Saturday, December 24, 2011

"Not what I should be eating for breakfast..."

Since my boss celebrates Hanukkah, I try to give her a food gift that would be appropriate for the holiday.  Last year I made a challah.  This year I made rugelach.  Truthfully, I've been wanting to make rugelach for a long time, and then I saw a recipe from one of my favorite bakers, and it was a sign.

I got this recipe from Confections of a (Closet) Master Baker.  Please check out her site.  Her book is also wonderful.  I received it as a gift a couple of years ago from a dear friend, and it was so inspiring to me. 

The recipe for the rugelach dough is amazingly delicious.  I could eat it plain, but it was so so good with fillings.  As you can see in the picture, I made two fillings (well, "made" is a generous term): strawberry pistachio and Nutella.  I prefer the Nutella, but that isn't a shock, now is it?

The boss loved these.  The day after I gave them to her, she came in and declared that rugelach are not what she should be eating for breakfast, but boy were they good with coffee.

Source: Confections of a (Closet) Master Baker
Makes 36

2 packages (1 pound) cream cheese
1 pound unsalted, room temperature butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
4 cups all-purpose flour

  1. Cream together cream cheese, butter, sugar, salt until creamy. Add vanilla and milk. Mix until incorporated.
  2. Slowly add all flour until just combined.
  3. Using your hands turn the dough out onto a floured surface and lightly knead until smooth.
  4. Divide the dough into three even pieces.
  5. Pat each piece of dough into a circle and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour.
  6. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12 inch circle (fp note: i can never make things roll out into pretty circles. do the best you can, but no one will know in the end)
  7. Score the dough into 12 pieces. Don't cut through just yet, you'll find that unless you have a pie marker, you won't be as good at this as you'd like (totally true). Once you are happy with your score marks, go ahead and make your cuts (fp note: i used a pizza cutter. worked really well).
  8. At this point, you can either smear the whole circle with your choice of filling, or you can separate all of the pieces and smear them individually.  I found that things were messier if I smeared the whole circle, so I recommend doing them individually, even if it seems like a pain.
  9. Roll each triangle of dough, starting at the wide end, into a crescent.
  10. Brush each piece with a little milk and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  11. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.

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