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!
HAZELNUT AND OLIVE RUGGELACH
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.