We went to my cousin’s house for Easter brunch yesterday, and here’s what I brought…
As usual, I couldn’t just decide on one flavor for my rugelach, so I made four different kinds.
I started with a batch of rugelach dough. Very simple to make and wonderful to work with. I used 2 cups of flour, a teaspoon of salt, a block of cream cheese (8 oz) and two sticks of unsalted butter. Just pulse the flour and salt together first, then add in the cream cheese and butter (cut into chunks) and pulse until it all comes together and looks kind of lumpy and bumpy. Turn it out onto the counter, press into one ball, divide into four pieces, press them into disks, wrap them each in plastic and put in the fridge for a couple of hours before working.
I made mine the night before, actually.
Yesterday morning, I put all my fillings together and then started assembling the rugelach.
I didn’t measure, by the way, I just threw things together and tasted as I went along. So – no real recipes. Just suggestions.
Here we go.
First up, mashed potato, chive and bacon. I used about the equivalent of one medium-large russet potato, which I boiled in the skin, peeled, and mashed with some butter, a bit of plain Greek-style yogurt (homemade), and truffle salt. I added in a bunch of chopped chives from the garden, and little bits of cooked bacon. Yum.
I rolled out one of the disks of dough until it was very thin and around ten to eleven inches in diameter. Then I carefully smeared the mashed potato mixture onto the dough, leaving maybe half an inch around the perimeter.
Then, with a pizza wheel (you can use a large knife if you prefer), I divided the round of dough into 16 wedges….
Then, one by one, starting at the wide end of each wedge, I carefully rolled them up.
I placed them on a parchment lined sheet pan, with the little pointy end of the rolled wedge underneath to the whole thing doesn’t unravel in the oven. Then I put the pan in the fridge and started on the next batch.
If you’ll forgive me – these are Arugula Rugelach. I couldn’t help myself.
I picked a bunch of arugula from the garden, chopped it up and blended it with olive oil, salt, a little grated parmesan and a little bit of lemon zest. I spread that mixture over the rolled out dough, and then added little bits of gorgonzola.
As I finished assembling these, Julia showed up and wanted to help. I sent to her wash her hands and then put her to work on batch #3.
Julia is spreading a mixture of softened cream cheese mixed with browned sage butter. After that, she added chopped, caramelized onion.
Very yummy combination. In fact, even though he likes neither onions nor cream cheese, Alex really liked these (once they were baked).
Julia also rolled up most of these wedges.
She’s a wonderful little helper.
Well, except when it came time to make the last batch. I wanted to use some of our red Thai curry paste, but I’d used up the last of it a week or so ago. So I took a cube of the green and mixed it in a little sauce pan with a bit of peanut oil, some lime juice, fish sauce, a couple of torn kaffir lime leaves, and some coconut milk (NOT the “lite” stuff). I let that cook down until it was thickened, then I mixed it with a boiled, peeled, mashed sweet potato. (The red would have been prettier mixed with the sweet potato, but flavor-wise the green worked just fine.)
Julia tried a bit of it but wasn’t in the mood for really spicy food – she gulped water and fanned her mouth dramatically. I spread the sweet potato mixture on the dough and she scattered bits of cilantro over the top.
But you know how sometimes even though you’ve made something that tastes good, it’s still missing a little something else? Yeah. That’s what was going on in my head with this one. I looked around the kitchen for a bit of inspiration…
And found it:
I rolled these up on my own – Julia didn’t want to come in contact with the sweet potato mixture, not even a little bit.
Once the last wedge was rolled up, placed on a cookie sheet and chilling in the fridge, I preheated the oven to 350 and started thinking about presentation.
I didn’t want someone to bite into the Thai curry version unsuspectingly. Not everyone is up for that sort of heat. And maybe someone wouldn’t want any bacon. (And I know – bacon and rugelach? Not really a kosher combination. But in my kitchen there are no rules, other than that pesky “wash your hands first” thing my kids are so tired of.)
So – I made some little signs, got a big bowl and a large dish towel, divided the bowl into quadrants by pulling folds up in the dish towel, and then, as I baked off the rugelach (brush with egg wash and bake about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown), I put each flavor in a quadrant and skewered a label into a rugelach to hold it in place.
The whole thing looked like this:
I covered the bowl with another towel and off we went. The smell in the car was torture.
And, three and a half hours later this is what we brought home:
It would seem people liked them!