Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sourdough Rugelach

Since I was travelling early in December and then got sick, I didn't get much Christmas baking done.  I decided to try my hand at Sourdough Rugelach after seeing them on December's Sourdough Surprises.  Rugelach are a filled, rolled cookie/pastry.

The original recipe was here and I took my filling ideas from here and here.

Ingredients for dough
1/2 c butter
3 ounces cream cheese
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c sourdough 
1 c flour (I used 1/2 c whole wheat and 1/2 c white)
fillings - I checked out the fillings above and adjusted them to go with the jams I wanted to use.  You can change them to suit your taste.

filling #1
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp chopped raisins

filling #2
blackberry jam
chopped chocolate chips
chopped walnuts

filling #3
chopped walnuts
chopped dried cranberries

filling #4
chopped raisins
chopped walnuts

filling #5
chopped raisins
chopped walnuts
chopped dried cranberries

Beat butter and cream cheese together.  Add sugar and vanilla and beat again.  Add sourdough and flour and mix on low speed until mixture becomes a sticky dough.
Knead gently a few times on a floured surface.  Form dough into flat ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
Cut dough in half and place rest back in fridge.  Work quickly so dough doesn't get sticky.  Place dough onto lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle about 14" by 6".

Since I wanted to try several fillings, I cut the rectangle in half.  For the first half, I mixed together the jam and chopped raisins and walnuts.  I spread the mixture on the dough leaving space at the edge.  Having the raisins and nuts mixed in made the rugelach easier to roll.

Filling #2 called for mini chocolate chips.  I only had regular ones and tried to chop them in food processor - not too successfully as some of the chips turned to powder and others stayed whole.  Plus the food processor was sticky to clean.  Here I spread the jam and sprinkled on the chocolate chips and chopped nuts.

Roll the dough starting on the long side.  Cut slices about an inch wide and place on parchment paper.  In the original recipe you sprinkled sugar and cinnamon on the jam mixture which I thought was unnecessary.  In one of the recipes, they brushed the unbaked cookies with an egg wash and sprinkled on cinnamon sugar which I didn't do either. 

For the second half of the dough, I decided to try rolling them crescent-style.  Again roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface.  I used an 8" round cake pan to cut the circles.  Press scrap dough into a ball and refrigerate until ready to use it.

For the next filling I used jam, chopped cranberries and walnuts.  Spread almost to the edge.


Cut dough in half and then in half again.  Cut each quarter into thirds and you will have 12 cookies.  Start rolling each piece from the outer edge. 

I found these a little more finicky then the long roll.  Again place on parchment paper.

I then tried a cinnamon - sugar mixture with chopped raisins and nuts.  This was much harder to roll as the filling wasn't sticky so it fell out instead of sticking to the dough.

You can see the mess on the parchment paper.  It was much harder to keep these intact.

The last filling was jam and the leftover chopped raisins, cranberries and walnuts.  I just rolled the leftover dough into a rectangle and rolled and cut the rugelach as before.

Bake at 350°F for about 15 or so minutes until cookies are brown around the edges, turning pans after 10 minutes.  Some people sprinkle the cookies with icing sugar.  Cool rugelach and enjoy!

The rugelach were a big hit.  They tasted part pastry - part cookie.  I enjoyed the spice jam ones and also the ones with chocolate.  The filling variety is as broad as your imagination.  ;)