Good morning! Just ten more days until Christmas, honestly, I am like a kid bursting with excitement. My brother, sisters, parents, husbands, boyfriends, nieces and nephew will be celebrating together along with 6 dogs and 1 cat. I am sure that at times it will be a little crazy but I know we are going to have a great time together, and since we haven’t been all together in 2 years we have a lot to catch up on.
This week I am baking up a storm and rugelach is one of my favorite things to bake: not only because it is delicious but because you can change the fillings, using anything from simple jam and fruit spreads to chocolate. I make about 5 different versions of this cookie to give to family and friends with each filling tailors to their taste.
Apricot Walnut Rugelach
Recipe from Real Simple
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cups cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
8 ounces cream cheese, cold, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 large egg beaten
Pulse the flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. salt in the food processor until combined. Add the butter and pulse until a few pea sized lumps remain. add the cream cheese and vanilla and pulse until the dough forms a ball.
Divide the dough in half and place on two sheets of plastic wrap. Shape into 1 inch thick discs. Wrap and chill until firm, 2 hours or up to two days.
Combine the walnuts, brown sugar, nutmeg and the remaining 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. of salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
Working with one piece at a time roll dough on a floured surface into a 13 inch round. Top with 1/4 cup of apricot jam and sprinkle with half of the nut mixture. Cut the round into 12 equal wedges, like a pizza. Roll up each wedge starting at the outer edge. Repeat with other disc of dough, jam and walnut mixture.
Place rugelach 11/2 inches apart on 2 rimmed baking sheets topped with parchment paper or a Silphat. Brush with the egg and spring with sugar. Bake until golden, 25-30 minutes. Rotate the sheets half way through the cooking time. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
Are you baking anything scrumptious this week? Do you like to bake family favorites or do you branch out into something new each year?
Whatever you are doing this week, enjoy and savor the season!