Tag Archives: rugelach

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. Growing up, we only had Bagels & Buns or Schwartzie’s Bagel Noshery (purveyor of 1993ish chocolate chip bagels. Eek), which featured a then-exotic sundried tomato/basil schmear.
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.

Or Ina Garten’s take with fresh dill and a little milk to loosen the cream cheese. See bottom for her take on a sundried tomato dip.

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.

RUGELACH
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.

 

Ina Garten’s Sun-Dried Tomato Dip
The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Makes 2 cups

Here is the most popular dip we make at Barefoot Contessa. Reminiscent of Russian dressing, it is updated with the intense flavors of sun-dried tomatoes and fresh scallions. This takes virtually a minute to make and can be served with crackers, chips, and fresh vegetables. Room-temperature cream cheese ensures that the dip won’t have lumps. The white part of the scallion has the most flavor, but the green also has flavor and it adds color and texture to the dip.

¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped (8 tomatoes)
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup sour cream
½ cup good mayonnaise
10 dashes Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)

Purée the tomatoes, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, Tabasco sauce, salt, and pepper in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the scallions and pulse twice. Serve at room temperature.

Psychosemitic

17 Dec


Since it’s Hanukkah, we’re thinking about latkes. We’re also dreaming about Zabar’s cinnamon rugelach. Since we are neither Jewish nor in New York, we scraped up three recipes.

We’re certain that the Barefoot Contessa will give Zabar’s rugelach a smackdown.

And City Bakery’s Maple Butter Baked Seckel Pears look too easy to be true.

Rugelach
Barefoot Contessa

•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, pureed in a food processor
•1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash
Directions
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 F.

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.

Maple Butter Baked Seckel Pears
City Bakery’s Ilene Rosen likes to slice them in half and bake them—stem, seeds, and all—with maple syrup and butter for a simple fall dessert that’s even better paired with creamy Camembert from Old Chatham Sheepherding Company.

1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup (preferably grade B or dark amber)
6 to 10 medium to larger-size seckel pears, stems on
Salt and pepper
Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut pears in half lengthwise. (1) Brown butter in a small saucepan, and combine in bowl with the maple syrup. Mix well. (2) Toss pears in bowl to coat with mixture, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (3) Place pears on sheet pan, cut side down, and bake 20 minutes, until pears are soft and cut side is very soft and caramelized. Let cool briefly before serving.