I first tried rugelah when visiting New York City for Christmas shopping. It was a great weekend where my brothers friends gave us there hi rise, midtown condo to use while they went to their house in the Hamptons, so New Yorker! It was as close as my fantasy of being a resident as I have come. They left us a guest gift of a box of rugelah. I remember it being sweet, chocolatey and flakey. Since then I have had it from commercial bakeries at the grocer, not quite as good. I’ve been looking forward to baking this recipe.
Overall this recipe took two days and several steps because of refrigeration. I found the dough firm but forgiving to work with, it didn’t crumble.
Part of the fun of doing these recipes is the hunt for unusual ingredients. This one involved finding levkar, a fruit butter used as a spread or filling. I wasn’t able to find it so I made the apricot almond flavor that is in the book, Baking with Julia.
The variety of nuts and dried fruits called for are like a history lesson. They are foods eaten since ancient times and when I selected them from the bins it was like looking at history and I realized these are the fruits that ancient civilizations have eaten. I think it was the fact that they were in a most natural form. Medjool Dates, are from the middle east and have been eaten for thousands of years as well as, Turkish Figs that are grown in the Mediterranean climate. My parents always had them as part of Christmas tradition, but I never liked them probably because I couldn’t get past their ugliness, as a kid. I have a new found appreciation of its natural form. Its a really delicate and pretty composition of tiny seeds against the dark fruity flesh middle.
Final results, a rich rolled cookie. I would do these again only next time I think I will try rolling in a crescent shape as I have seen other bloggers do at TWD . Check out our hosts Jessica of My Baking Heart or Margaret of The Urban Hiker. for the recipe or better yet buy the book and join the fun.