People, I introduce you to Rugelach. Or the pastry of heavenly taste.
What are rugelach? They're a jewish pastry with a cream cheese and butter dough. The most traditional filling (as far as I'm concerned) is the prune one. But any fruity filling works well, so if you're not a big prune fan, choose your favorite jam and you're good to go...
As you readers might now... Me and Maria from Remena Nena have started this thing of ours called 'International Tarting'. The idea is to take recipes that have something challenging to them and try to make them in both sides of the Atlantic. And believe me, this dough, as good as it is, it´s not easy to roll...
But these beauties are worth it
The recipe is adapted from 'Every last cookie' and comes from the Martha Stewart cookie cookbook
I omitted any added sugar since the prunes are sweet themselves and just didn't have white bread around (I'm a wheat girl). The prunes are supposed to be soaked in liquor but again, no liquor around, water works just fine.
Oh I almost forgot! I made some chocolate ones as well!
For the dough:
2 sticks of butter
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour
For the prune filling:
1 cup prunes
1/2 cup water
For the chocolate filling:
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
To sprinkle, cinnamon
To make the dough:
Cut the butter (cold) into cubes. In a bowl, mix the butter with the cream cheese. I started with my hands, realized it was not gonna happen and switched to 2 knifes. Add the flour. Here it gets complicated... the recipe calls for not overworking the dough but I found it pretty much impossible to blend everything together without putting a huge amount of effort into it. Just do it as well as you can and make sure all the flour is incorporated. The dough will be VERY sticky. Divide it in half and prepare to flour your rolling pin and counter thoroughly. Roll each half of the dough into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. I refrigerated overnight.
Prepare the prune filling:
Do ahead. Place the prunes and water (or brandy) in a container and let it soak overnight. Take the prunes out of the liquid and puree. I didn't quite do the math right here since I made filling for an entire recipe but only filled half the rugelach with prune. Well, that meant double the filling and I certainly won't complain about the result.
To make the rugelach
Preheat your oven to 325 F
Spread the prune filling on one of the dough disks, sprinkle with cinnamon. Leave a 3/4 inch border (aprox.) on the outer side. With a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 16 pieces. I tried to see if cutting it into 8 would make too big rugelach and it does. They are harder to roll and don't look as pretty. You can always eat them in pairs. Now roll the dough from the outside to the inside. The wet prune filling makes it a little messy but don't worry, once in the oven it doesn't spread everywhere. Sprinkle the surface with cinnamon.
For the chocolate ones, repeat the process covering the disk with chocolate chunks.
(Now you can refrigerate them for an hour, I couldn't find enough patience to do so.)
Bake for 40-50 min. When the rugelach are done, the outside will be crisp and golden. Let cool completely before eating (if you can). Enjoy, I know you will.