Every year, around this time, I start posting or blogging about how awesome Nigella's Rugelach are from her Hanukah chapter in Feast. I've had a lot of bakery rugelach in my life; it was never my favorite thing, because it was usually dry and crumbly. Nigella's version was the answer to my rugelach needs. They are THE BEST cookies in the world! I always try to tell people to make them, but I think most people just think I'm crazy, for more reasons than one. But, this year, I'm not taking 'NO' for an answer. You must, MUST make this!
I've made my dough this weekend. I've divided it into three to make three batches of 12 cookies. It never fails to amaze me how quickly and beautifully the dough comes together. Each time, I'm like, 'Wow, that was way too easy.' That is why I'm recommending this recipe. It's so easy and so delicious. I'm making it for my work colleagues to bring in Hanukah this year.
RUGELACH - Feast by Nigella LawsonSo your challenge this year is to make this lovely recipe; you have until the end of Hanukah, December 13th. Come on! Go for it!
FOR THE DOUGH
425g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
50g caster sugar
1 packet (3 teaspoons) easy-blend yeast, optional
250g cold butter, diced
100g cream cheese, cut or spooned into pieces
60ml sour cream
Briefly process the flour, salt and sugar, and yeast if you're using it, just to combine them, and then add the diced butter and cream cheese pieces, and process again until the mixture resembles damp sand.
Beat the egg and sour cream together, and with the engine running, pour down the funnel of the processor. Continue running the motor until it comes together in a silky dough; it will seem like it won't make a dough, but leave the motor running and be patient. (This can also be done with a beater.)
Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, and divide into three, forming each one into a fat disc. Put the discs into freezer bags and leave in the fridge to rest for an hour - though you can leave them there for longer - just taking them out about 10-15 minutes before you want to get rolling.
FOR THE FILLING
250g dark chocolate
50g light brown sugar
FOR THE EGG WASH
1 egg, beaten with a pinch of caster sugar
FOR THE SUGAR GLAZE
3 tablespoons caster sugar
3 tablespoons boiling water
Preheat the oven to 190C. Process the chocolate until it's battered into rubble, and then put these dark brown crumbs into a bowl with the sugar, using your fingers to mix them together. Melt the butter separately and let it cool slightly.
Roll out one of the discs of the dough on a lightly floured surface to a circle 25cm in diameter. With a knife, divide the circle into 12 triangles, like you would divide a pizza, only don't pull apart the triangles yet.
Brush the circle of triangles with the melted butter, and then spread or sprinkle a third of the chocolate filling to cover the circle. Then very carefully pull away one triangle at a time, rolling each one up from the thick end to the narrow end to form a bulging curly-whirly crescent; think of a croissant. Follow this procedure with all the dough disk and their filling.
Put the rugelach on to lined baking sheets (if you've used yeast, let stand on the tins as they are for 20 minutes) and brush each one with the egg wash, and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
When they come out of the oven, browned and puffy, mix the sugar and water together for the glaze, and brush the rugelach with this to make them shiny. Let them cool on a rack. My daughter begs for these at any time of year, as well she might.