I am the one hosting and I forget that its Tuesday. I packed a lunch this morning because I forgot that I had lunch plans, brought workout clothes for a yoga class I do on Wednesdays and I forgot to write this post.
Welcome to law school and 2L year. Your brain will stop functioning for three years, its like the grad school version of jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200. What else can I say?
I love rugelach so I was thrilled to be hosting. I actually planned out how to make this all between law review and getting ready for trial this week. I shoehorned it in to my calendar, and then I forget that its Tuesday.
I made the apricot levkar last Tuesday after class, mostly because I don’t like prunes. It was delicious and then I worried I was going to eat all of it before I could make the rugelach so I hid it in the back of the fridge.
I made the dough on Friday night. In case you wondered thats a really exciting night when you are in law school. It was thrilling: butter, cream cheese and me. I also may have used some inappropriate language trying to cream it all together, but I wasn’t in chambers so it was cool.
And finally on Saturday I put all the pieces together and on Sunday I baked them.
Then Monday night they were all eaten. Yeah, they are that awesome and law school students survive on caffeine, sugar and fat. Rugelach and coffee is pretty much the breakfast of legal champions.
As, I said law school is so much fun you forget its Tuesday and you are hosting.
from Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan
Makes about 4 dozen cookies and takes at least 6 hours because of chilling the dough.
The Cream Cheese Pastry
3 sticks of butter (12 ounces), at room temperature
12 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
½ teaspoons salt (I used 1 tsp)
¼ cup sugar
3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour (I used 14 ounces)
Beat the butter, cream cheese, and salt together until smooth. A mixer is helpful or you can do it by had if you want an awesome arm workout. Mixing on medium low, gradually add the sugar and beat until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour until the dough comes together. Turn the dough on to the counter and work it gently into a ball. Divide in half, press each half into a rough retangle and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. It can be frozen for up to a month.
I found that the more chilled it was the easier the dough was to work with.
The Filling and Topping
2 cups granulated sugar (I used 1.5 since I like things a little less sweet)
½ cup packed light brown sugar
3½ tablespoons cinnamon
3½ cups coarsely chopped assorted nuts(I used walnuts, almonds, and pecans)
2 cups thick apricot lekvar (recipe below)
2 cups assorted dried fruit, diced if large and plumped if dry (I used cherries, blueberries, and strawberries)
1 large egg beaten with a tablespoon of cream or milk, for egg wash
Whisk together ½ cup of the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside
Put the remaining 1½ cup of granulated sugar, 2½ tablespoons cinnamon, and 1½ cup of the assorted nuts into a food processor and pulse until nuts are finely chopped. Turn into a bowl and reserve for topping the rugelach.
Line a baking a sheet with waxed paper.
Now you are ready to roll and fill some rugelach!
Working with one piece of the chilled dough at a time, place it on a lightly floured work surface and let it soften for a few minutes. Flour your rolling pin and roll the dough into a rectangle 14 inches by 10 inches and at least a ¼ inch thick. Any thinner will be hard to work with when add the chunky filling. I found a tape measure helpful. Trim the edges of the dough so it is a rectangle and cut it lengthwise, to make two 14×5 inch rectangles; leave the halves in place.
Spread each half with a one quarter of the apricot lekvar. Sprinkle with one quarter of the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture, pressing it lightly with your fingers to spread it evenly, then finish by strewing ½ cup of the remaining nuts and ½ cup of the remaining dried fruit over each dough half. Starting with a long edge, roll up each rectangle jelly-roll style, tucking in any bits that escape.
Transfer the rolls to the paper-lined baking sheet and roll and fill the remaining dough. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably over night.
Position the oven racks so that they divide the oven in thirds and preheat, the oven to 375ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
You will probably have to bake in batches, so work with one roll of dough at a time. Brush the chilled roll all over with the egg wash. Using a serrated knife and a sawing motion, slice the roll into pieces that are 1 to 1½ inches wide. Toss each slice in the reserved cinnamon-sugar-nut mixture to coat generously. Transfer each slice to the prepared baking sheets, cut sides down, leaving an inch between each cookie. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pans top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking period. They are done with the tops are golden and the bottoms are caramelized. Cool the pastries on the pans for 5 to 10 minutes, then release them from the parchment with a thin spatula. Cool to room temperature on a rack. Repeat with remaining dough.
The cookies will keep for a week in an airtight container, sealed in plastic bags, they can frozen for up to a month. Thaw still wrapped, at room temperature.