I have a confession to make. I made this recipe several weeks ago, when I had a surplus of cream cheese on hand and a desire to make something other than cream-cheese-and-jelly sandwiches with it. As with every other recipe from this book I've tried so far, this one is a winner. The dough requires a little bit of finessing, but once you get the hang of it, it's not difficult.
The thing I like most about making my own rugelach is being able to experiment with the filling ingredients. Next time, I'm going to try raspberry with white chocolate and pecan, as I felt the dark chocolate, while good, overwhelmed the more delicate flavors of the pastry itself and the nuts, which aren't used in abundance. I'm also thinking of an almond paste and apricot version with bittersweet chocolate.
These look impressive, and I think they would make a terrific gift or an elegant addition to a Viennese or tea table.
- The dough is quite soft and sticky. Be sure to flour your surfaces and use waxed paper when rolling out the dough.
- The dough triangles will be easier to handle if you don't roll them too thin, but the thinner the pastry layer, the more pleasing the texture of the rugelach will be once it is baked. Experiment with rolling your dough as thin as possible; practice makes perfect!
- Per Dorie's suggestion, a pizza wheel works beautifully for cutting the dough ~ be sure to use a plastic wheel if you are cutting on a silicone mat.
- Chop your nuts and chocolate into small bits to make rolling the crescents easier.
- I used seedless raspberry jam, chopped Ghirardelli baking chocolate (60 percent), omitted the called-for currants, and chose walnuts over almonds. Feel free, though, to eliminate the chocolate if you wish, or to vary the flavor of jam and type of nuts. Experimenting with these ingredients is half the fun!
Thanks to Piggy of Piggy's Cooking Journal for choosing this one! If you'd like to make your own rugelach, the recipe appears on pages 150-152 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours. Don't forget to stop by the blogroll and see what the other bakers have come up with!