Monday, November 03, 2008
Oh, tonight I'm a bundle of nerves waiting for tomorrow...I want all readers to feel welcome, so I shall keep my political views and hopes quiet, as hard as it is at this moment when I want to shout from the rooftops of the world...and so this blog post will be brief...
Instead, let me share this plate of rugelach with you! I'd like to thank Piggy of Piggy's Cooking Journal for choosing this delicious pastry cookie. I've never made, much less eaten, rugelach, though they've beckoned me from the shelves at Zingerman's Bakehouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I read the recipe, and pondered fillings. Then, at lunch a few days ago rugelach served as a safe, diversionary, bi-partisan topic to engage friends of differing political persuasion who were being mocked by other colleagues at the lunch table. Our little corner of the table focused on baked goods and not shallow political jabs, and B. gave me tips for making the dough (lots of refrigeration) and filling ideas (poppy seed and honey being a most intriguing possibility).
In a marathon round of Sunday baking, I made homemade butternut squash ravioli--I even made my own pasta! I made foccacia--which crusted nicely despite the absence of steam in my oven. And, I made the rugelach. My homemade raspberry jam is on its last dregs, and I cannot abide store bought jam, and I couldn't find directions for the poppy seed filling my friend mentioned, and so I decided to improvise. Honey, walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon proved a classic filling that my other friend B said was akin to Baklava when I brought him a cookie today. I'm waiting to hear B's assessment of my pastries--he and his wife are experts!
I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese in my dough, which rolled out smoothly and quickly. I had no problems rolling up the crescents, and they baked to golden nut-studded loveliness in no time at all. I like these cookies--they are very subtly sweet, romantically rich, and perfect with a mug of dark roast coffee or a cup of delicate darjeeling tea. I could use one right now to soothe my nerves, but I left them in my office to share with all who vote for deliciousness:)