Posts Tagged ‘holiday desserts’

Three Doughs, Endless Possibilities: Julia G.’s Rugelach

December 29, 2011

I don’t know why, but I usually feel the urge to make rugelach this time of year. Not pareve yeast rugelach, but dairy rugelach, with real butter and cream cheese.

It always seems like a fabulous idea . . . until I am halfway through rolling out, filling and shaping the dough. Then I remember why I only make rugelach once a year. These aren’t simple drop cookies. These are hand crafted miniature pastries. Rugelach are not hard to make, but they are rather labor intensive.

It helps if you are prepared for that aspect and think ahead to make things a little easier. Make the dough a day ahead. Divide the dough up into individually wrapped packets and flatten the dough a bit so you have a head start on rolling out. It is also a little easier to make rugelach logs instead of crescents.

When you serve the rugelach for dessert at a party, all the hard work pays off.  At the end of a heavy meal, what most people want is a little something rich and sweet with coffee, and rugelach hits the spot.

Rugelach making is as much about the shaping as it is about the filling and the dough. I have three different dough recipes, and I play around with different fillings, but I have found that I can get very different effects just by changing from the crescent shape to a log shape or even a larger strudel shape.  You can even make a completely different cookie by using just jam as a filling and shaping the dough like danishes.

Another thing to think about is size. One of my tricks is to make miniature rugelach, but any size is delicious.

I just posted Grandma Rose’s sour cream pastry dough, which is used to make miniature danishes or strudel. Now, I am giving you the cream cheese dough recipe from my brother-in-law’s grandmother. Julia G. A”H was a superior baker, and she was famous for her rugelach (among other specialties).

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Windows Catering Rum Balls

December 14, 2010

I made a chocolate cake that was delicious, but impossibly crumbly. I turned leftovers into rum balls, adapting a recipe from the NYT that the New York Times Dessert Cookbook (p. 504) stated originally came from the restaurant Windows on the World, but actually came from Henry Dinardo, chef/owner of Windows Catering.

This recipe is perfect for recycling those holiday cookies that come in big boxes. Take ho-hum cookies and cake and turn them into luscious rum raisin chocolate truffles.

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Mocha Nut Flower Baskets

November 14, 2010

I’ve been wanting to make these since my friend told me about her mom’s fantastic Ukranian cookies. They are called koshyky, which means basket in Ukrainian, and she makes them every year for the holiday of Sukkot. My friend described them as flower-shaped cookies that are made in cookie molds,  filled with coffee cream and drizzled with chocolate glaze.

Here is the glitch: her mom doesn’t use recipes. So, I searched high and low and posted my request for the recipe, among other places, at Emperor’s Crumbs. Katka, a Emperor’s Crumbs reader, came through with a Slovak recipe for what she called Kremove Kosicky. (more…)


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