Time for Book club again! If you haven’t read my previous posts on the subject, I absolutely love being in a Book club! The knowledge I gain about other cultures greatly expands my sense of the World.
I have never had much exposure to the Jewish culture. I guess where I originally came from, in a rural area of Michigan, there just weren’t many Jewish people. So it was interesting to read the book “The Chosen” by Chaim Potok. It is the story of two boys, from Hassidic and Orthodox Jewish sects growing up in Brooklyn near the end of World War II. It goes through the two sects reactions to the Holocaust, the differences in the two groups, and what growing up in each of the groups can mean in the lives of two young boys. I really enjoyed the book and our discussion of it at book club! A friend in book club that had background in Jewish custom and culture really made the discussion come alive!
But, back to the food.
I found the idea for the recipe in the Ina Garten book “Barefoot Contessa Parties!” I’ve recently acquired this book and I like it a lot! In it you’ll find recipes that are simple but elegant along with menus and recipes for many different occasions. I made of few adaptations to it and thought I would share it with you.
A Jewish holiday cookie with a light, flaky pastry wrapped around a filling of raisins, walnuts, apricot preserves, and brown sugar. Yum!
Ingredients; Makes 4 dozen
1 8oz package of cream cheese at room temperature
2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temp
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups AP flour
¼ Cup brown sugar, packed
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ Cup raisins
1 Cup walnuts, chopped fine
½ cup apricot preserved, pureed
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of milk for egg wash
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat with the paddle attachment at medium speed for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add ¼ Cup granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat for another 1-2 minutes at medium speed. Turn the mixer down to low speed and slowly add the flour, mixing until just combined.
- Remove the dough from the stand mixer bowl placing it on a sheet of plastic wrap.
Using the plastic wrap, between your hands and the dough, form it into a ball. I used a dough scraper to cut the dough into four approximately equal portions. Move each portion to it’s own sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour or in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, make the filling. Combine ½ Cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts.
- Remove wrapped dough from the fridge one at a time. Open out the plastic wrap. It should be about 11x11inches. Using a floured rolling pin roll the dough out to a 9 inch circle.
- Spread with two tablespoons of apricot preserves and sprinkle with ½ cup of the
filling mixture. Cut with a pizza cutter into 12 equal pieces. On my last batch I cut it into 8 pieces and I was happier with the result. It was easier to judge cutting 8 pieces, so they were just a little larger and more equal in size. Roll each piece up around the filling starting from the outer edge. Place on pan you have prepared with cooking spray. Once all the pieces have been rolled up refrigerate them for 30 minutes prior to baking.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Make the egg wash by beating one egg with 1 tablespoon of milk. Make a topping using 3 tablespoons of sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Brush the chilled cookies with the egg wash using a pastry brush. Bake
for 20 minutes until a light golden brown.
This recipe took a while because of the refrigeration times, but it was fun to make. If you decide to make this recipe, leave me a comment below letting me know what you thought of it.