Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wakey wakey.

I don't care how much of a non-morning person you are.  You can't deny feeling at least a tiny bit of joy when those tired, bloodshot eyes see a fresh breakfast pastry.

Croissants, scones, donuts, muffins, rugelach...they want to be your friends.  They want you to get up and at 'em.  To get that worm.  To fulfill all sorts of morning-related proverbs and phrases.

I found this rugelach recipe on a sweet little blog called Dana Treat.  The recipe comes from Holly B's Bakery in Lopez Island, WA.  It's simple, versatile and the rugelach look really cute when piled on a plate.

Here's what you'll need:

1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter
4 ounces cream cheese
7 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/3 cup of jam (pick a flavor, any flavor)
6 tablespoons raisins
6 tablespoons nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans - any will work)
6 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Using a mixer, cream the butter until smooth.

Add the cream cheese and stir until combined.

Mix in 1 tablespoon of sugar 

and the vanilla.

Gradually stir in flour.

Action shot! (announcing it makes the blurriness seem intentional.)

Try not to overmix it, mmkay?

Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap (Press 'n Seal is such a great invention) and loosely wrap it.

Shape the dough into a disk until it's about 6 inches across and 1 inch thick.  Let it chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours (overnight would be fine, too.)

Preheat that big, ol' inferno of love to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.

Unwrap the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface.

Mike.  Take off my slippers.

Anyway, roll it into an 18 inch circle about 1/8 inch thick, making sure that both sides of the dough are floured as you go.

I'm circularly challenged so I use one of these:


Such a cheetah.

Spread the jam (I used blackberry) over the dough up to the edges of the circle.

Combine the raisins (I didn't have these on hand so I omitted them), nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl.  Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the jam.

Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut the dough into 16-20 wedges.

I suddenly have "That's Amore" stuck in my head.

Starting at the wide base of the wedge, roll up each slice of dough so that it looks like a miniature croissant.  Place the pastries 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes, rotate pan, then bake for another 5-10 minutes until they're golden brown. 

Using a spatula or two forks, transfer the rugelach to a wire rack to cool.

Like I mentioned earlier, the great thing about rugelach is their versatility.  You can make them sweet or savory and can fill them with pretty much anything: dried fruit, chocolate, herbs, crumbly cheese, cured meats...I mean, anything.

And yes, they really do look cute when piled on a plate.

Heeeeey there, morning.  I see you.  And I'm ready for you.

Folgers had it all wrong.  

This is the best part of waking up.


  1. First thing I hear when I arrived to work this morning, "Michele! OMG! This is my FAVORITE pastry of all time!" I thought, what are you talking about?? Mary Ann was reading your blog. *smile, warm heart*

    And she's taking away the pizza cutter idea. I love it, Ali. And the rugelach looks delish!

  2. Hey lil' sis. Sorry babe, but you need to shave. (Cute house slippers.) Your big sis, Michele.

  3. So this is what you do at 2:25 am?

    LOL no wonder I can't keep up.

  4. A word of advice: NEVER take a 4 hour nap after work. You'll be up writing about pastries until 3 in the morning.