I'm sure most people know what a rugelach is. Or perhaps not?
I had never heard of it before.
We were offered them as an option for dessert one night. I was told I had to give it a try. Of course, I never refuse a new sweet treat - especially in cookie form. The best thing about cookies that are small is that if you don't like it you don't waste a lot and you aren't tasting it for hours later.
Yet not tasting it hours later, these rugelach left my mouth watering for more hours later. If you don't know, here is a rugelach:
|Photo via Flikr: Neil W Strathearn|
The beauty of rugelach is the swirled pastry that cushions the filling. It's not too sweet, not bland, and when frozen (as we had it) it's cool, crunchy, crumbly, and carries it's more flavorful filling friend. The pastry just felt like I could pick layers off as I would a fresh croissant roll from the bakery - which makes sense because (as wiki says) rugelach and the croissant may share an ancestor, and before they're cut the rugelach are usually in a similar croissant shape from rolling a triangle of dough.
Anyone who knows me will be shocked by this: I actually liked the raspberry more than the chocolate.
... let me give you a moment to take that in.
The fluffy pastry though was perfect for that light fruity flavor. It was like sweet jam giving those bright flavors to toast. Not to mention I was on a fruit kick from all the delicious cherries, apples, and fruits we had in Delaware. The chocolate might be better, and sweeter, if not actually frozen. It fell flat for me due to the lack of pop in contrast to the pastry. Instead I knew there was that bit of chocolate, but it was closer to the hard inner chocolate of a Panera bread pastry than the bright pop of flavor this cookie called for.
These Rugelach came in a nice big container from Harris Teeter. It was convenient so I could nibble on a few each day. They were delicious in vanilla ice cream (which softened the chocolate filling a bit) as well as perfect nibblers for a picnic
Since rugelach are Jewish pastries, I'd like to see if "The Bagel" on Broadway has any and give them a second taste test. If you've any tips or tried any in Chicago, let me know! The corner bakery has also gotten great reviews of their rugelach on yelp. So give these treats a taste, especially since there's probably a hundred other flavors in store for everyone.