Light the Lights-Day 2

cheddar fig rugelachIn my warm kitchen with candles twinkling in the window and figs simmering on the stove; I thought about holiday gifts.  Not the kind that come from the mall  but the privilege of having loving family and friends and joyous traditions to share.   

Tonight’s recipe is a new rugelach variation that uses the dough I always make but adds a local favorite ingredient.  I was reaching for the sour cream yesterday to make more cookie dough when I spotted a big chunk of Cabot cheddar.  With an evil grin I combined butter, sour cream, cheese, and enough flour to hold all that richness together.  Filled with walnuts and a homemade fig and tangerine jam, these cookies call for a glass of port and a little quiet time with my honey as the candles fade away with a hiss and a sputter.

Cheddar and Fig  Rugelach
makes 4 dozen cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup sour cream (do not use light or low fat)
2/3 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

8 ounces of dried figs cut into small chunks
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed tangerine juice
1 teaspoon tangerine zest
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Contreau
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup walnuts (finely chopped)

Sprinkle Topping
1/2 cup sugar
1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
6 tablespoons melted butter

Equipment: food processor, rolling pin, pastry brush, pizza cutter wheel, parchment-lined heavy baking trays

 Making the Dough

  1. Cut butter into the flour using a pastry blender or food processor until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs
  2. Mix egg yolk and cheese into sour cream
  3. Add sour cream mixture to flour mixture and blend until it forms a ragged ball
  4. Divide the dough into four even pieces and wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap
  5. Chill for at least two hours

 Making the Filling

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all filling ingredients except walnuts
  2. Cook gently until figs are very soft and juices have thickened (about 15-20 minutes)
  3. Removed from heat and cool slightly
  4. Process in a food processor to make a spreadable mixture
  5. Chill until ready to assemble cookies

 To Assemble Cookies

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Take one piece of dough and roll out to a 9” circle
  3. Brush dough circle with melted butter
  4. Gently spread  1/4 of the fig jam onto the circle
  5. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the nuts and a two teaspoons or the sugar/cinnamon mixture
  6. Cut the circle into 12 even wedges with the pizza cutter or a knife as if cutting a pizza
  7. Roll each cookie from the outside edge of the circle into a crescent shape
  8. Place the cookies on baking trays
  9. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle more cinnamon sugar on each cookie
  10. Continue with remaining dough and filling
  11. Bake for about 20 minutes until puffed and light golden brown

 Eat warm or room temperature.  These cookies also freeze very well.


One response to “Light the Lights-Day 2

  1. Wow!! That sounds delicious! Never came across that rugalach combination!! Very original and creative Robin. A good way to jazz up the holiday! Shulie

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