.
Either way, they both tasted EXCELLENT!