Rugelach. For all you goys, repeat after me: rug-eh-lah.
Last week for Hannuksgiving / Thanksgivukkah, I made a bazillion of these little nutella-filled cookies. Well, maybe “a bazillion” is a bit of an exaggeration. To be more exact, I made 70 of these cookies/pastries (pookies?). And they were delicious. For the recipe, head over to What Jew Wanna Eat (isn’t that the best blog name EVER? Love that she’s a fellow blonde Jew from Austin!). The only think I changed from the recipe is that I made an egg wash out of 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons of water (thoroughly combined) and then brushed that over the top of each cookie before sticking the tray in the oven.
And now for the creme de la creme… or maybe just the pecan de la pecan?
These little nuggets are DELICIOUS OH MY GOODNESS. I mean really: what about pecan pie rugelach does not sound incredible? I made these by combining Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat’s recipe (link above) with a recipe listed on Buzzfeed. And goodness gracious me, they were just what the doctor ordered!
To make 50 (ish) of these delectable little dessert treats, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 2 sticks of cold unsalted butter, each stick cut into 8 pieces (+ 1 stick of cold unsalted butter for the filling, cut into 8 pieces)
- 1 cup (8 ounces) of cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
- 1/3 cup of plain Greek Yogurt
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- a pinch of salt
- 4 cups of shelled pecan halves
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of corn syrup
- 1 cup of dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons of water
- sugar for sprinkling (I used Truvia)
Roll up your sleeves and let’s go!
Begin by creaming together the cream cheese, yogurt, and 2 sticks of cold unsalted butter (cut into chunks) in a large bowl. Add the flour and salt to the bowl and mix thoroughly, until the dough becomes kind of tough and… well… doughy.
Divide the dough into 4 equal sized pieces (each about the size of two fists) and then roll each piece into a ball. Wrap each dough ball in saran wrap separately, flatten the dough balls into disks about 1 inch thick and 4 inches in diameter, and then refrigerate either for two hours or overnight (I did overnight).
When you’re ready to start the real craziness, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a knife, finely chop the pecans and put them in a large mixing bowl. You want the pecans to be coarse rather than powder/butter-like, so definitely chop by hand in lieu of using a food processor.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, brown the remaining cut-up stick of unsalted butter. Don’t know how to brown butter? Now’s the time to learn! Begin by adding all 8 pieces of butter at once to the pan and constantly swirling the butter around the saucepan (with a heatproof spatula) until the butter is completely melted. Continue to stir as the butter starts to bubble and foam. When the foam kind of stops… foaming… and the butter turns a light brown color, immediately remove the pan from the heat and add it to the bowl containing the chopped pecans. Add the vanilla extract, corn syrup, and brown sugar to the bowl and then mix until the ingredients are pretty well combined (should look like a brownish paste).
Flour a [large] surface, grab a dough disk from the fridge, and begin flattening the disk into a large (think roughly a foot in diameter) circle using a rolling pin. If the dough gets too soft during rolling, just stick it back in the fridge/freezer for a few minutes. Once the dough is rolled out, evenly spread some (roughly one quarter) of the pecan mixture on top of the dough (as if you were making a pizza), all the way to the edges of the circle. Cut the dough into 12-14 equal sized sections (like a pizza). Roll each slice [tightly] from the outside in (starting with the wide end and going towards the pointy end), placing each roll seam-side down on the baking sheet as you go.
Repeat the above process with the other dough disks.
In a small bowl, thoroughly combine two eggs with 2 tablespoons of water. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat each cookie with the egg-water mixture before sprinkling some sugar on the cookies and sticking the trays in the oven.
Bake the rugelach for about 20 minutes or until the cookies turn golden. When you remove the trays from the oven, don’t worry if it looks like a brown blob exploded on your baking sheet: that’s just the corn syrup. Just break off the bits that go outside of the cookies (and save them since they make delicious pecan brittle!). Allow the cookies to cool completely before serving. Enjoy!
Any guesses to how many cookies I made in total? And did your family do anything special for Thanksgivukkah?