Monday, May 31, 2010

Family Treasures

I meant to get a few more recipes posted over the weekend.  Really.  I mean, how are you going to live without my recipes for ruggelach, mocha chip cookies, pecan bars and biscotti?  However, when your very fabulous niece comes to visit for the holiday weekend, you drop everything so you can hang out with her.  And shop.  And eat.  And hang out with friends.  And shop.

As I write this, the Flight Track app on my iPhone just informed me that her plane has landed in Chicago.  I'm glad she got back safely, but I'm sorry she is no longer in Atlanta.  We had a great time together!

Since her grandmother is my mother-in-law (the one who was wearing that "Beam Me Up Scotty, There's No Intelligent Life on Earth" t-shirt the first time we met), I thought it only appropriate to post that ruggelach recipe I told you about.  Here's to you, Grandma Ruth and your awesome granddaughter!


For the dough:
8 oz. unsalted butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

Using electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add flour, reduce speed to low and mix until just blended and mixture forms a ball.  Remove from mixer, place on a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk.  Wrap well in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sultanas (white raisins)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, pecans and salt.  Measure out sultanas and chocolate chips in separate bowls.

Divide dough into 12 pieces.  Roll out on piece on a flour surface into an approximate 7-inch circle.  Cut into 8 wedges (as if serving a pie).  Sprinkle each one evenly with a small amount of the sugar/cinnamon/pecan mixture.  (You won't need a lot - if you add too much, you won't be able to roll it up).  Add a few sultanas or chocolate chips (one or the other but not many, as above).  Starting from the outer wide edges, roll dough to the inner point.  Pinch edges together and bring forward slightly to form a small crescent.  Remove to a baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough and filling.  Place tray in freezer and freeze for at least two hours before baking.  (These may be frozen unbaked and covered for up to three months).

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375-degrees.  Place ruggelach 1/2-inch apart on baking sheet lined with parchment.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until just lightly browned.  Cool completely on baking rack before storing.  Better yet, eat them all immediately.

Yield:  approximately 96 peices

I hadn't made these in years.  Whenever my husband or kids wanted them (which was often), Grandma Ruth would bake up a big batch and ship them down to Atlanta.  I think I made them once, but there was really no need since she was gracious (or crazy) enough to do it for us.

Wow, I had no idea what that really meant.  In the interest of full disclosure, these take a long time to assemble.  It took me almost an hour and a half!  No wonder I left it up to her!  Nonetheless, these things are crunchy, sugary, buttery little bites that will rock your world.  And so worth making.  Just think of it as therapy as you painstakingly roll up each and every one......

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