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Monday, December 19, 2011

12 Days of Cookies - Day 8 - Rugelach Bars


Okay, so I organize a lot of baking days with people.   For the last several years my friend Heather and I also got together for a Holiday baking day.   We pick 3-4 recipe and see what we can accomplish,  almost always never completing what we want to. Fun and ambitious  nonetheless.  This year we picked some awesome recipes - one of them being this one.  We have had rugelach on your recipe list every year and we always somehow push it off.   Not this year. I have been a little obsessed with one of my latest holiday magazines from Cuisine at Home.  If you haven't noticed  I think half of my 12 days of cookie recipes are adapted or taken from this magazine. It just has so many fun, cool recipes in it this year.  Lots of creative work going on at Cuisine at Home.  In the magazine this year there are these rugelach bars.  Same great cream cheese based dough but instead of rolling it into individual rolls, you turn it into a bar with dough on the top and bottom and the filling inside. A lot more time efficient, something Heather and I always need on baking day. 

Enjoy Day 8!

(Adapted from Cuisine Holiday Cookies)
INGREDIENTS:
Dough
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (1/2 lb) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 - 8 oz - package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Filling
  • 1 cup strawberry jam
  • 3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
Egg wash
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • granulated sugar
INSTRUCTIONS:
1) In a medium bowl whisk together flour and salt. 
2) In a large bowl or mixer bowl, beat together butter, cream cheese and vanilla on medium speed until combined and creamy
3) Mix in flour/salt until just combined.  Divide the dough into two equal parts, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into rectangles.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours or over night.
4) Remove the dough the from the fridge and make the filling.  In a food processor combine jam, apricots, almonds and cinnamon.   Mix until all minced together and combined.


5) Roll out each portion of dough into 9x13 rectangles, place in between waxed paper or place on small baking sheets and cover with saran.  Freeze for 15 minutes. 
6) Preheat oven to 375F.  Spary a 9x13 pan with non stick spray.  Place one layer of dough on the bottom of the pan, trim off any excess. 
7) Spread the filling over the bottom layer.  Remove the other rectangle dough form the saran or waxed paper. Press on top of the filling and trim off any excess.




8) Combine the water and egg in a small bowl and whisk together.  Brush on top of the dough and sprinkle with sugar.   Bake until golden - 40-45 minutes. 
9) Remove from oven, let cool and cut into any desired shape. 

The dough is buttery, flaky and a little tangy and the filling was not too sweet with a little bit of crunch.  It was also a super easy dough to put together.  The great thing about rugelach is you can change the filling in so many ways depending on what fruit, jam or nut you like.  Dried cherries or figs I have decided will be my next rugelach experiment.  I think next time I will also add an additional half or double of the filling.

MEG's RATING : D-EEEE-LICIOUS

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