Last month, my Sisterhood was asked to provide eight dozen rugelach for the opening at the Montevallo Parnell Memorial Library of the 'Darkness Into Life: Alabama Holocaust Survivors Through Photography and Art' exhibit (it's open through December 4th).
It's a traveling exhibit so it's been several places and is booked for a while now, but it's available to be borrowed by schools, community centers, and museums across the US for the future. And if you're wanting to bring the exhibit to your institution inside the state of Alabama, it's free. Nice.
So anyway, of course I said I would bake those rugelach! It's a nice exhibit, and I know several of the Survivors (many of them go to my synagogue) - two of them are sisters whom I just love, and if you're interested, you can read their story here. One of the sisters, Ilse, is a fantastic cook and baker, and I'm making her matzo kleis tomorrow as part of our Thanksgiving supper. I'm in the middle of making around 20 pies right now for a church that feeds the hungry Thanksgiving lunch tomorrow. Pumpkin, pecan, fudge, buttermilk coconut pies, and maybe even some pralines if I really get going tonight. Doesn't it all sound so good? Smells good.
Well, back to the rugelach. Rugelach are one of the most popular Jewish cookies. One of the great things about these little cookies is the way you can 'personalize' them. A traditional filling is walnuts and apricot preserves, but I live in Alabama, so I'm using local products: pecans and muscadine jelly. Of course, white and brown sugar always make things taste good too. And golden raisins are nice...
Recipe - this makes four dozen rugelach:
2-1/2 cups flour - all-purpose, White Lily is great
1-1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks butter (16 tbsp), cut into pieces
8 oz cream cheese, also cut up a bit, to make mixing easier
2 tbsp sour cream
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecans, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup muscadine jelly (or whatever you like best)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 egg, beaten
quick splash of milk
I've got to get back to those pies - I hope you and your family have the best Thanksgiving ever!