Sunday, December 18, 2011

GF DF Chocolate Walnut Rugelach

Sadly, I don't think I had the opportunity to taste a rugelach until I was in my twenties, when I was working in a coffee shop. There was a little display case with fresh muffins and three or four different kinds of rugelach. Sometimes, if we were lucky, a piece would get too crumbly to sell and one of us would be forced to eat it. Sometimes, if one of us was having a rough day, several of the rugelach would have "accidents." This was how I discovered that although I liked the apricot rugelach, the chocolate nut was my favorite. From then on, the other flavors were relatively safe.

Years later, I met Eric, moved to Los Angeles and discovered the world of Jewish delis. So many rugelach! Even after we were done eating, there was still an opportunity to shop for sweets while waiting in line to pay our bill. After 2005, all I could do was window-shop or watch other people enjoy the treats now forbidden to me. I never thought I'd actually be able to make them myself. It looked so difficult.

I've made them twice now. The first time was a little rough because I had no idea what to expect, but after a little practice, it turned out to be fairly easy. My mom and step-father taste-tested and approved them, although Stuart kept forgetting whether it was a kugel or a rugelach or a latke. All those new words can get a little confusing if you throw them at an unsuspecting person all at once. I think, in the end, he settle on calling them rugels. Close enough. (A quick google search revealed that he's sort of right. Rugal=folded.)

The original recipe calls for potato flour, but since potatoes don't like my friend Amy, I try to keep the potatoes away when I can. I'd like to try the recipe with something else besides cornstarch, because I have another friend who doesn't eat corn, but I didn't have time to experiment too much. Maybe next week.

GF DF Chocolate Walnut Rugelach (adapted from Gluten Free Girl)
For the dough:

1/2 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup cornstarch

1/4 tsp kosher sea salt
2 tsp xanthan gum
4 oz. coconut milk (the thick part)
4 oz. buttery spread
1 egg
1 tbsp water

For the filling:
1 1/4 cup walnuts
1 cup DF GF chocolate chips
1/4 cup apricot spread

Combine the dry ingredients by putting them in a food processor and pulsing a few times.  Add the coconut milk and buttery spread and mix until it starts to form giant curds.

Divide the dough in half and shape each into a ball. Cover each dough ball with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge for about 15 minutes so that they are hard enough to shape more easily.

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Combine all the ingredients for the filling in a food processor and blend until it forms a paste. 

Roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper. Try to roll it out in the shape of a rectangle, but if the dough decides to go in different directions than planned, just tear off the offending pieces and smoosh them where they were supposed to go. Even it out again with a rolling pin. To make a nice rectangular shape, cut off the rough edges with a knife and save the extra dough bits for later.

Spread the filling over the dough, leaving about a half inch of space at the ends. To roll the dough, lift up the parchment paper a bit and encourage the dough to roll forward. Once the edge has lifted off the paper, use your fingers to gently roll the dough. Be careful not to roll too tightly or the dough might separate and leave little holes (which can be patched up with the reserved dough).

Make an egg wash by mixing the egg and water together. Brush the logs with the wash and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until the tops are slightly golden brown. When the logs have cooled, cut them into slices. Tip: Run a sharp knife under very hot water. This keeps it from flaking so much when you slice them.

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