Rugelach, two ways

My husband and I were recently invited to a Thanksgivukkah dinner.  For those who don’t know, Wikipedia defines the holiday as “a portmanteau neologism given to the convergence of the American holiday of Thanksgiving and the first day of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah on Thursday, November 28, 2013.  It was the result of a rare coincidence between the lunisolar Hebrew calendar..and the Gregorian calendar”.  Given that this epic holiday would never occur again in our lifetime, our good friend who happens to be both American and Jewish invited us to a fabulous meal.  Despite the fact that she prepared an amazing meal from scratch I still felt a compulsion to bring dessert (I’ve mentioned this urge in previous posts as well).  Rugelach is a traditional Channukah treat, a rich butter and cream cheese dough rolled with a filling of choice.  Several blogs suggested the twist of pecan pie rugelach for Thanksgivukkah and I changed those basic recipes to suit my taste.  Unfortunately despite thorough planning on my part, I only had enough maple syrup to make half the necessary filling.  My solution: make half chocolate pecan rugelach and half chocolate cinnamon rugelach, resulting in two delicious dessert options for the diners to choose from.

1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter, softened but still cool
½ cup cream cheese, softened but still cool

Combine your flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl then scatter chunks of butter and cream cheese over the flour mixture.  Beat until the dough is mixed but still crumbly.

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Divide the dough into two equal sized pieces, wrap in cellophane, and flatten.  Chill your dough for two hours to overnight.

2 cups pecan halves
¼ cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup packed brown sugar
3 ounces semi sweet chocolate (I like Bakers for high quality melting chocolate)
Baking tray
Small sauce pan

Toast your pecans at 350 F for 8 minutes then chop and set aside in a mixing bowl.  Brown your butter over medium heat while continuously stirring.  Be careful not to burn your butter: as soon as the foam subsides and it is a light brown colour, remove it from the heat.

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Add all ingredients except for the chocolate to the toasted nuts.  Finely chop your chocolate and add it to your pecan mixture.

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Roll your dough out on a lightly floured surface.  Try and make your dough as symmetrical as possible as this will help with shaping your cookies.  You want your dough approximately one cm thick; if it is too thin it will tear when rolling, too thick and your cookies will burn before baking through.  Once your dough is rolled, evenly spread your pecan mixture.

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Slice your dough into wedges and roll from the wide end inwards, like a crescent roll.

1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup semi sweet chocolate
3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
Egg
Tbsp water
Pastry brush
Cup

Finely chop your chocolate.

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Mix the sugars and cinnamon together then follow the instructions above to roll out your dough.  Brush the melted butter onto your dough and spread your sugar mixture evenly.  Sprinkle your chopped chocolate and press it lightly into the dough.

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Follow the steps above to cut your rugelach.  Next, place your rugelach on a lined baking sheet.  Mix the egg and water and brush it onto your rugelach.  Bake them at 350 F for 20 minutes, until golden.

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Enjoy!

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