|My rugelachs look more like rugelach slices. In the interest of portion control, I sliced them a half-inch thick and reduced the baking time to 19 minutes.|
Almost ten years ago, when I was living in Montreal, I used to stop by my local bagel shop on a weekly basis. One day, while I was waiting to place my order, a small package of chocolate rugelachs caught my attention. I had never so much as seen a rugelach before, but from what I could tell, they were cookies. They were cookies and they contained chocolate. I had to buy them.
Upon returning home, I immediately sampled the cookies and they were delicious. The chocolate filling was nice and chocolaty and the cookie dough was perfectly flaky and buttery. There was nothing not to love about them. After that initial purchase, I struggled each week to keep myself from buying a package of rugelachs to go with my bagels.
Ever since moving from Montreal, I have not, until very recently, had access to good rugelachs (or bagels, for that matter). I have contemplated making them myself in the past, but I have never mustered the motivation to actually do so. Thus, I was happy to see that they were to be a TWD assignment.
The rugelachs in Baking with Julia are flaky, sweet, and delicious, but they are very different from the ones I used to eat. First of all, the recipe doesn't call for chocolate. Instead, these are filled with lekvar, nuts, and cinnamon sugar. Second, they are rolled and then sliced rather than cut into triangles and rolled individually. Third, they have a much stronger cinnamon flavor than the other ones. The fact that they are quite so different speaks to the rugelach's versatility. They are all made from a cream cheese dough, but the fillings you choose lead to great variation.
I will say that this recipe was a long and drawn out process, but it was not at all complicated and the cookies were delicious. My rugelachs were crispy, flaky, and sweet. Over all, I was very happy with they way they turned out. However, I will be making some changes in the future. I would love to try these with chocolate, but if I did go with the lekvar again, I would halve the recipe if making one full batch of dough. I made the entire lekvar recipe and then cut the cookie recipe in half, so I now have a ton of prune lekvar in my fridge. The lekvar is great on toast, but I will never finish it if I don't use it for something else. I think I would also roll the dough out a bit thinner and roll each cookie individually because I think that the large roll leads to a different distribution of pastry to filling with fewer pastry layers and a thicker filling layer. I would like to see more layers of filling and pastry to see how that affects the flavor and texture.
The question of what I will do with the prune lekvar remains unanswered. I was thinking that it would be good in an oatmeal cookie "sandwich.", but I also think it would be a good middle to chocolate pizzelle sandwiches or even lemon pizzelle sandwiches. This is just one of life's difficult decisions.
To see the recipe, please visit My baking Heart or The Urban Hiker.