Friday, December 21, 2012

Little Twists (or the Best Cookies Ever)...

Today, my sister-in-law and I are holding our annual Cookie Bake (we are down one sister-in-law this year - she's sick, but we will still kick some cookie arse).

When I was a kid, there was nothing I loved more than my grandmother's apricot rolls: the dough had a tang, the apricot preserves were so sweet. I could eat a million of them. Last week, our neighbors invited us over for a Hanukkah dinner, and the hostess made these delicious cookies that reminded me so much of my grandmother's. I am going to try to make them today (I really hate to bake, actually, even though I love to cook; I think it's the unwieldy mess that comes with baking). These cookies are worth all the fuss.

Via Spoonful. According to the site, "Rugelach (the word is Yiddish for "little twists") is a
popular Hanukkah pastry that's perfect for any holiday brunch.
Get your kids in on the preparation -- they'll love rolling out the
claylike dough and spreading the goopy, fruity filling."

From Epicurious.com

Ingredients

Dough:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 ounces chilled cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Filling:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 tablespoons cherry preserves
  • 8 tablespoons dried tart cherries
  • 8 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 8 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
Topping:
  • 1/3 cup (about) whipping cream

Preparation

For dough:
Blend first 3 ingredients in processor. Add butter and cream cheese and cut in using on/off turns until dough begins to clump together. Gather dough into ball. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate 2 hours. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. Let soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.)

For filling:
Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 9-inch round. Spread 3 tablespoons cherry preserves over dough, leaving 1-inch border. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons dried cherries, then 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar and 2 tablespoons walnuts. Press filling firmly to adhere to dough.

Cut dough round into 8 equal wedges. Starting at wide end of each wedge, roll up tightly. Arrange cookies, tip side down, on prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart and bending slightly to form crescents. Repeat 3 more times with remaining dough disks, preserves, dried cherries, chocolate chips, cinnamon sugar and walnuts. Place baking sheet in freezer 30 minutes.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Brush cookies lightly with whipping cream. Bake frozen cookies until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. (Can be made ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.)

Bake your little hearts out. ~Alice


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