Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Walnut and Raisin Rugelach

Those tiny pastry rolls, filled with a chewy fruity-nutty goodness, will disappear too quickly if left casually on a kitchen countertop...

Blog's Category: USSR-era Recipes, International, My Staple Food, Vegetarian


As a kid, I don't remember myself being picky eater but I must had been after all. I just remember that I didn't care for rugelach my mom liked to bake. River of Time won't flow back and I will never be able to try my mom's rugelach and, unfortunately, won't be able to get a recipe from her too...

Well.. there are numerous recipes for rugelach dough and different types of sweet and fruity or nutty fillings for it. The one, I'm offering to you here, is off Youtube's Russian "babushka Emma" video jug. I really like their recipes in general and this one particularly didn't let me down again. I've made about 40 pieces of this pastry rolls and they went to the zero way too fast.

What is it?

It is a mix of walnuts, raisin, candied orange and lemon peel and a little bit of fruit preserves, rolled into slightly sweet pastry and baked in an oven into crunchy/flaky little morsels of joy.

Taste Description

These rugelach have wonderful flaky aromatic dough, which is awesomely crunchy on the outside. Through this crunch, you will bite into chewy, with a just right amount of sweetness, filling. Bright notes of candied orange and lemon peel will strike you the first. Then you will recognize and appreciate rich taste, flavor and texture of raisin and walnuts. All together, all these ingredients will dance a jolly hop in your mouth and will leave you smiling after each and every bite.

How to Serve

No need for serving - they will jump into your mouth by itself...No kidding.. They will keep in a covered container safely for, I think, about week or two. I never had a chance to check it - they don't hold on for more than 2-3 days in my house..

Walnut and Raisin Rugelach
For about 40 pieces:
  • 1.5 c sour cream
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vodka
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 sticks of butter (frozen)
  • 3 and 3/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 c walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1.5 c raisin
  • 3-5 tbs raspberry or apricot jam
  • 2 tbs candied orange peel (or 1 tbs orange zest)
  • 2 tbs candied lemon peel (or 1 tbs lemon zest)
  • 1/2 c sugar

- See below, in a Notes section, how to make candied orange and lemon peels.

- Prepare filling by mixing all ingredients together, except jam.

- Now let's start on dough. In a small stir together sour cream, sugar, baking powder, salt, egg, vodka and olive oil. Set aside.

- Sift flour onto your dough mixing surface. Take butter from a freezer and grate it, using coarse grater, right into the flour.

- Combine butter with flour, working quickly. Add sour cream mix and, again, quickly, kneed a  dough without overworking it, just until all ingredients combined, adding a little bit of flour on a surface if needed. Shape a dough into a ball, cut into four equal parts. Slightly flatten those four pieces of dough, wrap each piece into a foil and put in a freezer for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

- Take one pack of dough from a freezer. Dust wooden pin with in a flour and, on a floured surface, roll out the dough into circle about 1/6" thick.

- Cut dough into 12 even wedges. Spread a small amount of jam on the outer edge of each wedge (nice rhyme, hah :) ?). Place about a teaspoon of filling and starting from a wide, outer end of wedge, roll it up. Then bend each roll slightly into the opposite direction you rolled it up to give rugelach its distinctive shape.

- Half of my rugelach I dipped in a lightly beat egg and then into a sugar. Place on a silicon mat on a baking sheet, seam side down and bake in a preheated to 375F oven until they reach nice golden color.

- For another half of my rugelach, I didn't dip them in an egg and baked them as is. After baking, let them cool down completely and, using small coffee strainer, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

- Enjoy!


- To make candied orange or lemon peels, peel oranges and/or lemons (including white spongy layer). Dice peels into 1/3" cubes and cook in a sugar syrup (1 part of water and one part of sugar) until translucent, for about 15 minutes. Drain (save syrup for another use) and spread pieces of peels on a non-stick surface (I like to use my baking silicon mats) in a single layer. Let it dry for a day or two until chewy but not rock-hard. In a covered jar, I keep them in a fridge indefinitely.

- Vodka, added to a dough, helps dough to keep tenderness and moisture and be flaky at the same time.




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