Remember the cinnamon sticks we tried a year ago or more? Those tasty, rolled-up, cinnamon sugar-filled little numbers? When I asked for a recipe for them Robert Burgess of Orland sent along a pile of rugelach recipes because he thought possibly the dough was similar. Well, they certainly are in the family, and rugelach is a special Hanukkah treat, and Hanukkah begins Sunday, Dec. 21, so here, thanks to Robert, we have this lovely little pastrylike cookie that anyone, no matter what holiday is being observed, is going to enjoy.
Rugelach consists of a rich dough, divided so it can be kept cool, and rolled out one disk at a time, spread with a filling of jam, raisins and nuts, and cut into wedges. Each wedge is rolled up with the pointy end tucked under the rolls, and then it is baked.
There was a fair amount of variation among the recipes Robert sent along. Some were very rich, with a high proportion of butter and cream cheese to flour. Some were sweet, some less so. Most of the fillings called for apricot jam, raisins and walnuts as well as sugar and cinnamon. One suggested dried cranberries in place of the raisins, which strikes me as a very good idea. One filling recipe replaced the walnuts with almonds. There was even one that used chocolate chips in the filling, but unless you are an incorrigible chocoholic, I think enough with the chocolate chips already. If there is a nut allergy in your house, you could even skip the nuts.
I decided to turn the sugar and cinnamon in the filling part of the recipe into cinnamon sugar and shook it from a shaker jar I have. There was some left over, hardly a problem. I used a food processor, turned the dough out and shaped it into a log that I divided into disks for rolling. A mixer would work well, too.
When you roll them up, make sure a raisin isn’t stranded out near the pointy end otherwise it makes it hard to fold the dough neatly under. Pick up the raisin and put it nearer the outside edge of the dough.
Send queries or answers to Sandy Oliver, 1061 Main Road, Islesboro 04848. E-mail: email@example.com. For recipes, tell us where they came from. List ingredients, specify number of servings and do not abbreviate measurements. Include name, address and phone number.
Yields 48-50 pastries.
2 sticks of butter
8 ounces (one package) cream cheese
¼ cup sour cream
3 cups of flour
½ cup sugar (optional)
¾ – 1 cup apricot or raspberry jam
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 egg yolk beaten with a tablespoon of water
Sugar for sprinkling
Blend together the butter, cream cheese and sour cream and then add the flour and sugar, and process or beat until you can form a ball of dough. Shape the dough into a log and cut it into six sections, flatten and put between waxed paper or parchment paper and chill for at least an hour.
Roll out each section, keeping the others in the fridge until you are ready to roll them. Spread each rolled disk with jam, and sprinkle on the raisins, nuts, cinnamon and sugar. Cut into eight wedges and roll each up from the outside of the disk towards the center, tucking the tip under the pastries. Brush the top with the egg yolk, and if desired, sprinkle with sugar.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the pastries on it. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees.
Remove from the paper immediately after taking them out of the oven so they do not stick on.
Looking for: Barbara Briggs, Carrabassett Valley, can remember making muffins out of leftover cooked oatmeal “to go with our every Saturday night baked beans and red dogs. I recall adding vinegar to milk to make sour milk for the recipe … maybe I’m just dreaming, but would love to have the recipe again. Perhaps you or one of your readers know of it.” Anyone?
Send queries or answers to Sandy Oliver, 1061 Main Road, Islesboro 04848. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For recipes, tell us where they came from. List ingredients, specify number of servings and do not abbreviate measurements. Include name, address and daytime phone number.