My mom has cousins living in Israel, and one of them was coming to visit with her hubby and 1 year old. I don't get to see them that often, so I was very excited. Of course, of course, of course I had to bake dessert for the following night that they were coming over for dinner. Something tasty, wonderful flavors, great texture, and comes from the background of Israel. 1 word: R-U-G-E-L-A-C-H. I never made rugelach before this, but I was eager to try.
I found probably the best recipe I could have found, from the fabulous, Ina Garten. The link to the recipe is: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/rugelach-recipe2/index.html
I didn't have the apricot preserves that the recipe called for, so what I did was
1. Quartered up some dried apricots.
2. Put them into the blender with a few very small drops of lemon juice, a splash of orange juice, and however much sugar I needed to sweeten it up.
3. I pureed everything together, adding as much hot water as I needed to thin out the puree.
I really liked the little creation I had made as my replacement for the apricot reserves. It had a nice texture from the apricots which couldn't get completely pureed, and was perfectly sweet. In the future, I will definatlly use this puree again instead of buying a whole jar of apricot preserves, although one day I have to try the preserves to compare the differences. Anyhow, both ways seem delicious.
As far as the assembly of the rugelach went, it was a bit time consuming, but all the steps were very simple.
Start out with rolling one of the 1/4's of the dough into a round cirle. Don't worry about getting the edges straight, because the edges are going to be unseen after you roll them up anyways.
Next spread out your layer of apricot puree (I spread it out with a brush)
Sprinkle on the sugar/nut mixture, and then cut the cirlce into 12 even wedges.
Roll up a wedge at a time, starting from the biggest side of the triangle wedge.
After you've got them all rolled up and on a baking sheet, give them all an egg wash, and then sprinkle on the cinamon sugar mix
These rugelach were one of the best things Iv'e every baked. That surprises me, because I didn't even think I like rugelach. Everytime I bake somthing, I can't help but think of all the things I could have added or shouldn't have. But these, oh these were just about perfect. The only complaint I would have with these, besides being so addictingly good, is how the sugar sprinkled on top of them created a hard chewy crust on the bottom of each, although that complaint was turned into a complament by many of the guests who enjoyed these treats with me, since they liked that sugary crust on the bottem.
We started out with 48 ruhgelach, I mean 45, considering all the ones I managed to sneak into my mouth right when they came out of the oven, at the begining of the night...
And were left with...