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Monday, April 25, 2016

Alpha Bakers: Rugelach

Unlike some of my Alpha Baker friends, I get pretty excited when I see recipes containing raisins. I love raisins. I would happily order, eat, cook anything with raisins in it, sweet or savory. 

Of course now that I've declared my love of raisins, I will tell you that I ended up making 1/2 recipe of these Rugelach without raisins. I wanted to try something different but I could not decide whether to choose the Chocolate Raspberry or Cran-Raspberry so I made a mixture of both. Mine is Cran-Raspberry Chocolate. And as you will see from the step by step photos below, I did not use seedless raspberry jam - the one we have is seeded and I don't bother straining them.

Everyone I shared this with love them and I had fun trying to pronounce Rugelach, which to me sounds very similar to Arugula and at some point when someone asked what it is, I happily answered: "Arugula!"

I've made the rugelach from Rose's Christmas cookie book back in 2012 (you can read the post here). I don't remember any details about that experience, only that it was positive and yummy. As I re-read my post back then, written by Jenn circa 2012, it sounds like I was confused by the explanation to roll the dough into a circle. Well, I can proudly tell you guys that I am not confused about this anymore so I think we can safely say that 4 years of baking since then have paid off? :)

These arugula rugelach are easy to put together and very yummy. I love that I can make the dough ahead as I made it one day then it sat in the fridge for a couple days. The combo filling is really good too, I can taste a bit of everything, though I think the chocolate overpower the cranberries a bit even though I didn't use the full amount of chocolate pearls. I think next time if I use chocolate at all I will only put a couple of pearl in each rugelach.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Alpha Bakers: Hungarian Raisin Walnut Tartlets

I love this pie. They are fun to put together, even though they take a heck of a lot longer than I had anticipated. The recipe reads pretty easy. Make 3x the recipe of a standard pie shell. I want to make 1/2 recipe so that means 1.5x recipe. Easy to figure out since the recipe is in grams. The pie dough came together pretty quickly. Then I read through the filling part and start mis-en-place all the parts, including roasting the walnuts. It does add a bit of to do the roasting, but I think using pre-roasted nuts adds so much more flavor in the baked result. Now the kicker in the process is the rolling of the dough. Having to roll and cut at least a dozen 4 1/2 inches circle takes FOREVER! I was glad I only made 1/2 recipe. In the end I had enough filling for 14 tartlets so I made 14 circles and had some dough leftover so they went to the freezer for future use. Btw, I now have 3 different pie dough leftover so I see a small pie in my future hehe.

I used 100% Whole Wheat Pastry flour in the dough and used almond milk instead of regular milk in the filling. We don't drink regular milk anymore so I have been subbing with almond milk and so far I have had no issue.

I also reduced the sugar by 10% in this recipe. Not that this recipe used a ton of sugar but raisins are really sweet. Even with the reduction, they are too sweet for my taste, so I ate 1/2 of them at a time. It is really good though. And my friends who I shared them with loved them. No mention of too sweet.