xmas 2022 - not quite bonnie's rugelach

Last year in the lead up to Christmas, I saw lots of cookie boxes on Instagram. As I was in lockdown with nowhere to go, I decided to give one a try. My cookie selection included a gluten free cookie, a chocolate cookie, a nut based cookie and a jam filled cookie. I got a little ahead of myself though and I've already shared my recipe for 
pistachio rose shortbreads, the nut based cookie, so I had to quickly come up with another cookie recipe to share with you.

I thought I'd make some rugelach as part of the selection. I have a confession to make though. Until I'd made these rugelach I'd never eaten one before. I made the rugelach from a recipe in Sweet by Ottolenghi and Helen Goh. I used 2 different fillings, a pecan and raspberry jam filling and a filling made with chopped pistachios and coarsely chopped dried sour cherries. Each filling recipe is sufficient to make 24-36 rugelach. The recipe in Sweet was adapted from Bonnie's Stern's original recipe. I didn't have any quince paste in my cupboard so I used raspberry jam just like Bonnie did.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 24 - 32 rugelach. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup, a 20ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20°C.

Not Quite Bonnie’s Rugelach from Sweet
160g plain flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp finely grated lemon rind
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
125g unsalted butter, fridge-cold, cut roughly into 3-cm cubes
125g cream cheese, fridge-cold 
Pecan Filling 
40g pecan halves
100g light brown sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
175g raspberry jam 
1 tsp lemon juice

Pistachio Filling 
50g unsalted butter at room temperature 
100g light brown sugar 
2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1 tsp vanilla paste
40g dried sour cherries, coarsely chopped 
40g chopped pistachios
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ tbsp raw sugar 
To make the pastry, place the flour, salt, baking powder, lemon zest and vanilla bean paste in a food processor and pulse for about 15 seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse for a few seconds more, until the mixture has the texture of fresh breadcrumbs. Add the cream cheese and process just until the dough comes together in a ball around the blade; be careful not to over process or the pastry will be tough. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for a few seconds, just to bring it together. Divide the pastry in two; cover each half loosely in plastic wrap, then press to flatten into discs. Transfer to the fridge for 1 hour. While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling. 
Pecan Filling
Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside. Spread the pecans on a separate tray and roast for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, set aside to cool, then chop finely and place in a small bowl with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix together and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the jam and lemon juice to form a smooth paste. 
Pistachio Filling
Mix the butter, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in a small bowl until well combined. 
Take one of the pieces of dough from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured work surface to form a 24-cm circle, about 3 mm thick. Use a small spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the jam evenly over the surface and then sprinkle with the sugar-nut mixture. Using a sharp knife or a pizza wheel, if you have one, cut the dough as though you are slicing a cake into twelve or 16 equal triangles. 

One at a time, roll each wedge quite tightly, starting from the wide outside edge and working toward the point of the triangle, so that the filling is enclosed. Place them on the lined baking sheets, seam side down, spaced about 3 cm apart. Repeat the rolling and filling process with the second disc of dough.
If you're making the pistachio filling, spread the butter evenly over the surface of the dough then sprinkle the cherries and pistachios over the butter. Slice into 12 or 16 and roll as above. Repeat the process with the second disc. Once rolled, chill the rugelachs in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C, conventional. Just before baking lightly brush the tops of the rugelachs with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the raw sugar. Bake for 20–25 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until golden brown all over. Don’t worry if some of the filling oozes out; this will add a lovely toffee taste to the edges of the cookies. Remove from the oven and rest on the sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 
These will keep for up to 4 days in an open container, separated by pieces of baking paper, and the whole thing wrapped loosely in aluminum foil. Don’t keep in an airtight container; the sugar will weep if you do and turn the rugelach soft and sticky. 
See you all again tomorrow with some more cookie recipes.

Bye for now,



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