Search this blog


Friday, November 14, 2014

Rugelach with Poppy Seed Filling

Some poppy seed paste just seemed to appear into my life, and I pondered for a long time what to do with it.  It's a serious question, especially when you know you only have a small amount, and want to make the best of it without having it go to waste.  I had a similar feeling with Kaya... and in no way do I regret my choices for the nectar, but I do wish I had an emergency supply of it for my impromptu kaya desires.  The poppy seed paste, after a finger dip (aaAaaahh!) gave me plenty of inspiration.  There were the traditional "replace the peanut butter or tahini in weekly cookies" ideas, but I wanted to make it even more special.  After doing a bit of research as to how to glorify poppy seed paste, I consistently stumbled upon rugelachs.. and my childhood memories started to rush through me.  I don't know why rugelachs are such an integral party of my cookie eating history, because I probably did not eat them very often.  When I did, though, they were a real treat.  They were so common that I never thought of their origins or tried to recreate them.
Until this week...
Rugelachs in the US are part of the Eastern European and Russian culture, mostly Jewish, that have become part of daily life, such as bagels or hummus.  The difference is that rugelachs are mostly holiday fare, whereas bagels, pastrami, and hummus are everyday fare.  Poppy seed filling is the way I remember them best, but variations include honey, nuts, jam, and even chocolate filling.
Poppy seeds are the best in my opinion, and are used in many other Eastern European pastries which I may have a chance to make.. unless I make khus khus curry with the remaining paste...
Yield 64 Rugelachs
250g (8.8oz or 2 cups) flour
1/4 tsp salt
160g (5.6oz) cubed cream cheese
150g (5.3oz) cubed butter
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used maple syrup)
1 egg yolk, beaten
115g (4oz) poppy seed paste (or ground poppy seeds)
1/2 cup whole milk
pinch salt
50g (1.7oz) sugar
1 beaten egg
zest from 1/2 lime
juice from 1/2 lime
2 Tbsp cane sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1.  In a stand mixer or with your fingertips (as I did) mix the butter and cream cheese with the flour and salt.  Add in the beaten yolk and vanilla extract and mix well.  This will be quite messy if using your hands.  Just try to form it into a ball.
2.  Separate into 4 equal parts and wrap in plastic wrap.  Once wrapped, press into discs and refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Overnight is probably the best bet.  Do not skip this step, or you will never be able to roll the dough.
3.  While the refrigeration process is happening, make the filling.  Heat the milk and sugar in a pan until almost boiling.  Pour some of the mixture into the beaten egg and whip well.  Beat in the poppy seed paste, lime, and zest.  Pour back into the pot and heat, whisking until thickens slightly.  Remove from heat and let cool.
4.  Prepare your sprinkling.  Stir the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.
5.  Get ready to roll.  Remove a disc from the fridge.
Use parchment paper to prevent from sticking.  Sprinkle some of the spiced sugar onto each side of the disc.
With a rolling pin and parchment paper on each side, roll into a 10 inch diameter, 1/4 inch thick circle.  Similar to a pie crust.
Spoon 2 Tbsp of the poppy seed filling on.  Spread it around, then cut into 16 slices, as if it were a pie.
To roll the rugelach, start from the outside of the "pie" slice and roll toward the center.
Repeat with each slice, and for each disc.
6.  Sprinkle on some more spiced sugar and bake at 190°C 375°F for 20 minutes.
Let cool for at least 15 minutes before tasting.

The zest will pleasantly surprise you long after the rugelach as been swallowed.
That is a sign you have paid attention to the details..
Print Friendly and PDF

No comments:

Post a Comment