Blogging while my challah bakes in a stolen moment on a busy school-day work-day Friday…
There are 2 schools of thought when it comes to rogelach (well, besides the totally OTHER school of thought that pronounces them “rugelach” thus causing both mirth and confusion when discussing the vegetable called arugula)… where was I?
Oh, yeah. 2 schools of thought: creamy or yeasty. Many recipes call for cream cheese, butter, etc. This gives a very nice, rich dough that is sometimes flaky, but is more “new world” than traditional, in my opinion. “Old world” is to make a pareve treat you can actually eat following a good meaty Shabbos meal.
(“Awesome new world” is to think of these not as PAREVE but as VEGAN… oh, but start with an eggless dough if you want to totally feel the vegan virtue.)
Like kokosh, blueberry buns, and many other yeasted delicacies from the Ashkenaz tradition, rugelach were probably invented as a way of either using up challah dough or saving the baalabuste (aka Hindy Homemaker) the trouble and expense of whipping up another dessert. As far as we know, my Bubby had ONE dough recipe that she used for absolutely anything that required yeast – it was her challah, her blueberry buns, her pletzlach (that’s the plural of pletzl!) and more.
So when I’m stumped for a dessert, often I’ll turn to my challah dough, if I have extra sitting around, which I happened to this week, because even though I’m bringing challah to neighbours, I had a bit of extra dough in the bucket to begin with so there was plenty of dough to go around. That dough wasn’t sweet at all, but Auntie Sally’s challah recipe (doubled) calls for 2 whole cups of sugar (400g) so I figured I’d be just fine to make a dessert with the leftovers.
I thought about cinnamon buns – I made some a couple of weeks ago using this EASY coconut-based dulce de leche (aka caramel sauce) as a base for the buns – and they were completely parvelicious. But I figured it was time for a change and a slightly new technique: rogelach.
1. Roll out 1.5 lb leftover challah dough in a rectangle-ish shape on a well-oiled surface. (most people say “well-floured,” but who wants bits of flour hanging out in their bread or dessert???)
2. Spread evenly with chocolate filling (recipe below).
3. Slice according to this cool slicing diagram that I found over here:
Oops… this wasn’t exactly a rectangle, and some of my triangles look pretty goofy. By the way, I used my ever-amazing Pasta Bike to slice. This is my model, which it looks like they’re not selling anymore.
The current model looks more space-age, but it seems like it has most of the same flaws and perhaps a couple more. HOWEVER, I have never seen a tool that does what this does so well. All the criticisms on Amazon are true: the axel pops off from time to time, you can’t cut really narrow strips, the cutters are plastic. Nevertheless, especially since it came free with my pasta maker, I cannot really complain and would buy another in a heartbeat if something should happen to mine.
4. Okay! Now roll up your triangles, the same way you roll up those crescent rolls you buy in a tube. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. ;-)
5. Brush with beaten egg* and sprinkle generously with coarse sugar crystals or, really, whatever the heck you want to sprinkle with. (* Vegan Virtue Version: plan ahead and make a corn starch wash – mix corn starch and water so there are no clumps; heat gently until mixture thickens; add a bit of salt & sugar for flavour)
6. I baked mine at 350° for 20 minutes and then another 5 for good measure to get them nice and golden-brown, as seen above. Careful: depending on a whole bunch of factors, they may be tempted to burn on the bottom, so do not overbake.
* CHOCOLATE FILLING:
Found this recipe on the imamother forums when I was looking for something that remained more substantial than the cocoa / butter / sugar mixture I’d been improvising before (ie something that didn’t totally melt into a “memories of chocolatey” flavoured oblivion).
HALF RECIPE (full recipe was given on the forums, but it makes a LOT)
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup corn starch
1 cup cocoa
approx 1 cup oil
Mix all dry ingredients. Add oil till you get a spreadable consistency (a mixer is very helpful but not necessary). Mixture keeps a long time in fridge; will thicken slightly, but will still be spreadable.