Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Rugelach aka Kade's Mom's Christmas Cookies

 I love baking/cooking, and one thing I like to do is try recipes/dishes that are connected or mentioned in the books that I read.
After reading the latest book in The Kathleen Turner series - Out of Turn, and nursing a major book hangover, it was a perfect time to do a bit of festive baking.
This particular recipe was mentioned as part of a blog hop promotion for Tiffany A.Snow about a year ago.  It was accompanied by this extra scene about Kade.

Extract :  “She used to make these cookies for me, every Christmas.”  Absently, Kade took another drink, lost in memories.  “We never had much money for presents, but she’d scrimp and somehow I’d have a full stocking.  Then we’d have Christmas dinner, and always these cookies afterword.  They were amazing.  Fruit and cranberries with nuts, rolled in cinnamon and sugar.  They used to just melt in your mouth.”

8oz / 225g Cream Cheese, room temperature
2 stick / 225g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
¼ cup Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract
2 cups flour
¼ cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
2tsp Cinnamon
¼ cup Dried Cranberries
1 cup Walnuts, finely chopped*
1 jar Apricot Preserve
1 Egg, beaten for egg wash

Mix cream cheese and butter together. Add sugar, vanilla extract and flour. This makes the dough/pastry. Separate the dough into four equal parts, shape each into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour. When ready, roll each disk out on a floured surface to about 9″ /23cm circles.
Puree apricot preserve if chunky. Combine the dried cranberries, brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. Spread a thin layer of preserve on the dough, then divide the filling equally and sprinkle over each circle, lightly pressing it into the dough. With a pizza cutter, cut each dough circle into 12 equal wedges. Starting from the outside, roll up each wedge into a crescent. Chill for 15 minutes, then brush each cookie with egg wash and sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 15 minutes at 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 until lightly browned.
* I used 1 Cup Ground Almonds

My son Oskar loves these and keeps sneaking into the storage box and taking one!  A tasty Christmas treat that is now part of my family's Christmas tradition.  God Jul and Merry Christmas.
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