Monday, March 05, 2007
Mondays with Maida - Rugelach
Page 201 in the old book / page 188 in the new book
I used to include Rugelach (with apricot jam, currants and pecans) in my assortment of Christmas cookies quite regularly. I've gotten out of the habit recently, partly because I think of them as one of the more difficult cookies to make (by now you must know of my aversion to rolling cookie dough), and partly because I've also fallen out out of the habit of making apricot jam each year (one bad batch put a damper on that). Well now that I've tried Maida's recipe, I may have to put Rugelach back in the starting line-up at Christmas. They were much easier to make than my usual recipe, they don't require any apricot jam, and they were delicious!
The dough for Maida's version of Rugelach is rolled into 12-inch circles, brushed with melted butter, and sprinkled with walnuts, currants, cinnamon and sugar. You then cut each circle into wedges and roll each wedge from wide end to small. This method is quite forgiving of ragged/lopsided circles and uneven wedges - thank goodness! The other recipe I've used, from Rosie's Bakery Chocolate-Packed Jam-Filled, Butter-Rich, No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book is more exacting. The dough is rolled very thinly into large rectangles which are rolled and sliced - much more work. The other problem I always had with that recipe is that the middles always seemed undercooked - not so with Maida's recipe. They were wonderfully crunchy through and through.
These cookies went quickly and were obviously a hit. Even a coworker who only reluctantly eats nuts told me that they were the best nut cookie she'd ever had. She was quite enthusiastic, so this was clearly intended as a complement, though I guess you'd have to say it was a qualified complement. :)
Suzanne will be out for the next couple of weeks doting over her new granddaughter, Victoria. Congratulations Suzanne! Here's the panel ...
Laura: "Light, flaky and crunchy - very tasty! Rating - 4.5"
Denny: "Golden brown delights. Reminds me of my Mom's and Grandmom's holiday baking. And what's better than that?! Baked to perfection with just the right amount of crunch. Cookies like these make it a pleasure to be on your Cookie Committee. I wish they had a little chocolate so I could them a 5, but to be consistent I'd give them a 4.0 with the -1 no chocolate penalty. Rating - 4.0"
Terri: "These are a delicious treat! I love the buttery taste of the cookie and the amount of walnuts and currants is perfect. These would be great with vanilla ice cream. Rating - 5.0"
Overall rating by the panel - 4.5
Next week - Danish Coffeehouse Slices