Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A version of rugelach

or rugulach, rugalach, ruggalach, rogelach, rugalah, rugala

I made a few alterations to this Jewish treat that traditionally calls for walnuts and golden raisins. This is far and away my favorite thing to bake, it's so simple and a total pleasure to prepare.
Tell me what you think.


yield: Makes about 44 cookies


* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
* 8 oz cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 cup plus 4 teaspoons sugar
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1 cup apricot preserves or raspberry jam
* 1 cup loosely packed dried cherries, blueberries and cranberries, chopped
* 1 1/4 cups ground hazelnuts (1/4 lb)
- Milk for brushing cookies
- Organic sugar for sprinkling


Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined well. Add flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Gather dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap, then flatten (in wrap) into a roughly 7- by 5-inch rectangle. Chill until firm, 1 to 24 hours.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of a 1- to 1 1/2-inch-deep large shallow baking pan with parchment paper.

Cut dough into 4 pieces. Chill 3 pieces, wrapped in plastic wrap, and roll out remaining piece into a 12- by 8-inch rectangle on a well-floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Transfer dough to a sheet of parchment, then transfer to a tray and chill while rolling out remaining dough in same manner, transferring each to another sheet of parchment and stacking on tray.

Whisk 1/2 cup sugar with cinnamon.

Arrange 1 dough rectangle on work surface with a long side nearest you. Spread 1/4 cup preserves evenly over dough with offset spatula. Sprinkle 1/4 cup dried fruit and a rounded 1/4 cup hazlenuts over jam, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar.

Using parchment as an aid, roll up dough tightly into a log. Place, seam side down, in lined baking pan, then pinch ends closed and tuck underneath. Make 3 more logs in same manner and arrange 1 inch apart in pan. Brush logs with milk and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of remaining granulated sugar. With a sharp large knife, make 3/4-inch-deep cuts crosswise in dough (not all the way through) at 1-inch intervals. (If dough is too soft to cut, chill until firmer, 20 to 30 minutes.)

Bake until golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool to warm in pan on a rack, about 30 minutes, then transfer logs to a cutting board and slice cookies all the way through.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Happy Christmas Day!

I couldn't get the innernet working yesterday so today, today, a couple of posts.

I hope you all had a festive Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and today you're enjoying a relaxing day of Boxing.

On this sunny, chilly day I'll be cooking with this fellow.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Little Quilting

making needle cases for christmas presents.

look at these.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Great Ideas

Gorgeous books from Penguin in the Great Ideas Series 1, 2, 3 & 4 featuring letterpress covers designed by David Pearson who also designed the Pocket Penguins.

A good interview with him can be found here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

He Just Counts the Wings

The one and only Charley Harper.

A delightful weighty new book on his work put together by Todd Oldham and published by Ammo Books.

(T. O. also put out this handsome number through Ammo).

petered out

Alice has done so well traveling. Last night after a good play session she found this foot stool with her blanket and my sweater on it and quietly curled up for a sleep.

Today I'm making a shopping list for christmas baking: jam thumbprints, hazelnut shortbread, pecan tarts and cardamom pistachio cookies.
Maybe a chocolate cake as well.

Hazelnut Shortbread

Yields about 20

1 cup organic pastry or spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted organic butter, room temperature
1/3 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup finely ground husked toasted hazelnuts (about 2 ounces)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 ounces organic dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup coarsely chopped husked toasted hazelnuts

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in 1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture until just combined.

Shape dough by tablespoonfuls into 3-inch-long logs. Place on prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies until light golden brown around edges, about 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool cookies completely.

Stir milk chocolate in top of double boiler over barely simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Place 1/3 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts in small bowl. Dip 1 end of cookie into melted chocolate, then into coarsely chopped hazelnuts. Return to rack. Repeat with remaining cookies. Let stand until chocolate is set, about 1 hour.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Very Little Pair of Duffle Mittens

for Henry Arlo Buckler.

I apologise for the delay in posting, I've been traveling a bit and things have been busy but settling now so I can get back to regular posting this week.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How Little He Is

and carved out of a giant bone taken from the body of a whale
... in the Northwest Territories.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Inuit Packing Doll I

From Holman, NWT.

She wears a parka ("amauti"), boots and mittens.

(wool duffel, wool embroidery, beaver fur, moosehide, sealskin, fabric)

. . .

Below, a woman and her family in Northern Greenland, 1948