Monday, November 1, 2010

A Few More Hazelnuts

Are you sick of hazelnuts yet?  Sorry but I'm not, so you will just have to put up with me for another recipe or two.  I would apologize, but I think instead you should thank me for the recipe I'm about to post.  Yes, it's that good!

As I mentioned a couple posts ago, I have propelled myself into hazelnut overload these last few days.  I've scoured my cookbooks and the internet for interesting recipes.  And boy, did I find one.  That would be the recipe in "Gourmet Today" for hazelnut and olive ruggelach.

What????????  Isn't ruggelach a cookie-type thing?

Well, yes.  In fact, I posted my mother-in-law's recipe for it last spring:

That's why this recipe intrigued me.  I mean, who ever heard of a savory ruggelach?  Then again, bread pudding is most often thought of as dessert, but I make a mean savory version of that as well.  Alrighty then, let's take a stab at this recipe.

When I first read it, I wondered if it would have enough taste.  I even thought about brushing the pastry with a little dijon mustard.  I didn't.  I also thought about adding a little more salt (c'mon, you know how addicted I am to the stuff).  I didn't.  Instead I made the recipe as written (not something I do often) and it was delicious.  No tweaking necessary!


1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¾ teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
¼ pound (4 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts
1/3 cup green olives, drained, patted dry and chopped

Whisk together flour, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Beat butter and cream cheese in an electric mixer until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until a soft dough forms. Gather dough into a ball, divide in half and wrap each in plastic wrap. Flatten each half into a 4-inch disk. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

When ready to assemble, preheat oven to 350-degrees. Bring dough to room temperature (this will take about 15 to 20 minutes). In a small bowl, combine hazelnuts and olives.

Roll out one disk of dough to a 9-inch round on a well-floured board or silpat. Spread evenly with half of the hazelnut/olive mixture. Press slightly to adhere. Cut round into 16 wedges then roll up tightly, starting with the wide portion of the dough. Transfer, point side down, to a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Cool, then serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 32 pieces

These can be assembled and stored in the freezer, unbaked.  Just make sure to wrap them well.  When ready to use, pop on a baking sheet (no need to thaw them first) and bake as directed above.  I'm hosting a small dinner party tomorrow night.  Guess what the app is going to be?

You can use any type of olive you like, but I chose nice big fat pitted green olives that had been marinated as what was termed "Italian-style."   Of course, you could also use standard pimiento-stuffed olives (who doesn't like those?) and that would be just fine.  I could also envision garlic-stuffed olives in this recipe.

On a completely unrelated subject, I'm thinking it's time to compile some kind of recipe index for this blog.  Of course, I'm totally clueless as to how to make that happen?  Any ideas, folks?  If so, please email me at  Thanks!

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