We had a lot of filling left over from the hammentaschen. So we decided, like you do, to just mix up a tart dough, pre-bake it, mix the fillings together, stick the filling in the tart and chill.
This… was essentially poppy seeds the filling.
Both of us tried it and just looked at our fork going ‘What.’
It wasn’t bad. Just odd.
Sooo… originally I was going to be writing up a vegetarian pho recipe Adam and I had for dinner… oh maybe 2 weeks back now. But sitting in my inbox this evening was an email going ‘so people from X heard about your Purim themed Feastly event, would you like to contribute a recipe and photo?’
I don’t care who the publisher is (I know, but I haven’t submitted the recipe & photo yet, so I don’t think I should bandied their name about), getting paid, or any of that. Someone I’m not family with or close friends with asked me to write/publish/share a recipe. Dude. Very, very flattering, whatever happens.
Rugelach – these are awesome little pastries with a nice (to me) mix of bread-like taste, sweet (apricots), and crunch (pistachios). Also very dangerous – I don’t think anybody took just one to start with. And nobody stopped after the first pass 🙂 This is very much a dairy recipe and not a make ahead recipe. But you do need a large chunk of time the day of, since it involves a 2-6 hour (passive) block of time for the dough in the refrigerator. Plan ahead for this one, in both time and ingredients. I don’t know about you, but I don’t keep cream cheese stocked in the fridge and have to plan to pick it up. Who knows, for you, that might be the apricots or the pistachios. Butter, flour, salt, sugar, and cinnamon, though, those I’m hoping y’all already have 🙂
makes about 30 pieces
original from The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book
(I really do recommend this book to anyone who enjoys baking – my go-to pastry dough comes from here)
- 1/4 lb cream cheese, at room temperature & cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup / 1 stick / 4 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature & cut into small pieces
(If you can’t find unsalted or only have salted butter around, go ahead and use it – just omit the 1/4 tsp salt in the dough)
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- In a food processor (easiest method) or large bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse or mix with a pastry blender (or two forks) until the dough begins to clump together. Lightly flour a work surface, turn the dough out onto it, and gather it into a bal. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, press lightly into disks, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours but no more than 6.
- 3/4 cup dried apricots, roughly cut up
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp unsalted pistachios, finely chopped
(chopped then measured)
Optional: confectioners’ sugar (for dusting/presentation)
- In a small saucepan, combine the apricots and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the water is absorbed and/or evaporated, 10-15 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly , the transfer to a food processor or use an immersion blender and process to a fairly smooth purée. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, and pistachios; set aside until dough is ready.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line 2 baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lightly flour a work surface. With one disk at a time, roll the dough out on the work surface into a 7 inch circle. Spread 1/4th of the filling evenly on top. With a long knife, cut into 6 wedges. Starting at the outside edge of the wedge, gently roll up each wedge towards the point. Place each piece at least one inch apart on the baking sheets and bend the ends towards the center. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool in the baking sheets on wire racks for about 5 minutes, then transfer the rugelach to the wire racks to cool completely. While still warm, use a sieve to dust them with confectioners’ sugar, if using.
I made it – all of the desserts were made, all the people came, and a good time was had, hopefully by all. 🙂
So, all the things got made
From back to front: mandlebrot, rugelach, strudel, & spice bars
More spice bars
The whole spread (minus hamantaschen)
And one of our guests took amazing photographs, from his phone. If I knew how instagram worked (totally have not checked them out), I’d link y’all to his stuff there, and not just ’cause he mentioned us on Twitter – his photos are awesome. So go check out his blog instead. 😀
Only one hiccup, in making all the things – I forgot a step in the hamantaschen dough involved “chill for 3 hours to overnight in the refrigerator” and left the dough for the day of, instead of making it the night before and continuing on Sunday morning. Thank goodness for freezers (1/2 hour) and being willing to wing it slightly (1 hour in the refrigerator). Also, I have lots of the filling left over. I’m not sure what to do with the poppy seed filling, but I’m pretty sure Adam and I are just going to use the apricots as jam. And considering that we usually have a pb&j for lunch (well, I have almond butter, since peanuts give me migraines….) we’ll probably use it up in relatively quick order.
We’ll probably be sticking with the apricot filling over the poppy seed in the future. The poppy seed is tasty, but the apricot is pretty darn amazing. And we like apricots a lot.
makes ~35 cookies
Recipe Count – still 28 more, Section Count – Desserts: still 8 more — I found this recipe specifically for this event and tried it out. Don’t think that counts as taking one off the list
all the originals are from TheShiksa.com; dough, apricots, & poppy seed
Whichever you’re going to use (one or both), make the filling ahead of time. They keep in the fridge for several days and making everything at once just sounds like a recipe for too many things going on at once.
Poppy Seed Filling
2 1/4 cups
- 8 oz (1 1/2 cups) poppy seeds (bulk food stores are your friend on this one)
- 1/4 cup butter, unsalted
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Either grind the poppy seeds in batches (in a coffee grinder) until soft & powdery or use as is – grinding gets a smother texture, while using as is gives a slight crunch to the filling. This is a personal preference choice.
- Over medium heat, melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the milk, sugar, and honey; bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the honey melts. Scoop out about 1 cup of the hot butter mix into a cup and slowly drizzle it into the beaten eggs. Do not pour quickly or the eggs will cook slightly and scramble. Slowly pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly as you do so.
- Whisk the mixture for 3-5 minutes over medium heat, until the mixture turns a light yellow and thickens to the point it can coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in the ground poppy seeds and stir well to blend.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before using. Can also be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container for 4-5 days.
~ 2 cups
- 2 cups dried pitted apricots
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- two finger pinch of salt (as much salt as you would pick up from a pile by pinching your index and middle finger against your thumb through the pile – I always find ‘a pinch of salt’ to be an instruction with a huge range of meaning)
- Combine everything in a saucepan; stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low to simmer slowly. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every so often.
- Remove the lid from the pan and continue simmering for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated or been absorbed. When there is about 3 tbsp of liquid left, remove the saucepan from heat.
- Mash or puree the apricots until more-or-less smooth.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before using and/or store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Dough and Putting it all together
- 3/4 cup butter, unsalted, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp grated orange zest
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1-6 tsp water, if needed
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and orange zest, until well mixed and creamy.
- Sift together the flour and salt; mix into the butter-sugar mixture until a crumbly dough forms. Knew the dough with your hands until a smooth dough forms, being careful not to overwork it. If it is too dry to come together into a smooth dough, add 1 tsp of water at a time and knead until smooth.
- Form dough into a flat-ish disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours or up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Have filling to hand and prep a smooth clean work surface by lightly flouring it.
- Roll dough out to about 1/4″ thick. Carefully pull it up, reflour the surface (trust me, it’ll need it), flip the dough over back onto the surface and roll out to 1/8″ thick. Use at minimum a 3″ diameter cookie cutter to cut out as many circles as possible, reusing the scraps. The larger the disks, the easier to fold, but the fewer cookies.
- Place up to, but no more than, 1 tsp of filling into the center of each circle. Mentally mark out three points on the circle, making a triangle. Fold the dough outside of this triangle on the left side towards the center – this should make a flap covering the left third of the circle. Repeat with the right side, overlapping the points so a triangular tip forms. Fold up the bottom portion of the circle, tucking the left side under and the right side over. A portion of the filling should be visible in the center. Pinch each corner of the triangle gently but firmly.
- Place hamantaschen evenly spaced on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through and lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack before serving (burning hot filling 1. hurts and 2. doesn’t taste so good).