Friday, December 4, 2009
Dates Chocolate Rugelach , a Pastry for Peace
Too many tears have flowed. Too much blood has been shed. All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace be upon them) joined in prayer. - President Obama
Can food bring people together?.Evidently it does ,irrespective of our faiths and beliefs who can resist these delectable pastries?.In short food brings joy ,mends relations and fosters love.
Pastries for peace is a food event organized by Rosa of Rosa's Yummy Yums to bring peace in Middle East through the most loved "Pastries".4 days past the deadline of the event,I'm late in making the post,but I'm hopeful dear Rosa would accept this late entry.
Coming to the pastry I fell in love with instantly,the Rugelach.These morsels of love are a traditional treat for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.Made with cream cheese , butter and fruity filling these are totally addictive.I use the naturally sweet dates combined with dark chocolate and cocoa,these are not overwhelmingly sweet,the crust is melt-in-the-mouth delicious despite cutting down on half the butter and using lower fat cream cheese.A perfect treat for any holiday.
Recipe adapted from CIA Culinary Intelligence
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour(or use fine ground wheat flour)
8 ounce low fat cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling
6-8 medium Soft Dates(or use a cup of any fruit preserve)
1 teaspoon unsweetened Cocoa powder
1/2 cup dark chocolate,chopped
1/2 cup toasted pecans or walnuts
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Make the Dough
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a food processor, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed, about 2 minutes. On low speed, mix in the sifted dry ingredients(flour mixture) until just combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed to blend evenly. Wrap the dough tightly and chill until firm, 15–20 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to an even thickness of 1 inch and fold in thirds, like a letter. Wrap the dough and let it rest for at least 1 hour and up to overnight in the refrigerator.
To make the filling
Combine the toasted nuts,cinnamon and chocolate, if using, in a food processor and chop, pulsing the machine on and off, until an even, coarse paste forms.Add the dates and blend until well combined.
Shape and Bake
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or line them with parchment paper.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each into a 10-inch round. Spread one-fourth of the filling over each round,then cut each into 16 or fewer wedges depending on the size of the pastry desired. Roll the wedges up starting with the wide end.
In batches, bake until the cookies are a light golden brown, rotating the pans as necessary to bake evenly, 25–30 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely before serving.
Posted earlier Kunafa, the Sweet Arabic pastry ,is also an entry for Pastries for peace.