I grew up knowing the fragrant aromas of freshly baked cakes, nutty cookies, jam filled pastries and whole grain bread. My grandfather was a baker by trade. He came to NYC from Poland, in his late teens.
In a tiny village in Poland, his step father contracted a master baker to house him and train him in all aspects of baking. After two years of horribly long hours and searingly hot servitude, he ran away but was tracked down and forced to return to finish out the terms of his apprenticeship contract. On his second attempt, he succeeded in making his way to a ship bound for Ellis Island.
He found some mishpuha (relatives) on the Lower East Side and sent for his beautiful and oh so sweet step sister, whom he then married in NYC. He made a living as a baker for the rest of his life. My grandmother, his step sister (yes, you guessed correctly), was a superior home baker of all things parave (non-dairy).
I remember them visiting our home every Sunday, toting both glossy, cardboard bakery boxes secured with twine and a second parcel of home baked, parave treats to enjoy after our meat meals. Calories be damned. We never gave it a thought and everyone lived long, healthy lives.
As committed as I am in my search for the freshest, veggie based creations, periodically, I turn back to traditional foods from my grandparents’ era. In moderation, and sometimes with modification, these treats are just too good to pass up.
So, as we approach the auspicious eve of Yom Kippur, the day of reflection, prayer and repentance, I am planning a more traditional meal. At the end of this long day of fasting, we will feast on dairy. Cheese laden sweet noodle kugels (puddings), doughy NY bagels with wacky cream cheese flavors, platters of smoked fish and lot of baked goods will all be part of the buffet.
These rugellach would be the perfect sweet on the buffet table. The recipe came to me via a golfing gal pal who connected me with a new friend . They are both enthusiastic and excellent bakers.
Don’t you love the connections you make through your passion for food?Consider baking these and sharing them with your family and friends at a dairy brunch or for break fast after Yom Kippur this weekend.
They are melt in your mouth delicious and will prompt your memories of family and holidays spent together. Feel free to substitute any flavor fruit preserve and any combination of fillings such as marzipan, poppy seed, or chocolate.
Consider baking these and sharing them with your family and friends at a dairy brunch or for break fast after Yom Kippur this weekend. They are melt in your mouth delicious and will prompt your memories of family and holidays spent together. Feel free to substitute any flavor fruit preserve and any combination of fillings such as marzipan, poppy seed, or chocolate.
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1 c. butter
- ¼ c. sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 c. sifted flour (remember to sift first, measure after)
- pinch of salt
- ¼ c. plus 2 Tb. sugar
- ¼ c. packed light brown sugar
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¾ c. golden raisins
- 1 c. chopped walnuts
- ½ c. apricot preserves
- ¼ c. milk
- 2 Tb. sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Bring butter and cream cheese to room temperature. In a food processor or standing mixer, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla. Add flour and salt. Mix until incorporated. Divide dough into 4 equal portions and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 2 hours.
- Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl. On a floured board, roll dough out into a 9 inch circle and to 1/8 inch thickness. If dough cracks around the edges, it is too cold. Give it a few more minutes on the counter to warm up. Spread 2 Tb. of the apricot preserves over the circle. Sprinkle ½ c. of filling over the preserves. Cut the dough circle into 12 triangles. Starting at the wide end, roll up the triangles with point underneath. Place on cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper, 1 ½ inches apart. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate approximately 30 minutes or until firm. Repeat with each of the balls of dough.
- Mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Brush rugellach with milk and sprinkle each one with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake for 16- 18 mins @ 350, or until lightly browned. Rotate cookie sheet half way, if necessary. Transfer rugellach to wire racks and cool completely. Can be frozen successfully.