Every week that I do the Farmer’s Market I try to pick something that is a bit more challenging or interesting than your run-of-the-mill chocolate chip cookie (not that I don’t LOVE chocolate chip cookies) to sell alongside those classic treats. I have a bookmark folder on my browser titled “miscellaneous” but really it should be titled “WILDCARD.” Whenever I need inspiration, I consult this folder; which is exactly what I did this week when I chose to make rugelach. Rugelach is a Jewish dessert I’ve grown up with but never attempted to make. I had to wikipedia (credible sources obv) what rugelach even is exactly.
Things I learned:
1. Similar to a nut-roll or strudel but different because the dough is cut first before baking rather than after
2. distant cousin of the French croissant
3. The dough is made with sour cream or cream cheese
4. Yiddish translation = “little twists”
Look at that, you learn something new every day eh? When making these I ran into a few difficulties before I got it right. After a test batch, I found that the dough had to be very thin for it to work and they couldn’t be over-stuffed. I also found you have to put the rugelach point side down on the baking pan or they will open during the process. In addition, I had to spend some trial time adjusting for convection oven times/temps.
This story has a happy ending because got it right! I managed to develop my own little technique for stuffing and rolling these guys. I got the oven temperature correct and they ended up baking perfectly. The pastry dough was flaky and buttery, the filling was the perfect blend of sweet and nutty with the pecans and brown sugar, and all together it was a delicious “little twist”.
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pecan Rugelach
Adapted From: The Year in Food
For the dough:
1 stick butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup brown sugar, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for dusting
(I had so much extra filling you could prob do less of all)
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
-Cream the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy
-Slowly fold in the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
-Cover dough with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
-Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the filling and set aside.
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-When the dough is ready, remove from fridge and divide in half. Take one half and roll it out very thin maybe 1/8 inch. Next take a knife and just cut a triangle at a time out. Brush triangle with melted butter and put a bit of filling in the center of the triangle. Roll the pastry up starting from the wide end. Please point side down on a baking sheet. Repeat for rest of dough.
-Brush outside of pastries with butter and sprinkle turbinado sugar
-Bake rugelach for about 15-18 minutes, until golden on top.
Yield: about 25?