March 06, 2012

Oy. and likewise, vey...

Rugelach Collage

The first of this month's delicacies from the fine folks Baking with Julia is rugelach, a contemporary American take on a classic central European Jewish pastry. From the Yiddish "rugel" (royal), the traditional recipe typically uses sour cream. Contributing baker Lauren Groveman replaced the sour cream with cream cheese in the soft dough that envelops cinnamon-scented dried fruits and nuts.

Twelve OUNCES of cream cheese.

And THREE sticks of butter.

What?!?! Eat!!!! There's a treadmill and a TRX setup waiting for you at the gym...

But I digress.

John and I tag-teamed on this one, and we cut no corners. We made some luscious apricot lekvar, worthy of licking off someone you love. Well I toasted almonds. John actually assembled the lekvar.

We made and chilled and rolled and filled the dough. We chopped a ton of nuts and dried fruit. My food processor worked overtime, and I've NEVER been so grateful that Gina talked me into buying FOUR silpats all those years ago.

Thirty two hours after we started, we had some unattractive but tasty pastry-cookies. The recipe is fussy and time consuming, and I'm fairly confident I've crossed this one off the bucket list and probably won't be making rugelach again. The pastry dough, probably. The lekvar, absolutely. But if I have a craving for rugelach I'll swing by the Jewish bakery.

If you find yourself looking for something to do one weekend and you're interested in trying your hand at homemade rugelach, this week's hosts Margaret of The Urban Hiker and Jessica at My Baking Heart have taken the time to transcribe the recipe. And you can see how hundreds of other bakers fared with this week's challenge on the blog roll. And stay tuned... in two weeks we'll try Irish Soda Bread.