Traditional Hungarian Rugelach

Traditional Hungarian Rugelach

From the Thermador and Tastespotting Ultimate Recipe Contest
Submitted by: Charles Brent


This is a family recipe handed down from ancestors that operated a fancy inn during the early part of the 20th century in Budepest.


Dough:
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of  butter
2 1/2 cups of all purpose unbleached flour.

Filling:
1.5 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1.5 cups of nuts.  Mixed or separate: pecans, walnuts, macadamia, almonds.
1.5 cups any dried fruit mixed or separate:  apricots, prunes, figs, dates, raisins are ideal. 
1 cup of Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (optional)


Place half the flour into a food processor.  Insert the shredding wheel and shred the butter into the flour (It should look like two cups of shredded butter coated with flour).  Place remaining flour into another bowl to combine and incorporate the flour and butter chips together.  If you don't have a food processor to shred the butter, cut the butter into the flour with a pastry knife. Do not, soften butter and mix with the flour. 

Add the flour/butter mixture the mixing bowl with the sour cream mixture and combine the ingredients until the sour cream is absorbed. It will be a very heavy and sticky dough.  Note: Do not over mix,  if you do the pastry will not come out light and flaky.

Take the dough and make 3 equal sized patties (flat like a hamburger), wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate minimum of 2 hours.  They should weigh 9.5 ounces each.  If you want to make dough patties ahead of time, they can be stored in the freezer for weeks (maybe even months) if sealed well.   You can also make 4 patties to have slightly smaller but MORE Rugelach.  I make mine with the smaller 7 ounce patties.

The Filling:
The best way to make the filling is with the food processor.  Put all ingredients except chocolate chips in processor all together and grind down to the consistency of coarse sand. Use this as a base recipe, but you can get creative and mix the fruit and sugar at different ratios for different results.  If you want a heavier Rugelach, decrease the sugar and add more dried fruit for a heavier filling.  Experiment, it's fun! 

Technique:
One patty at a time! 
1) Rolling pin with liberal amounts of flour. Roll out a patty to make a round thin sheet of dough, much like making a pie crust, resulting in about 18-24 inch diameter, cardboard thin. As you roll out, be sure to flip several times, coating with LIBERAL AMOUNTS OF flour (otherwise the dough gets very uncontrollable & sticky ). 

2) Spread 1/3 of the filling evenly over the entire surface (like making a pizza) covering almost all visible dough.  Roll over the filling once LIGHTLY with the rolling pin. 

3) Cut across the dough with a pizza cutter into 16 pieces (like cutting pizza). 

    *Optional: Place a row of 4 or 5 chocolate chips at the end of each piece along the outside edge.

4) Grasping the outside edges of one piece, fold in the corners first, then roll the individual pieces from the outside toward the middle.  They will be small 2-3 inch long crescents.

5) Bake 25 minutes on an non-greased sheet pan in a preheated 375° conventional oven.  Move immediately from the pans onto cooling racks.  I bake in my convection oven  at 350° for 20 minutes.


Make the dough first, stores in the freezer for months.  Take out and make a filling of choice and viola, in 40 minutes prep and cook time you have Rugelach.