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Monday, March 19, 2012

Easy to make rugelach

I posted a recipe for rugelekh before, but I made them this week and found the easiest way to make them. When you buy commercial rugelach, they are rarely in the traditional crescent-shape - they have been made in logs which is MUCH faster.

This is a very soft dough which is why you keep putting it back in the refrigerator between steps! Otherwise it will dissolve and stick to everything.


Dough - in the food processor mix until it looks like dough:

1 cup (that's half a pound) salted butter
8-oz package of cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
2-1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt

Divide the soft blob into four balls, put each into a clean plastic grocery bag, and smash them all flat. Chill for an hour.

rugelach filling easy to make (in food processor)Meanwhile, for the filling, grind in the food processor:

9 ounces (about 1-1/2 cup) of pitted dates and raisins
1 cup walnuts
3/8 cup sugar
1 ts cinnamon
1/3 ts vanilla

You'll also need:

warmed jam (apricot, peach, rasperry)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

When the dough is chilled, dump the first flattened blob onto floured parchment paper or floured plastic-coated freezer paper. Leave the others in the fridge.

Dust the top with flour and roll it into a 12x8" rectangle. Halfway through, when it starts to stick, dust it again and then flip it over onto another piece of freezer paper. Dust the new top (used to be the bottom) with flour and roll until you make your target size.

Brush the warmed jam onto the whole 12x8" area, then sprinkle 1/4 of your filling mixture evenly over the surface (leave the last inch free of filling so it will seal up better).

With the long side oriented left-right, pull up on the freezer paper and fold an inch of the dough over the filling. Use the freezer paper to help you nudge and roll the dough like a jelly roll, when you get to the end the jam-only part should seal nicely. Tuck the ends in and transfer to a baking dish. Rugelach will stick to your cookie pan so
  1. Use a NEW non-stick pan, buttered, or
  2. Put a piece of parchment paper in the pan, or
  3. Use a silicone baking mat (that's what I do).

easiest way to bake rugalachWhen you've rolled all four logs and put them on the cookie tin, you can brush milk on them and sprinkle coarse sugar on top.

Put the logs in the refrigerator and chill them for another hour.

Now comes the clever part: Use a sharp knife to cut 2/3 of the way through each log at 3/4" intervals. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes (until golden brown).

Cool them for about half anhour, then transfer the logs to a cutting board and cut the rest of the way through (I use a pizza cutting wheel).


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chicken on space heater

Sunday, March 04, 2012

When a worm sits in horseradish, it thinks there's nothing sweeter.

A great Yiddish proverb I heard today:

אַז דער וואָרעם זיצט אין כריין, מיינט ער אַז עס איז קיין זיסערס ניטאָ.
Az der vorem zitst in khreyn, meynt er az es iz keyn zisers nito.

When a worm sits in horseradish, it thinks there's nothing sweeter.

Advice for women: about men

I just got the idea to write this five minutes ago when I was in the shower thinking about a young friend of mine who is suffering because men treat her strangely and it breaks her heart.

I may not be the first person one would go to for advice about men. After all, I've been single a long time. But I was with my husband for almost two decades and have had my heart broken a few times myself - also I've been on hundreds of internet dates. Most of them were one-time-only because I had the theory, "anybody can be interesting one time," but in most cases one time was one too many.

I've met a lot of men who were heartbroken themselves and many have told me their stories. So here is my advice:

Most men, when dealing with women, are afraid. Their actions stem from fear. Or, let's say, they are riding the pendulum between fear and greed. The fear/greed continuum drives most things in this world - from the stock market to the way my chickens snatch moldy cheese out of my hand and then run away.

When a man says he wants a woman who is "low maintenance" or "no drama," he is displaying his fear. Fear that she will want too much from him - either financially or emotionally - more than he is able or willing to provide. Fear that life with her, or even a second date with her, will expose him to hidden landmines.

Just as we seasoned travelers have more and more road rage or airport rage - because we have experienced many more traffic jams and cancelled flights and lying airline employees - so seasoned daters (or, nebekh, sufferers of serial marriages) have more and more things they fear. If a man dated a redhead who threw things, now he is afraid of redheads.

I believe much of the horrid behavior men display - towards my young friend, for instance - is motivated by fear. Men are also afraid of being afraid and this can be reflected in nonsensical macho behavior.

That's my diagnosis. The answer would seem to be: to defuse the fear. To prove, in "baby steps" over time, that you are not somebody who will harm or terminally confuse them. Try not to be confusing, try not to be scary. Try to be peaceful and consistent. Baby steps.

Disclaimer: my ex-husband told me I was much better at being a sister than a wife. So anybody who has a better idea, please leave it in the comments.