Shana tova! The new year has officially started and I’d like to wish those of you who celebrate, a happy, sweet and especially healthy new year.
When I was growing up my grandparents lived down the street from the synagogue. As soon as the final prayers were done on Yom Kippur, my family would file out of the synagogue and walk the half- block to their house where my grandmother waited for us with hot coffee and freshly baked sweet treats like cinnamon rolls or blueberry buns. We’d gather round the table for hot, milky soup full of vegetables that she grew in her backyard, beans noodles and lots of fresh dill. Then we’d often have smoked fish, maybe some knishes or kugel or blintzes. This is how we always broke the fast and I still try to have a freshly baked treat ready so we can continue the tradition.
The baked item changes depending on what sounds good each year. Sometimes it’s cinnamon buns, maybe a babka, blueberry buns or something like these Orange Chocolate Rugelach. These are a little involved, but the good news is that they keep well for a couple of days so you can bake them the day before.
My sister and I put this video together (along with others I’ll post later) to show you how to make them. These. Are. Delicious.
However you break your fast, I hope it’s meaningful and not too hard.
170 g bitter or semi sweet chocolate, chopped
6 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
zest from 2 oranges
Combine chocolate, butter and sugar in a bowl over a double boiler. Stir occasionally until everything is melted and combined. Sift cocoa into mixture and incorporate. Add orange zest and mix through. Set aside to cool while you make the dough.
6 Tbsp. warm water
1 1/2 tsp. dry active yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups (or 200 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup butter, softened
In a measuring cup, add the yeast and 1 tsp. of sugar to the warm water and let bloom (up to 10 minutes). Meanwhile, add the rest of the sugar, flour and salt to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and mix. Once the yeast has bloomed, add it along with the eggs and vanilla to the flour and use a dough hook on low to mix together. Slowly raise the speed of the mixer and let knead until the dough comes together into a ball, about 5 minutes — if necessary, add extra water 1 Tbsp. at a time until all of the flour is incorporated. We needed to add 1 Tbsp. to this batch. Add the soft butter and continue to knead with the dough hook until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Knead for until the dough forms a smooth, elastic call — about 5 minutes. Cover and set aside in a lightly oiled bowl. We use the proof option on our stove and leave it for 1 hour, or until double in size. You can leave it on a counter to rise, but it might take longer in a cool room (or it will double faster in a warm room).
Forming — it’s really easier to show than explain, so we recommend watching the video.
Roll the dough into a large rectangle on a lightly floured worktop. Spread half the filling over two thirds of the dough (if the filling is still warm and too runny, refrigerate for a few minutes, making sure it doesn’t get too cold and firm — if the dough is too firm to spread, microwave it for just a few seconds to soften slightly). Carefully fold the naked 1/3 over the chocolate filling (from right to left) and then fold the other 1/3 of the dough over so that the edges line up (from left to right). (Watch the video.) Place on a pan, cover and refrigerate for exactly 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, roll the dough back out to a large rectangle and repeat the above step, using the remaining filling. (Watch the video.) Place on a pan, cover and refrigerate for another 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove from the oven and roll out into a large rectangle. Trim the edges to make it nice and neat, then cut down the middle (horizontally) into two long strips. Cut each strip into narrow triangles (check the video!). You should get approximately 10 triangles for each strip. Roll each triangle from the long side to the tip, forming a small croissant (watch the video for shaping). Place the rugelach on parchment lined baking sheets, leaving space between them. Cover and let rise until doubled (another 45-60 minutes).
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. water
Preheat the oven to 350F.
When the rugelach are ready to bake, whisk the egg water together and brush each one with some of the egg wash.
Bake for 10 minutes, turn the trays and bake another 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
While the rugelach bake, combine the water and sugar in a small pot and bring to a bowl. Let it simmer for 1-2 minutes.
When the rugelach are golden brown, remove them from the oven and immediately brush generously with the glaze (use all of the glaze). If you have any questions, watch the video. 😉