Thursday, December 2, 2010

8 crazy nights.

Let's talk about sharing your home with a Jew.  

It's like, a whole new culinary world.  See, I have lived my life in this quaint Christian American bubble, and don't get me wrong - I love it there.  All American, Praise Jesus, raise the flag. YEAS.  But marrying a Jew, you learn a few things about what it means to cook something that has some serious history.  I love the idea that there are some age old traditions behind some of these dishes.  And I also love how excited Brian looks when he hears the phrase "I am making Rugalach."

(Has anyone else noticed my 'past' kick recently?  I am all, "I miss my great grandmother, let's make traditions,  I want to make something really OLD with a story behind it!")

So to kick off these 8 crazy nights, we lit the candles, said some prayers, and feasted on one of my best creations yet. 

Whit's Raspberry Rugalach

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut in pieces and chilled
8 ounces cream cheese, cut in chunks and chilled
2 tablespoons sour cream

3/4 cup pecans
1 cup raspberry preserves
2/3 cups golden raisins

Egg wash
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
Combine and mix the flour, sugar and salt well. Add the butter and using either 2 knives, a pastry cutter, or a food processor (pulsing) mix until the consistency looks integrated and crumbled.

Add the cream cheese and sour cream, and continue to either knife, cut, or pulse until it comes together in a rough dough. It is ok if it looks uneve, chunks of butter or cream cheese will result in a flaky dough. Sometimes, you gotta get in there with your hands, but be brief, you want the dough to remain cold, and your hands will heat the mixture.

Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a floured work surface and divide into 4 equal portions. Pat each portion into a flat square and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze dough for 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, chop the nuts in a food processor, or with a knife, whatever. 

Add the preserves, raisins and salt; puree to make a paste. 

 Roll a portion of dough into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Trim the edges.

Spread 1/4 of the filling over the surface with a small spatula.

Starting with a long side, roll the dough up into a tight cylinder ending with the seam on the bottom. Press the top slightly to flatten; wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for another 15 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. (News flash, you can freeze these for later! Just sayin') 

Meanwhile, evenly position the racks in the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray with nonstick.

Slice the cylinders into 1 1/2-inch pieces, and place rugalach seam-side down on the prepared pans. Whisk the egg yolks together and brush this glaze over the top of the rugalach. 

Sprinkle with sugar and bake until pale golden and crispy on top, about 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly on the baking sheet. Carefully transfer rugalach to a rack to cool. Serve. 

Store rugalach in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days. 

And watch the grinning child that is your Fiance shovel 4 of these instantly into his pie hole.
And, just to really get you in the mood for Hannukah...




  1. This looks amazing. I just had Hanukkah conversations with my two besties (one is Jewish, ones hubby is) about cooking this week. I'm sending them your link. Happy Hanukkah to you both!

  2. I'm not jewish but we have a friend who is and if that is a good enough excuse to make this, I'm doing it!

  3. This just sounds divine. I've added it to my favourites. Gave it a buzz,too.

  4. This looks really good!

  5. My fiance is Jewish and I've been celebrating Hanukkah with him and his family for the past several years. This year, I'm preparing the Hanukkah feast for his family and making brisket, spinach noodle kugel, latkes and rugelach!

  6. Sooo cute! oh the divine pastry you made looks good too ;)

  7. Happy Hanukkah! Those pastry looks absolutely divine. :)

  8. Awww, cute story! My fiance's family still lights the menorah despite dad converting to Catholicism all those years ago. And I know they love rugelach, so thanks for sharing!