Posts Tagged ‘ walnuts ’

Rugelach

Rugelach is one of my all time favorite cookies.  They are like tiny rolled crescents filled with a raisin & nut mixture.  Today they are easily bought in any bakery aisle but don’t let the store-bought varieties fool you.  They lack the rich flaky dough as well as the sweet and savory filling that make them so addictive.  I don’t make rugelach very often because it’s a bit time-consuming.  Years ago I started to double the recipe because it’s easier to make more than make it more often.

Rugelach רוגעלך is a Yiddish word which is interpreted as “little twists” which refers to the shape of the cookie.  There are many different recipes, some with no dairy products, some with a sour cream dough and others with a cream cheese dough.  I prefer the latter, the combination of cream cheese, butter and flour make a delicate cookie with appropriate flavors to compliment the filling.  Fillings can vary as well.  Ultimately, you can roll pretty much anything that will fit in this.

I tend to make smallish Rugelach, they bake evenly and are easier to work with.  Most often I make them for Jewish holidays.  They freeze well and actually taste great frozen.  I made a large batch to split over Thanksgiving and Hanukkah but forgot to serve them last Thursday.  It’s ok this way there’s more for me!  The recipe also works best if you make the dough, split it into balls and refrigerate for a short while.  I find the dough rolls easily then.

My Rugelach do not come out evenly sized and shaped but it doesn’t matter.   They should be similar enough in size to bake evenly.  Once I roll them out I use a pizza cutter to make the circles and then cut them into triangle pieces like a pizza.  I doubt this is the way my great-grandmother did it but it works for me.

Dough

2 cups flour

1 8 oz block cream cheese (light is fine)

1 stick of butter room temperature

Mix the 3 ingredients together and break into 6 equal sized balls, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour

Filling

This part is truly a rough guess, I’ve never measured it!

3/4 – 1 cup each raisins and chopped walnuts

8-10 oz apricot preserves or jam

1/3 cup of sugar

cinnamon to taste ( a little nutmeg if desired)

Mix these ingredients together set aside

More flour and sugar will be needed for rolling

Directions

Take a ball of dough and roll it into a circle about 1/4″ thick and approximately 10″ round, use flour and sugar as needed so dough doesn’t stick

Using a pizza cutter trim ends of the circle and cut into 6-8 even pieces depending on desired size

On the wide end of each triangle add a small amount of the filling so that it spans the width

Roll it up from the filled side to the narrow end and gently push the narrow end to stick to the dough, it should stay easily

Place on a pan (sometimes I gently grease, sometimes I don’t) and bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes until golden brown on the outside

Repeat with each ball, I often take the scraps and toss them into the bowl in the refrigerator holding the dough, usually there’s enough scraps to make 1 last circle of cookies

~enjoy~

Breakfast Bread Pudding

I’m finally posting this recipe I baked last weekend.  I’ve been enjoying this bread pudding all week.  This recipe has a sweet (but not overly) taste.  The texture of the bread, cranberries and crunch of nuts really works well together.
I’ve been enjoying this bread pudding for breakfast but really it would be great anytime.  Serve it warm with some vanilla ice cream and I’m certain it will be a hit.  The fact that you assemble it the day before and just stick it in the oven for an hour before serving makes it great for company.  Oddly enough it reminds me of a mix between my mom’s stuffing recipe and her noodle pudding.  Whatever you do with it, enjoy it!
Ingredients:
  • 4 beaten eggs (or I cup egg replacement)
  • 3 cups cubed day old Italian bread
  • 1 2/3 cups milk (I used skim)
  • 1/3 cranberries
  • 1/3 cup  chopped nuts (I used walnuts
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla, cinnamon
  • (If you don’t have agave used 2 cups milk and 1/3 cup sugar)
  • ICING:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp orange juice
Directions:
Mix eggs, milk, agave, cinnamon, vanilla and flavoring, Mix in bread, cranberries and nuts 

Place mixture in 8″ x 1 1/2″ baking dish, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove cover and place on center rack. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

Mix ingredients for icing and pour evenly over mixture, allow a few minutes to settle in, if desired poke a few holes with a fork into pudding so that icing will drip down into it

Serve warm or cold

Lara “Like” Bars Homemade

A few months ago my daughter got me hooked on Larabars.  They are a snack or energy bar made from simple, natural ingredients and come in many great flavors.  My favorites are apple and cherry pie and I love the chocolate ones as well.  While they don’t cost a fortune I think the typical $1.50 is a lot for what is essentially a few bites of food usually eaten on the run.

So of course I took a good look at the basic ingredients and decided to make my own.  They are really quite easy to make and I bought the dried fruit in bulk so they were pretty cost efficient. Dates are the main ingredient and the one that doesn’t change regardless of flavor.  Today I used dates with dried blueberries and lemon zest.   However,  I’m already seeing limitless possibilities for new varieties.  I made them in the food processor and honestly can’t imagine making them without one.

I enjoy making food that can all go into the food processor without cleaning and is completed in 1 bowl.  There is no cooking involved and it took just a few minutes although it is pretty sticky to work with.  Altogether this recipe made 8 bars which I’m sure will be consumed within a couple of days so I’m not even going to refrigerate them. Last, once again, a gluten-free vegan recipe!  Gotta love it!

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates rough chopped but don’t buy chopped dates

1 cup dried blueberries (or other dried fruit such as cherries, apricots, cranberries)

1 cup nuts such as walnuts or pecans (I used walnuts)

Zest of 1/2 a lemon (optional depending on type of fruit used)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

Place dried fruit and lemon zest in food processor and pulse until fruit is in small chopped pieces, remove to bowl

Add nuts to the food processor (don’t wash bowl first) and pulse until finely chopped

Add nuts to fruit and mix well by hand, if you find there’s too many nuts to incorporate leave a little out

Turn mixture onto waxed paper and form into a log shape, then roll out until 1/4″ 1/2″ thick (I used a drinking glass for this)

Slice into approximately 8 even bars and wrap in plastic

Have a peaceful day, Lin

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Mushroom Ravioli with Balsamic Reduction Glaze

My original plan for Sunday evening was to have dinner at a local pizzeria.  After spending a day switching my kids bedrooms I looked a wreck and was too tired to fix myself up.  I think a day of dusting, vacuuming, washing bedding and moving furniture will wear anyone out.  At about 5:30pm I looked in the fridge hoping for something more inspired than grilled cheese and found a package of Buitoni Wild Mushroom Agnolotti Ravioli I had recently bought.  I decided to try a balsamic reduction to go with it and found it to be surprisingly easy and tasty.  A good combination!  When making a reduction one is supposed to use a high quality vinegar.  As usual, I did not follow that rule.  I had Publix Balsamic Vinegar and that’s what I used.  It came out fine, but I’m certain it would improve with a higher quality product.  Last, there was a little leftover reduction which I refrigerated in an airtight container and will use as a salad dressing later this week!

Ingredients

1 9 oz package Buitoni Wild Mushroom Agnolotti Ravioli (found in refrigerator section of grocery store)

1 cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup finely chopped walnuts

A few turns of McCormick Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder

Fresh ground pepper to taste

1 pinch sugar (optional)

Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions

Pour vinegar into a sauce pan and bring to a boil stirring regularly

Continue at a light boil until reduced to a syrup like consistency, add sugar if desired

Continue stirring

Add seasoning and olive oil and reduce heat to low setting for a few minutes

Toss the pasta with the vinegar reduction

Once plated sprinkle with chopped walnuts and serve