If you missed these delightful treats during Hanukah this past week, the great thing about Rugelach is that they are popular all throughout the year and especially for the holidays! Rolled out delicate dough filled with a variety of ingredients, Rugelach has grown in popularity from a Jewish specialty to an American favorite. It seems as though every country has its own version and name for Rugelach and there are hundreds of recipe variations for this bite-sized goody. For the dough, sour cream or cream cheese is added to the flour which makes for flavorful dough that’s extremely easy to work with. These one or two bite morsels are generally filled with ingredients like sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, raisins, chocolate, or preserves with a little cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. Again, there are a number of ways to roll and cut Rugelach, but the classic shapes are crescents or slightly flattened squares. I know that Rugelach was baked up en masse for the Hanukkah celebration which ended yesterday, but there are plenty of chances in the days ahead to make, bake and deliver these delicious and delicate gifts from the kitchen for the holidays ahead!
This Rescued Recipe is so special to me, and I hope you love it as much as I do! It’s my Dad’s amazingly moist and flavorful Thanksgiving turkey stuffing, the memories of which are as savory and sweet as the recipe itself. I was always Dad’s little kitchen buddy, especially at Thanksgiving. He was famous in our house for his sausage, walnut and apple stuffing and I was his official apple-chopper. I never really like peeling, coring and dicing that gigantic bowl full of apples, but I loved being around my Dad. I would have happily peeled and chopped ten truckloads of apples if it meant chumming around with him in the kitchen. This was “our” day. Get in our way and you’d more than likely get caught up in the frenetic wake of our chop-sauté, chop-sauté. There was never a better place to be and not a spot on earth that was more aromatic than our kitchen at 6am on Thanksgiving morning. That’s when our restaurant-sized skillet came to life with the dance of the sautéed onions, carrots and celery, all waiting for the official apple chopper to focus on her task at hand. Finally (ten billion apples later) the magical mixture came together. The sausage got added to the onions, the onion mixture got tossed with the apples and then everything went into a massive bowl where the cornbread stuffing was waiting to be happily drenched in that savory goodness. Being Dad’s kitchen pal came with huge rewards. It always got me to the head of the Thanksgiving meal line where I would “test and approve” spoonfuls and spoonfuls and spoonfuls of stuffing right out of the hot bird. So today, just a few days away from that family feeding frenzy we call The Thanksgiving Feast, I proudly share my own treasured Rescued Recipe with you. I’m so very thankful that, in all those years, Dad never once let me know how much I really just got in his way.
All I have to say is “chewy, sink your teeth into chocolate chip cookie” and I’ve gotcha, right?
The Cookie Swap Season has officially begun, and today I’m starting with the Granddaddy of the Holiday Cookie Exchange – rich and chewy homemade chocolate chips. This recipe, from Wendy Putler, is one of the best we’ve ever rescued, made with whole wheat and real butter. Here’s Wendy’s story and her scrumptious step-by-step creation.
“One day I was visiting with another mom while waiting for kids at gymnastics. We got on the subject of cookies and she said that she made the best chocolate chip cookies. I told her that I was sorry, but I made the best. We started comparing recipes and sure enough, they were the same! My mom found this recipe in the Boston Globe newspaper in 1964. The original recipe called for shortening instead of butter and extra water. I switched to butter and left out the water, and I liked them even more. Over time they started coming out flatter. (I don’t know if butter has higher water content now, but something changed.) So I started adding more flour. I switched to whole wheat, but when I substituted all the flour, we weren’t crazy about the taste. But using a portion of whole wheat actually made them better and chewier. My friends love them, and I give them the packages of the frozen cookie balls with instructions for gifts. That way they can make them later when all the other holiday goodies are gone.”
Wendy, put me on the “friends” list, and thank you for the recipe!
Would a girl like me, who loves to shake things up in the kitchen, pass up a recipe with a name like Earthquake Cake? Not a chance! It’s recipes like this that I hope to run across every time I buy old recipe boxes at antique stores. Sadly, more and more stores are discarding the recipes and just selling the boxes. But I’ll travel miles out of my way, hoping to find that over-stuffed, often disorganized, box of recipe treasures. Those were somebody’s go-to recipes, and many of them are now mine. It was in one of these old toll-painted, scuffed up boxes that I found a dessert that shook the earth and sent shockwaves through me… okay, that’s a little dramatic. But, actually, Earthquake Cake, I discovered, is fantastic tasting and a lot of fun to make because the center sinks and the sides rise, and in the end, it all mixes together into an ooey, gooey volcano of chocolate goodness!
In researching the Earthquake Cake, I found that it was categorized as a convenient “back of the box” cake and that had many recipes call for German Chocolate cake mix in the batter. Since the version in my old recipe box had “one rich chocolate cake mix” written on it, that’s what I opted for. But I think either a German Chocolate or regular chocolate cake mix would work just as well – it’s just a matter of personal preference. It goes together very easily – just a simple layering of ingredients. Finally, here’s your early Earthquake warning: as you watch the cake bake, it may look like a wreck as it shifts and bubbles over itself. But I can tell you one thing: you won’t find a fault with this lost and found Earthquake Cake.
It’s said to have come from the Yiddish word “rugel,” meaning royal. Rolled out, delicate dough filled with a variety of ingredients, Rugelach (pronounced Ru-ga-Lach) has grown in popularity from a Jewish specialty, baked during the holidays, to an American favorite, enjoyed all year long. It seems as though every country has its own version and name for Rugelach, and there are hundreds of recipe variations for this bite-sized goody. For the dough, sour cream or cream cheese is added to the flour which makes for flavorful dough that’s extremely easy to work with. These morsels are generally filled with ingredients like sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, raisins, chocolate, or preserves with a little cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. Again, there are a number of ways to roll and cut Rugelach, but the classic shapes are crescents or slightly flattened squares. I know that Rugelach was baked up en masse for the Hanukkah celebration which ended last Thursday, but there are plenty of chances in the days ahead to make, bake, and deliver these delicious and delicate gifts from the kitchen for the holidays ahead!