Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

TWD: Rugelach

It only took three recipes for this TWD project to get me out of my comfort zone! I've never made rugelach.

I've never eaten rugelach. For most of my life, I thought I didn't like nuts, and I've always been suspicious of fruit-based desserts. But that's what this project is for. Making things I wouldn't ordinarily make, because you never know. I was a bit daunted by the ingredient list and the time estimates, but I soldiered forth, list in hand. I ended up with two containers of Aurora toasted mixed nuts, a bag of SunMaid mixed dried fruit, and a jar of prune butter from our store's tiny kosher section.

The dough looked easy enough, and on Sunday morning while Youngest toddled screechily around the kitchen and got out all of the measuring cups, I warmed up Godzilla and got this thing underway.

I have to admit, this is a pretty awesome way to start a project:



The finished dough was pretty sticky. Someone was curious about what Mom was up to.



While the dough chilled, I mixed sugar and cinnamon, and more sugar and cinnamon and nuts. It looks like beach sand--or maybe I'm just ready for summer?


I started thinking about what a crazy-indulgent, expensive dessert this must have been to make back in the day--butter! cinnamon! nuts! My mental bar for ingredient availability is stuck around the year 1500. Meanwhile, Youngest strewed Cheerios all over the floor.



Everyone else came back from church. Lunch was eaten.


Dishes were done (also, sweeping). A walk to the park was taken, in hopes of ensuring a nap for the baby and at least a half hour of recharge time for the boy--the first part worked better than the second, but he was engrossed enough by Dinosaur Train for me to get back to the kitchen.

Time to fill these puppies! The dough was very easy to work, and I had ample filling--possibly more than ample, I discovered when it came time to roll them. No beauty contest winners, these! In they went for chilling. It was already after 2:00. I recommend spreading this over two days if you can.



Time for tea and Toll House cookies and some editing work on Fury before diving into dinner prep. Dinner consisted of roasted chicken quarters, roasted potatoes, and steamed green beans--AKA things I can make in my actual sleep--because at the ripe old age of 38 I have finally learned that one big kitchen project per day is quite enough. After dinner, I started slicing and baking. I always bake one pan at a time because honestly, I would rather it take longer than be fussing around switching and rotating pans and shooing away children while my oven gets cold.



DO NOT TRY TO SKIP THE PARCHMENT PAPER. Nonstick or not, I would still be scrubbing these things if I hadn't lined them.

The best-looking of the final results:



Not the most photogenic thing I have ever made. A lot of filling leaked out; a lot of rolls loosened. About half of them were reasonable-looking enough that I took them to the office for tasting (since I've never had them, I didn't want to rely on my own judgement). The verdict was a unanimous YUM. I can't say I cared much for them myself, and I probably won't make them again, but it was an interesting project, and now I can casually say, Oh, I can make those if the subject should ever come up.
 This week's hosts are My Baking Heart and The Urban Hiker, so you can visit them for the recipe.
Looking forward to the Irish Soda Bread, which only has four ingredients. ;-)

21 comments:

b2000 said...

The rugelach looks amazing and delicious! I love how put in what the kids are doing while you are cooking!
Can't wait to see what you make next.

Looking for recipes for 30 minute meals.... Could you post some that you like the best?

Also, looking for desserts that are low in calorie content and that feed a crowd but nothing with cinnamon. Not a lot of fans for the cinnamon around here.

Guyla said...

This was a multi step project wasn't it? But worth all the effort and the steps. Love your picture of your interested little partner!

Im At Home Baking said...

They look great! They were fun to make and I spread it out over about 3 days too!

Sara said...

Yours rolled really well! Your helper's pretty cute :)

mireia badia said...

I love all the details of what you did in between! haha

Peggy said...

Your post reminded me that I added extra flour to the dough, because it was so sticky. My experience was also that they tasted better than they looked. However, I think yours look lovely.

Heather said...

Yours look great! Mine had quite the fit in the oven, too, but the taste made up for it!

Wendy (pinkstripes) said...

I'm glad they were a success. :) Now you can check off another recipe on the list.

Rebecca said...

Thanks everybody! It was fun to push the comfort zone a little bit. :)

Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

Loved this post! :) Such a time-suck, but I love the outcome. Thanks for baking along with me this week!

A said...

Aren't co-workers great?! :-)

Good call on the soda bread; I'm looking forward to that, too.

Elaine said...

That's what I enjoy about these groups is that they do take us out of our comfort zones and I have been cooking and baking dishes that I otherwise would never have attempted on my own. I am so impressed that you were able to make these with a little one toddling around at your feet. She is adorable! Your cookies look delicious.

Jenny said...

I didn't think I'd like it either, based on the ingredients, but it was pretty delicious!

This is my first recipe with the group, but happy to follow your blog now!

Janis said...

Seems like a lot of us had the same problem with the leaking of the filling! Yours look great though!

Chris H. said...

I use Silpats, and they worked great here, given the caramelization that went on with these cookies. Did you find that the cookies adhered to the parchment at all? Agree completely that this is a recipe best spread out over a couple of days. Your cookies look like they came out great.

Cher Rockwell said...

This project was definitely more manageable in little pieces. But it looks like they came out great :-)

Judy said...

Parchment paper is your friend...mine too. I don't know what I'd do without it. Your rugelach looks great.

Jen said...

I think your rugelach are photogenic :) I used silpat and doubled up on the baking sheets, I wasn't taking any chances, lol.

Lisa said...

It is a big kitchen project to make rugelach. Takes time, and space, deftness of touch. Glad I don't have to make them every day. I enjoyed your post.
-Lisa

Jacque said...

Oh wow, those look fantastic! I enjoyed your progress photos too.

lauren said...

I totally agree about baking extra trays to avoid shuffling the pans around half way through. I think I tried it once and it wasn't worth it to me. Great job on the rugelach!