Saturday, December 4, 2010


These buttery, flaky cookies feature a jewel-like filling of jam and a dusting of chopped pistachios.

2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour; plus more for shaping
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. table salt
2 sticks cold unslated butter, cut into 10 pieces

6 tbs. raspberry or apricot jam

1 large egg
1 tbs. water
1/4 cup finely chopped salted pistachios 

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a large (11 cup or larger) food processor.  Pulse briefly to blend the ingredients.  Scatter the butter and cream cheese pieces over the dry ingredients.  Pulse until the dough begins to come together in large (about 1 inch) clumps.

Portion the dough into four pieces and knead each on a lightly floured surface until smooth.  

Shape each portion into a flat 6x3 inch rectangle and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 1/2 hours.  (The dough may be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to a month before proceeding with the recipe).

Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough on a piece of lightly floured plastic wrap into a rectangle slightly larger than 5x13 inches (if refrigerated overnight, let sit at room temperature until pliable enough to roll).  Dust with additional flour as needed.  Using a sharp knife, trim off the ragged edges to make a 5x13 inch rectangle.  

Position  the dough with one long edge facing you.  Using a metal spatula (offset is best), spread evenly with 1 1/2  Tbs.. of the jam.  

Using the plastic wrap as an aid, roll up the dough jelly roll-style, beginning with one long side.

Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.  Repeat with remaining  dough and jam.  (The logs can be wrapped well and frozen for up to a month.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before proceeding with the recipe.)

In the meantime, wash and clean your food processor (if you haven't already) and finely chop about 2/3 cup of whole pistachio nuts using the pulse button.

Heat oven to 350 degree F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment or nonstick baking liners.  In a small bowl, mix the egg and water with a fork until blended.  Unwrap one roll of dough and set on a cutting board.  Using a serrated knife and a ruler, cut the roll into 1 1/4 inch wide pieces.  Arrange the cookies seam side down 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet.  Repeat with the remaining rolls of dough.

Lightly brush the tops with the egg mixture (you won't need it all) and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios.

Bake until the rugelach are golden brown, 28 to 30 minutes, turning the cookie sheet around halfway through for even baking.  Let cool on the sheet for 20 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

TIP:  you can make a half batch of dough if your food processor is small.

Here's another cookie recipe I pulled from the Fine Cooking magazine.  This magazine is full of all kinds of helpful tips.  One of those kinds of magazines I'll keep forever.  These were pretty good, full of buttery, cookie flavor and not overwhelmingly sweet, although I wish I added more of the jam, it didn't have enough in my opinion.  The pistachios added a very slight hint of a nutty flavor and I like it that way, since I'm not too crazy about nuts in my cookies.  Other than that, this will be a favorite holiday treat ~ they're pretty too, wouldn't you say? :) ~isavortheweekend

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