Monday, September 6, 2010

Sweets for the New Year

As the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah approaches, we have perfected some traditional sweets.  We've added to our repertoire three types of rugelach: choc/raspberry, apricot/walnut and chocolate.  We're also offering decorated apple-shaped cookies.  I'm really proud of our rugelach because many recipe trials were conducted to obtain a flavor and shape that was something truly special. 

Rugelach is special for many culinary reasons.  It has a truly unique shape and flavor.  Rolled up like a small croissant, it stands out from the more traditional flat or round cookies.  Also, the dough is a flaky cream cheese based dough which has very little sugar.  The sweetness comes from the filling and sugar sprinkled on top.  Even with this added sugar, rugelach is not an overly sweet pastry. 

Lastly, rugelach takes a bit of practice and craftsmanship to make.  The dough is very delicate and must be handled gingerly to obtain a flaky cookie.  And since there is little sugar in rugelach, baking times tend to be longer. 

A dear friend of mine (who happens to be orthodox Jew) brought me some authentic rugelach from Israel last year.  One of the desired qualities was a slightly raw center.  This is not difficult to achieve because rugelach is a dense pastry that does not rise very much.  I was not really in favor of undercooked dough (that wasn't even very sweet), so we tend to bake ours a little longer to achieve a more fully cooked center. 

I encourage you to try this yummy pastry for the Jewish New Year (or any time of the year!).

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