Rockefeller Center Christmas

30 Nov

We’re pining for New York. As always.

Especially now because it’s tree lighting time at Rockefeller Center.

And, oh, that sparkling Swarovski crystal topper… We’re not old lady crazy (yet!) but we are crushing on those snowflake ornaments.

The big tree lighting always heralds the start of the holiday season for us. We wish we were gazing at Macy’s department store window displays slideshow here, or watching the The Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers.

Most of all, we are wishing we were taking it all in with a nosh on a toasted bagel with Zabar’s whipped scallion cream cheese.

An oft-cited Internet copycat recipe claims the airy schmear can be cloned by whipping 1 lb. of cream cheese with 1/2 cup sour cream and a generous pinch of garlic salt. When mixed, stir in 1/2 cup chopped scallions.

Naturally, we’d like to follow this treat with their famous cinnamon rugelach.

Zabar’s doesn’t share their recipe, but Ina Garten was mentored by Eli Zabar, so this will do.

Dorie Greenspan says to take butter and cream cheese out of the fridge just 10 minutes before you use it and also to let the dough rest overnight.

Recipe from Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa Parties!
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 9 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup apricot preserves, puréed in a food processor
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash

Cream the cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the salt, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix until just combined. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball in quarters, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make the filling, combine 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the raisins, and walnuts.

On a well-floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread the dough with 2 tablespoons apricot preserves and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the filling. Press the filling lightly into the dough. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges—cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into thirds. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.


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