Rugelach with Cranberries and Pecans

I’ve always enjoyed rugelach. After discovering that the primary ingredients in the dough are butter and cream cheese, it is obvious why these cookies are so good. I found several recipes that had the same premise for the dough and a variety of different fillings. Armed with different recipes and ingredients that were in my pantry, I created a version of rugelach with ingredients we’d brought with us to the bush.  It came out delicious! The filling is a fruity complement to the soft and flaky crust.

Arctic Rugelach

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Filling:
  • 1/2 cup fruit preserves (I used apricot, peach, and mango preserves)
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped dried Craisins
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
Coating (applied just prior to baking):
  • whites from two eggs
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Beat in 1/4 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract. Combine the flour and salt; stir until well blended. Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and press together to form a ball. Divide the ball into 4 portions. Shape each portion into a flat rectangle, so it is ready to roll after being chilled. Wrap each rectangle in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a small bowl, toss together the brown sugar, 6 tablespoons white sugar, craisins and finely chopped pecans. Set aside.
  3. Take the 2 tablespoons white sugar and mix with the one teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside. This will be used to sprinkle over the top of the cookies before baking.
  4. Roll out each portion of dough into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the fruit preserves over each rectangle, then sprinkle each one with some of the Craisins & nut mixture. Roll up the rectangle, jellyroll-style, so you have a long log shape. Brush log with egg whites and generously sprinkle with the sugar & cinnamon mixture. Using a knife, cut each log into 12 pieces and set on parchment-lined or greased baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes at 350 degrees F in the preheated oven, until golden. Rotate the cookie sheet halfway through to ensure even baking.
  6. Remove cookies from baking sheet to cool on wire racks.
  7. As tempting as they will be hot out of the oven, let the cookies cool before you enjoy them. They’re better cool.

Yields: 48 cookies

Clearing the Pantry

The last day of school will be May 20. The food goal is to eat everything in our pantry by the end of school. Who knows what culinary creations may occur during this process. The pumpkin craisin bread came out delicious. Just out of the oven and barely cooled, half of one loaf is already gone!

Most of what we have left seems reasonable to eat and create with. I’m not sure about the 50 pounds of dried beans and bags of pecans and almonds. Stay tuned…