There’s always room for rugelach in the Canteen kitchen, all kinds including very elegant little pastries and very rustic looking treats, like these. We politely call this batch homespun and unassuming but really gooey good.
It’s full of easy figgy filling, actually. You could do some fancy-pants dried fig chopping, cooking and flavoring, but why do that when plenty of fabulous fig jam is available?
Pick one that is mostly figs, not too sweet, and the list of ingredients looks simple (read: pronounceable). I like Bonne Maman and this one. I’ve found both at Whole Paycheck and Safeway and other groceries. Either one is pretty tasty stuff.
The nuts that go in the rugelach are totally optional though they add a nice contrast to the sweet figs. We like pecans but walnuts would work nicely, too. Try adding extra lemon zest on top of the fig spread right before you roll them up. That pops the figgy flavor. Nuts.com is primarily where I buy all the Canteen nuts and some dried fruit. It’s always fresh, reasonably priced though shipping to the west coast is a little more expensive than I prefer.
Rugelach dough, like a good pie dough, can be made way in advance and frozen until you’re ready to bake. Be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator and roll it out while the dough is chilled. To make sure it stays loose enough I roll it between sheets of plastic wrap (Freeze-tite is strong stuff) and peel the top layer off when I’m ready to fill and roll. I then gently flip the whole thing over, plastic and all and peel away the “new” top piece of plastic. That way they’re both rather unattached to the dough which makes the rolling up the crescents a little simpler and less messy. These get their unassuming little rustic look from the splash of butter and sprinkles (or should I say hail storm) of cinnamon on top (read: I could have been neater).
Here’s another hint. Some people (and bakeries) roll the dough into a rectangle and then add the filling. They roll it up tightly into a single long log. Then using a serrated knife the log is sliced into even pieces and baked – but that is more like strudel than rugelach. It’s a fine thing to do but don’t call it rugelach. It’s strudel.
But whether strudel or rugelach – they’re tasty little treats and perfect with a hot cup of something on a cold winter day. Want one?
|Figgy Good Rugelach|| |
- 300 grams Canteen flour blend (2⅓ cups) (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 113 grams unsalted butter, chilled and cubed (8 tablespoons)
- 115 grams full fat cream cheese (8 tablespoons)
- 1 extra large egg
- 40 grams cold water (2 to 3 tablespoons)
- 220 grams Fig Preserves (Bonne Maman) (2/3 cup)
- 140 grams finely chopped pecans (1 cup) (optional)
- zest of one lemon
- 2 tablespoon butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a food processor pulse together flour, sugar, and salt until blended. Add butter and cream cheese and pulse until mixture forms coarse uneven crumbs. Whisk the egg with a fork and add one tablespoon of water. Pulse and add water, one tablespoon at a time (up to a total of 3) and mix until dough forms a ragged, smeary ball. Remove from the processor and knead just until dough comes together. Divide in half and wrap each half in plastic. Refrigerate at least two hours and up to a few days. Or freeze for later use.
- Roll each dough half between sheets of flour-dusted plastic wrap dusted into rounds about 14 inches across. Peel top plastic from dough. Dust dough lightly with flour. Place plastic back on top. Flip dough and peel plastic wrap. Dough should move around on bottom plastic now. Cut dough (using a pizza cutter is easiest) into 16 even pieces – start with quarters, then divide the quarters and divide those pieces until you have 16 pie shaped pieces.
- Smear 110 grams or ⅓ cup of Fig Preserves onto the whole round of dough. Add half the chopped nuts if using. Sprinkle with lemon zest. Roll each piece from the outside in into crescents. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate rolled rugelach. Repeat with other half of dough. To make the topping stir melted butter with sugar and cinnamon. Brush with melted butter mixture right before baking.
- While rugelach are chilling preheat oven to 350°F. Bake one sheet at a time in the center of the oven for 15 minutes. Rotate sheet and bake 10-15 minutes more or until pieces are golden brown. Cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes and then transfer rugelach to a rack to cool completely.