According to Wikipedia, rugelach [rug-uh-LUCK] are "a Jewish pastry of Ashkenazic (European) origin. Traditional rugelach are made in the form of a crescent by rolling a triangle of dough around a filling." Some are filled with chocolate, some with apricot, and they always seem to contain nuts. They're a bit like pastry, a bit like a cookie.
These are more cookie and less pastry, and I've varied the fruit filling because next Thursday is Thanksgivukkah - a mash-up of Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah - and Turkey Day flavors were warranted for the traditional Yiddishche treats.
Remember that Jewish "days" actually begin at sundown and then continue through the night and the day, ending at the next sundown. The first day of Hanukkah begins on the evening of Wednesday, November 27 and continues until sundown on Thursday, November 28. That means that it coincides with Thanksgiving!!! It's only happened once before, since Thanksgiving is a relatively new holiday; and it's not going to happen, by mathematicians' calculations, for another 70,000 years. Yup, 70,000! Thanksgivukkah is literally, truly, amazingly a once-in-a-lifetime holiday!!!
This calls for a celebration!
So for the next few posts, I'm taking traditional Jewish foods and putting a Thanksgiving-ish spin on them in honor of the holiday ... like with these rugelach filled with cranberries, which are also featured (very slightly tweaked) in the Manischewitz "Happy Thanksgivukkah Recipe Contest."
There's a $1000 grand prize waiting for me, if all of you could please vote for me and then share the link on Twitter or Facebook or email or even good ol'-fashioned word of mouth so your loved ones can help, too. 40% of the judging to determine finalists will be based upon votes, so the more the merrier for this party!
Just click here to vote, and then be sure to share with all your friends. Voting continues each day (1 vote per person per day) until November 24. There has been some mishigas with the site and with difficulties in voting; so if you have trouble, don't start schvitzing - I appreciate the thought! THANK YOU to everyone for your help - it's a mitzvah (good deed)!
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons orange marmalade
In a medium saucepan, toast the walnuts over medium-low heat just until fragrant; place into a small mixing bowl.
Add the cranberries, sugar, and water to the now-empty saucepan; bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium. Cook until mixture is very thick, stirring constantly and pressing down onto the cranberries to mash them. You should have 1 cup of filling; stir filling mixture and marmalade into the walnuts and set aside.
1 cup butter-flavor shortening, at room temperature
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups flour
Preheat oven to 325F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine shortening and cream cheese; stir in egg and salt. Stir in sugar, then stir in flour - dough will be crumbly. Empty the dough onto the countertop and knead until it comes together. Divide dough into 4 portions.
Roll one portion at a time into a 12" circle on a lightly floured countertop. Spread with 1/4 of the cranberry mixture, spreading to within 1" of the outer edge.
Cut the dough into quarters, then cut each quarter into 4 equal portions to make 16 portions. One at a time, starting with the outer edge, roll a portion of dough towards the center to form a spiral. Place onto the prepared cookie sheet and repeat until the entire circle of dough has been rolled.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cookies are golden and feel set when pressed. Let cool on a rack. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
To finish the cookies, place a scant 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar into a large freezer baggie. Add two dozen cookies, shake to coat them in sugar, then remove them to a serving tray and repeat with remaining cookies.
Makes 64 cookies.