Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Roundup

Well, who knew rugelach would be such a challenge to make? At least for me they were. Kudos to everyone for participating this month. Looking forward to our next challenge.

There is still plenty of time to post if you haven't yet.

January in February

Posted by - Nancy

Last month's challenge for Have the Cake was Rugelach. I have never made rugelach and I can't even remember ever really eating rugelach so I was excited to tread on this new territory. However as the month progressed I simply kept pushing this task to the back burner. There was always something else to do: gifts to knit, a house to clean, laundry, sewing projects. Then we traveled home for a week and I plain forgot to even bake the challenge.

So once I returned home on the 30th I thought I should get on with the baking. I started by looking for a good recipe. The recipe that was posted was a good one, but I am just not a big fruit baked in cookies fan and wasn't excited by the apricot filling. I decided to use a dough recipe by Ina Garten and it proved to be yummy. It included cream cheese which some of the other bakers used and raved about.

I decided to make a chocolate filling instead and made it up. I used a block of cream cheese, and a little bit of butter. Now I wanted to add some cocoa powder, however while I was digging in my cabinet to find some this happened:

The vanilla was sitting on the edge and I bumped it and it fell. The lid broke and it splattered. And to top it off I didn't have any cocoa powder. I had used it all up while making hot cocoa mix, so I threw that in instead. The first batch I made had the filling and some walnuts in it and they tasted good, but were missing something. So the second batch I used the filling plus some mini chocolate chips and pistachos. Sounds good right?

These were okay but would have tasted a lot better with salted nuts. Oh well. Anyway, I cut and rolled these and then into the oven for 18 minutes.

They baked up nicely and were perfectly browned when coming out of the oven.

So overall these were a very simple cookie to make. My husband has requested I make them again sometime. I think I will work on my filling though, the chocolate flavor needed to be kicked up and the nuts needed adjusting, but the dough was perfect and I am willing to tweak this recipe.

Gooey Chewy Rugelach

Posted by - Michelle

Hi all. Last day of the month, my month, and here I finally am.

So, as a tribute to my late grandmother and mother, both of whom were wonderful cooks, I chose rugelach as my selection. So many fond memories. I think I had hyped it up in my head so much that I was a little nervous about my performance. But, it turned out great and I think I made my Grammy proud.

I didn't actually use the recipe I posted either. Kudos to all who snooped around for something they liked better. I found a cookbook I had bought at TJMaxx all about Jewish Feasts. So, I used that recipe.
The dough consisted of flour, unsalted butter and cottage cheese. Yep, you read it right, cottage cheese. I refrigerated it overnight and then made them the next day with my husbands help.

I let the dough sit for a little while until it was more room temperature. Couldn't find my rolling pin so I improvised and used a bottle of blueberry table wine. (Blech!)
I divided the dough before I refrigerated it so I proceeded to sort of roll it out into circles. Yeah, that's not easy to do, is it? And who decided that 1/8 of an inch was the right thickness. I eyeballed it.

I used cherry preserves, dried cherries and walnuts for the filling.

The rolling was pretty good. Not too much oozed out the ends of each roll. The chunks of cherry proved a little challenging but I just tried to squish things back in with a pinkie finger.

Once they were all rolled, we sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar and popped 'em in the oven for 30 minutes-ish.

They were quite good. I took a bite and I was 8 years old again, in the kitchen with my Grammy, tasting of her hard work. I looked up and smiled, thinking I'd done her proud.

On to the next recipe in her box...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sweet and Savoury

Snowbound for today, decided to finally do the January Challenge at Have the Cake ... and realized that did not have enough of cream cheese for the filling; so boursin and green peas instead of cream cheese and spinach for a savoury pin wheel variation!
Followed Veronica's recipe recipe for the base but decided to keep the pinwheel shape.

*The creamcheese and choclate filling with the meyer lemon zest in the pastry did not go well with the 10 year old's palatte...

*It was not sugary or sweet but felt I should have toned down the meyer lemon zest a bit in the pastry/substituted vanilla and used the lemon zest it in the filling instead!

* Mixing the cocoa powder, cream cheese, sugar and choclate chip was not easy and I added 1 tbsp of milk to bind it all together.

*Plus I would perhaps chill the filled up roll a bit before cutting it to get the edges cleaner!

* Also found that the 20-25 mintues baking time was not enough for the inner pastry layers to get the time would be 30 minutes or more.
* Preferred the Savoury Boursin-Green Peas one over the choclate-cream cheese filling; the meyer lemon zest in the pastry worked well with the savoury filling but I would still tone down the amount to just the zest of one lemon.

For the pastry base
•1 cup margarine
•1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
•2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
•1/2 cup white sugar
• 2 tsps Vanilla essence/ zest of 2 Meyer Lemons [ I would tone this down a bit and substitute with the zest of one orange]

For the Sweet Choclate Filling
•1/2 (4 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
•1/4 cup white sugar
• 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
•2 tbsps dutch process cocoa powder
•1/8 cup milk choclate chips

For the Savoury Boursin and Green peas filling
* 1 Cup of green peas
* 2 tbsps Boursin Cheese
* 1 garlic clove finely minced
* 1/2 a medium onion finely chopped
* 1/4 tsp cummin seeds
* 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
* 1/2 tsp of white chilli powder or according to your heat level
* 1 tbsp of butter
For the Choclate Cream Cheese Filling
Again used the above method of mashing the cream cheese, cocoa, sugar, vanilla essence and choclate chips
For the pastry base
Used the above method of processing the cream cheese and margarine, adding the lemon zest, sugar and then the flour.
Chill it for at least one hour,
Then heat the oven to 375 degrees,
Divide the dough into two: one for the choclate and the other for the savoury filling.
Keep the other half in the refrigerator.
Roll one half into a 9 by 7 inch rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.
Spread the choclate mix evenly and roll it from the wider side,
Cut into pieces and place on a greased cookie sheet,
Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown on the middle shelf of the oven.
For the Savoury Boursin and Green Peas Filling
Heat the butter in a pan,
Temper the cummin and fennel seeds,
Add the minced onions and garlic and saute until soft,
Add I cup of peas and saute until soft, coarsely mashing it in the process,
Season with salt and chilli powder
Cook for a couple of minutes,
Add the boursin and mix well,
Let cool before filling.
Roll the base into 1/4 inch thick 9 by 7 inch sheet/rectangle
Spread the filling evenly and roll from the wider side,
Cut into pieces and place on a greased cookie sheet,
Bake in 375 degree oven for 45 minutes until golden brown and done.

Posted by -Shri

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thank you Dorie

Posted by -Chaya

I finished my cooking, cleaned up and thought I would blog a while and post my rugelach results.  Suddenly, I realized, I am hosting Presto Pasta Nights.  I have done it before and while it is loads of fun, it takes time to do.  Then, I started berating myself for not making the rugelach, earlier in the month, as if that would help the situation.

All of a sudden, there were fireworks ----- maybe, maybe, maybe Dorie Greenspan would have her recipe online.  Sho nuff, NPR had it complete and correct.  I am going to copy it for you.  It is a good recipe.

Sitting on my kitchen table for weeks, is Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie.  Since, I bake with the Tuesdays With Dorie bakers, you would think, I would have immediately picked up that book and found this recipe.  Nope, didn't dawn on me to do something so logical. As the month was coming to an end, I knew, I would have to make up my mind.  I had run off loads of rugelach recipes and I also have loads of cookbooks to use.  I have some excellent Baking Books that I want to use more often and I would bet that almost all of them have rugelach recipes in them.

A few days ago, I finally spotted Dories book, which I looked at breakfast, daily.  I have been baking from that book, almost every week.  Please, someone remind me, when the new recipe is announced, to make Dorie, my go to book.  If you don't have her book and are in the market for an excellent baking book, I think, this is the one.  This is, by far the best cookbook (baking) that I have. 

The only aspect of this that was challenging for me, was the wait time, between steps.  I am the gal who wants to have a recipe on the table in a half an hour.  One evening, I made the dough and divided it, into two packages.  Into the fridge, it went. The next morning, I was raring to go and something came up and I had to ignore that dough that was screaming for attention. 

After work, out it came and I patiently made the filling and rolled the dough, perfect rectangle. Yes, it was to be a circle.  Then, I spread the filling, another rectangle and came to the rolling the triangles.  It went well but with all the oozing, later, the shapes lost something in the translation.  I could not care though.  These were the most delicious cookies.  The oozing cooked up into the tastiest edges (like a lace cookie)

I made the first batch with apricot preserves, dried apricots, walnuts and chocolate.  I had leftover chocolate and apricot preserves so I used them and I used golden raisins, this time, with additional walnuts.  Both were good.  I am keeping far from them.  I think I could demolish them, in one sitting.

Dorie's Rugelach
For the Dough

4 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces  
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold margarine, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts because they were already chopped)
1/4 cup plump, moist dried currants (I cut up dried apricots into small pieces and used that)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, (I used my new immersion blender to chop up the chocolate - what a blessing - it was easy and took a few seconds and came out just right.)
For the Glaze  (I completely forgot this for the first batch.  I put the second batch in the oven and then remembered. I once again had not put it on.  At this point, I was too tired to fuss so I sprinkled some cinnamon and some chocolate shreds on the cookies.)

1 large egg
1 teaspoon cold water
2 tablespoons sugar, preferably decorating (coarse) sugar

For the Filling

2/3 cup raspberry jam, apricot jam or marmalade
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Makes 32 cookies

TO MAKE THE DOUGH: Let the cream cheese and butter rest on the counter for 10 minutes — you want them to be slightly softened but still cool.

Put the flour and salt in a food processor, scatter over the chunks of cream cheese and butter and pulse the machine 6 to 10 times. Then process, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, just until the dough forms large curds — don't work it so long that it forms a ball on the blade.

Turn the dough out, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each half into a disk, wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 day. (Wrapped airtight, the dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.)

TO MAKE THE FILLING: Heat the jam in a saucepan over low heat, or do this in a microwave, until it liquefies. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.  (I microwaved the cinnamon and sugar with the apricot preserves because I did not read carefully but it came out just fine.)

Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. (Silicone baking mats are great for rugelach.)

TO SHAPE THE COOKIES: Pull one packet of dough from the refrigerator. If it is too firm to roll easily, either leave it on the counter for about 10 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pin. (this is what I love about Dorie.  She is practical.  She knows that some of us are not going to wait so she gives us solutions.)

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 11- to 12-inch circle. Spoon (or brush) a thin gloss of jam over the dough, and sprinkle over half of the cinnamon sugar. Scatter over half of the nuts, half of the dried apricots and half of the chopped chocolate. Cover the filling with a piece of wax paper and gently press the filling into the dough, then remove the paper and save it for the next batch. (Wax paper is a great idea.  Paper was covered with ooze so I invested in a second sheet of parchment paper.)

Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 wedges, or triangles. (The easiest way to do this is to cut the dough into quarters, then to cut each quarter into 4 triangles.) Starting at the base of each triangle, roll the dough up so that each cookie becomes a little crescent. Arrange the roll-ups on one baking sheet, making sure the points are tucked under the cookies, and refrigerate. Repeat with the second packet of dough, and refrigerate the cookies for at least 30 minutes before baking. (The cookies can be covered and refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to 2 months; don't defrost before baking, just add a couple of minutes to the baking time.)

GETTING READY TO BAKE: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

TO GLAZE: Stir the egg and water together, and brush a bit of this glaze over each rugelach. Sprinkle the cookies with the sugar.

Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until they are puffed and golden. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool to just warm or to room temperature.

STORING: The cookies can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months.

Chocolate & Cranberry Rugelach

Posted by - jen @pieces of me

Anyone who makes these and does not go a bit bonkers and manages to make them look pretty and not have the kitchen be covered in flour is a ROCK STAR!

This was a challenge for sure!!

I used Joanne's recipe and advice as well as some advice from Sugar Plum Fairy. SO thank you ladies!

Cranberry & Chocolate Rugelach

Chocolate & Cranberry Rugelach

1 cup butter, room temp
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
raspberry preserves
dried cranberries
chocolate chips

I used one egg and some milk for the wash

Making these bad girls was time consuming and extremely MESSY!!
I think I had flour in my darn nose!!

The shapes did not come out as I would have liked them to but not bad. I made triangle ones and round ones, ha!


They were so delicious and that is what matters so I am happy with that, but I have one disc left I could not make, I was so beat from the first one and my kitchen was HOT. Not sure what to do with the dough now. I really don't think I will ever make these again, sorry! ha!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rugelach despair

Posted by -Sue
I'd never made rugelach before this challenge and, trust me, I'll never make them again!! I looked at a lot of recipes online, as I usually do, and came up with a yummy sounding recipe with cream cheese pastry and apricot filling. Well, they were yummy, but I haven't done a challenge that I liked less than this one. I had no fun making them!!
Making the dough wasn't a big deal. The recipe said to divide the dough into 4 pieces and refridgerate for 2 hours or overnight. Being pressed for time, I opted for overnight. Mistake #1. The dough was so hard when I took it out of the fridge that it was like trying to roll cement. The directions said to roll the dough out in a circle an eighth of an inch thick. Well, as many years as I've been rolling pie dough I have yet to figure out a way to really roll anything that resembles a circle, so frustration was starting to set in. The recipe then called for spreading apricot jam on the dough, which I ended up doing with my hands, and then sprinkling said dough with a combination of chopped apricots and cinnamon sugar. OK, not too bad. Then the recipe said to cut the circle in 12 wedges. By now the dough was so soft that I had trouble cutting it (more frustration) . On to the roll-up part. Except the dough was soft enough by now that it didn't want to roll, and all the filling was oozing out as I rolled. By now I was ready to tear my hair out, and I had 3 more pieces of dough to deal with. Aha, I thought, I'll do the next 3 all at once. Mistake #2. Of course the last of the pieces was sticking to the counter, because now it was too soft. At that point I just wanted to get them in the oven and be done with them, but there was one more surprise waiting for me. As they baked, all that apricot jam oozed out of the rugelach onto the parchment paper and under the dough. And then it burned.
I had started out taking pictures, but half way through, covered with sticky dough and apricot jam, I quickly gave that up as a lost cause. Because the dough was so soft it really didn"t "roll", so I ended up with kind of flattened looking things. Not pretty. My only consolation was that they did taste good, but I'm not sure all that aggravation was worth it! I'm hoping Feb's challenge won't make me quite so nuts!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rugelach with Cream Cheese Filling

Since my husband doesn't care for apricots or raisins, I decided to take a poke around the internet and see what other sorts of rugelach recipes were out there. And I found this very yummy sounding recipe!


  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup instant hot chocolate mix
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Beat the margarine and 1 package of cream cheese with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Mix in the flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, and vanilla. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Mix 1 package of cream cheese with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, cinnamon, hot chocolate mix, and chocolate chips. Set aside.
  2. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  3. Divide dough into four equal portions. Roll each portion of dough into a 10 to 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Spread a thin layer of the chocolate filling on each circle. Cut each circle into 8 wedges. Roll each wedge, starting with the wide end. Place the cookie point-side down on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

The dough was fairly familiar to me -- it's very similar to the dough I use for tart cookies, so I was unsurprised when I had to just get in there with my hands and mush it all together to get it properly mixed.
The filling, I found, mixed much better with a fork than with a mixing spoon. That way I could just sort of mash the cream cheese into the dry ingredients. I didn't spread it quite as far to the edges as I should have on this first piece, but I did better on the remaining three.

Cookies ready to go in the oven. They had a very long bake time, and I was determined to get them all in in one batch as a result, which meant moving one oven rack up a notch so both trays would fit at once.

Rugelach! The end result was quite tasty. I was worried they would come out very similar to my chocolate chip tart cookies, but the filling had a very different flavor. A lot less sweet, and the cinnamon was very prevalent.

The only problem I had was that nine of my cookies burned on the bottom.

All 9 burned cookies were at the edges of the sheet on the bottom rack. The ones in the center came out fine, as did the ones on the upper rack. So, note to self -- even if the bake time is 30 minutes, do two batches on a centered rack. Doing it right is better than doing it fast.

Posted by - Veronica

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chocolate Cinnamon Rugelach

Posted by - Rena

Well, sort of a success but not really.

I found a recipe online that was really easy. It included cream cheese, butter, flour and salt in the food processor. I put the dough in the fridge for about an hour and then got really lazy and barely rolled out a disc. It was way too thick!

Then I took out the two bags of chips that I bought and discovered that I really didn't pay attention when I was buying them. I picked up a bag that said mini kisses - which in my head meant mini chips. Not so much. They are mini Hershey's kisses which means that they are giant chocolate chips. Please note the size difference from the normal sized cinnamon chips. Hello... they make cinnamon chips! Who knew?! "They" being the people that make all things delicious.

After all was said and done, they were tasty but way too thick and the chips were really too big. I made a second batch the next night and melted the chocolate and cinnamon chips together and it was much better. I also took the 5 seconds to roll out the dough properly and it made all the difference.

Cream Cheese Dough

Cream cheese dough, unlike pie crusts and other pastry constructs, is almost fool-proof. You don’t have to worry about the weather and if you have a food processor, you can put this together in half a minute.

1 pkg, (8 ounces) cream cheese (or Neufchatel)
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
2 ½ cups flour
½ tsp. salt

Food Processor Directions

Put all ingredients into the bowl of your food processor. Using a metal blade, Pulse the ingredients until the cream cheese and butter have integrated with the flour in a smooth dough. This will take 10 to 20 seconds.

Cover the ball of dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to a day.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Nutella Rugelach

Posted by - Tori

In a throwback to our very first Have the Cake, Rena and I had great plans to bake together this month. That was, of course, until she tried to blow us both up with her busted oven. Luckily, we survived! That meant, though, that I was on my own for rugelach this month. In my fantasy life, I'm an impressively accomplished baker. In reality, though, I'm not only a novice but a busy novice and, accordingly, I sometimes take the easy way out. This was one of those months.

I decided to do a derivation on the posted recipe. It looked so easy, and I figured if it came out good I'd have an easy go-to cookie. My variation was to ditch the jam and head straight for the Nutella, because Nutella is basically happiness in a jar.

I made two mistakes. First was to spread the Nutella too thin. What was I thinking!? Obviously, a truth of life is that greater amounts of Nutella always equal greater amounts of deliciousness. But I ignored my instincts and kept the layer thin.

I also left these little guys in the oven a minute or two too long. After setting the timer for 20 minutes, I promptly got absorbed in an episode of True Blood. Todd and I were in the middle of a season 2 marathon, and between the vampires, shape shifters, and Stackhouses I temporarily forgot that I was baking. When the 20 minutes was up, I had slightly over baked rugelach.

These weren't bad. God knows Todd and I certainly enjoyed them. But they aren't a new favorite, either.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rugelach Schmoogelach

Posted by - Tina

Tomorrow, there will be 35 screaming 4 year olds with one less sweet to eat because of me.


(But only a little grrr, honestly. They'll have loads of cupcakes, so my guilt is limited.)

I used Michelle's Rugelach suggestion of the pre-made pastry, and thought I'd get all creative and do chocolate chip and raspberry. Well, they don't have chocolate chips at my local grocery store (?!?!?!) but I just got a huge bar of chocolate and cut it up. Cool. Then I got raspberry conserve. Yum.

I tried the first batch of 12 rolling them like little croissants. I made the 2nd batch like little jelly rolls.

Both batches ooooozed all the raspberry right out of them, which quickly chrystallized and got hard and sticky.

I ate one cookie from each batch and decided that I shouldn't subject children and strangers to somewhat yummy but REALLY UGLY very chewy cookies.

This one really frustrates me because I liked making these. I think I may try this again with crushed fresh raspberries and dark chocolate squares.

But that batch I will not promise to anyone. :)

Here are the croissant shaped ones. eek.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pecan Rugelach

22 medical students.

11 cases of beer.

5 bathrooms.

1 house in Jamaica, Vermont.

No. Running. Water.
Sometimes I read over these posts and I think. Wow. It is amazing that anyone believes anything I say. Ever.

And most of the time, you are probably right in harboring some disbelief. (Hint. I exaggerate. Sometimes. Slightly.)

But this time. I am a hundred percent telling the truth. The whole truth. And nothing but the truth. So help me God.

We drove up to Vermont on Friday night. Didn't get in until around midnight. Had a few beers. Some Everclear-spiked hot chocolate to calm our nerves after almost getting lost (Dear Vermont city planners. If you could make your street signs bigger. That would be nice. If you could actually have street signs on every street. That would be even nicer.) And went to bed, preparing ourselves for a big day of skiing ahead of us.

Saturday. Up at eight. Most people were out by 8:30. I wasn't actually skiing due to this injury that I've been harboring for, oh the past decade or so, and so I waited around to drive the stragglers over. We eventually headed out around 11:30, had a day of skiing/drinking cappuccinos (ahem yes that was me), and all ended up back at the house around 5.

Three showers, one bath, and one dishwasher load later.

There is no hot water. Fine, we kind of expected that to happen. No problem, we'll just wait for the boiler to get its act together.

There is no cold water. Odd considering it is approximately 20 degrees outside.

And then it dawned on us. No hot. Plus no cold. Equals none. At. All.

Interject mass chaos here.
Now we all have our own coping mechanisms.

Some of us sneak into the kitchen and immediately start doing shots. (Yes, it was only about 6PM at this point. I believe the line of thinking was, "If I'm going to have to pee outside, I had better be drunk while I'm doing it.")

Some of us spend a half hour in the boiler room trying to analyze which of the three filters (if any) could be the source of the problem. And then attempt to turn each of them off in sequence in the hopes of bypassing the one that is stopping up the system. To no avail.

Some of us experience what is commonly referred to as denial. Keep chugging that beer. In fact, finish a whole case. But remember that what goes in. Must come out. Laws of physics. (I didn't graduate from MIT for nothing.)

Some of us drive the quarter of a mile to the 7-11 down the road and buy ten gallons of water. Not going to name any names. But that may or may not have been me.

Yes, we all react differently. Sometimes. Very differently.

One thing we all have in common? When presented with a situation in which there is no running water. We all eat cookies.

So while Saturday night will forever be remembered as The Night We Found Out What Living in a Third World Country Must Be Like. It will also be referred to as The Night We Ate 64 Rugelach.

It's a good thing the water was fixed by noon the next day. Otherwise there would have been another trip to the 7-11. Followed by a lot of baking.
Chocolate, Cranberry and Pecan Rugelach
Makes 64, highly adapted from The Bon Appetit Cookbook

1 cup butter, room temp
8 oz neufchatel, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
raspberry preserves
dried cranberries
chocolate chips
finely chopped pecans

1/3 cup half and half

1. Beat together butter and cheese in large bowl. then beat in the sugar until light. Gradually mix in flour and salt and when the dough comes together into a smooth ball (you might need to help the mixer with your hands), divide into 2 equal discs and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Divide each of the discs into four pieces (for a total of 8) before rolling out.

2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Split each dough disc into four equal pieces. Roll out into piece into an 8-inch round. Spread 2 tablespoons raspberry preserves over each, leaving 1-inch border. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, then 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar and 2 tablespoons pecans. Press filling firmly to adhere to dough. Cut dough round into 8 equal wedges. Starting at wide end of each wedge, roll up tightly. Arrange cookies, tip side down, on prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart and bending slightly to form crescents. Repeat 3 more times with remaining dough disks, preserves, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, cinnamon sugar and pecans.

3. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Brush cookies lightly with half and half. Bake cookies until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely.

This is my submission to Have the Cake!