It’s December!! How exciting is that? Now I can legitimately play Christmas songs, have our tree and all our decorations up, and not have any questioning looks. It’s a good day :).
It’s also First on the First day, which is a reminder to me how unseasoned I am in the kitchen. Especially when a challenge comes up, and I first have to google to find out what it even is.
Rugelach. As fun to eat as it is to say? I had my doubts, since it is pretty fun to say, but I was ready to take on the challenge. And, like all challenges, sometimes you do better than other times.
Case in point: first attempt at rugelach.
Let’s just say, I feel kind of like this right now:
Let me start at the beginning.
Rugelach is Jewish rolled pastry that is cut before cooking. Well, that sounded like a snap. I could handle that.
I saw a lot of recipes that used preserves and jellies, and other sticky sweet things I am not so fond of. So, I went the safe route. Chocolate.
Yes, very safe. And when I cut them before baking them, the chocolate was so excited to see me that it all sat, with bated breath, at the very edges of the pastry. And then I put it in the oven, and things got hot and steamy, and that darling chocolate did what any chocolate would do: it melted.
Not the prettiest belle at the ball, I know. And as for flavour? Well, in all honesty again, they’re a bit like those Christmas cookies you get in tins, where you think, “Meh, these aren’t that delish”, and then realize you just ate 5 without thinking. (At least that’s how I am, no judging :)) But, if you like a shortbread-y pastry with some chocolate snuggled inside, these may be just the recipe for you – but I don’t think rugelach and I are made for each other…sorry, Rugelach, it’s not you, it’s me.
Here are my tips:
1. When rolling out the squares, don’t be shy with the flour. This dough gets sticky QUICK, so being liberal with the flour will save you a huge headache, and give you a much nicer dough to roll with.
2. When cutting the chocolate, cut it really REALLY small. Any sharp pieces will attempt to break through your nicely rolled dough, and look like a sword in the side of your pretty rugelach.
3. Try something that is less obvious if it comes out? Lots of people recommend things like apricot or peach jelly, which could also be delicious, if you’re into apricots and peaches and jellies :).
4. Impress your friends with your new knowledge of the word Rugelach.
Oh, and here’s the recipe! :)
I used this recipe from Serious Eats - head over there if you’re interested in trying it for yourself or just want to see a beautiful picture of what could’ve been :)