Before I go any further, let me just put this out into the world – I am totally sick from eating too much rugelach dough. Onward…
These rugelach prove that sometimes keeping a little mystery about oneself is a good thing. Women hear it all the time; men like some mystery to their partner. In fact, I just saw something like this on the internet. It said Keep Some Mystery in Your Marriage! Seriously? The only mystery in my marriage is where the remainder of the Girl Scout Cookies went (I’ll never tell).
I’ve never been good at keeping mystery about me. Picture that ticker bar that runs along the bottom of the CNN report with the news in real time. Now picture that ticker bar running through your head and then right out of your mouth in a verbal play-by-play. That’s me – what enters my head comes right out of my mouth. Luckily, I do have a filter and I know what material is for the 6pm news vs. the 11pm news.
I just started a new job last month and I promised myself that I would hold back and let my coworkers get to know me little by little. I promised that I would not bare my soul and overwhelm my new work family with all my quirks and random thoughts. But oh no, it wasn’t even the third day and somehow I had managed to relay my love of karaoke, my pie obsession, my accidental pregnancy during my move to Oregon, my luke warm love of my dog and the fact that my husband just got a vasectomy…all to an audience of new coworkers who were willing to accept me anyways. And that’s the beauty of no mystery – you put yourself out there to a new world and in a matter of days it feels like home again.
But I digress, back to this Rugelach. There are just some things in life that are better kept shrouded in mystery. Like that fact that these sweet little pastries are made with THREE sticks of BUTTER and ONE and a HALF packages of CREAM CHEESE. Holy cream products, Batman. I liked my life better when I could pop one (or two) of these in my mouth without flashbacks of a pile of yellow and white sliding around in my electric mixer.
The dough itself is a cinch and incredibly basic. I whipped up cream cheese, butter and salt, added some sugar and then slowly added flour until the dough came together.
I divided the dough into two pieces, shaped them into a rectangle and refrigerated for two hours. My only problem was inadvertently eating the dough. It’s like I have a tick. I just can’t help but pluck a bite here and a bite there – even if I know darn well I’m just eating straight butter, cream cheese and flour. Needless to say, after doing it twice, I was totally grossed out. Someday I will learn to keep my dough eating habits at bay.
Once the dough was chilled, I rolled them into a 14 inch long rectangle, cut each in half and spread the four pieces with apricot or lekvar (prune) filling. Then each piece was coated with a sugar/nut/cinnamon mixture and sprinkled with dried fruit.
But once again, I was going too fast and took a minor misstep. Between my trips back and forth to the kitchen and the toddler dance party in the living room, I misread the directions and rolled my rectangles into a 14 x 5* inch piece rather than 14 x 10. That extra 5 inches would have come in handy when rolling these like a jelly roll. I could only make about two turns – and I knew they were supposed to be coiled around more than just twice. Size DOES matter.
I was already completing this challenge by the skin of my teeth. Then I read further and realized that Julia wants the rolled dough to sit in the fridge for 4 hours. Ugh! Once again, I have relearned the lesson that you must read the entire recipe before you start. And especially before Tuesday. So I took a shortcut and only refrigerated them for an hour.
I sliced the rolls into 1 1/2 inch pieces as directed, tossed them in a nut/brown sugar/cinnamon mixture and baked them for 30 minutes on 375.
Let’s just say these could stand a re-do. I put too much filling on the dough, so the slices were bursting with cinnamon and sugar. I salvaged what I could and was pleased that they at least tasted good.
My takeaways? Read the recipe. Google an image to see what they’re supposed to look like. Plan ahead. Don’t bake between dinner and kid bedtime. And keep a little mystery in your life. You better believe that when I take the salvaged and moderately pretty ones to work tomorrow, I’ll be sure not to mention the minor kitchen disaster that they really were. Be sure to visit our hosts at My Baking Heart for a picture of what they should really look like and the recipe!