cookies before baking_

I first met Cathy Barrow “virtually” back in 2009. We were both new bloggers. And frequent participants in the recipe contests run by Food52.

In the summer of 2010, Cathy and I made plans to meet up for lunch at The Spotted Pig in NYC. I recall being extremely nervous beforehand: I didn’t know if we’d have anything to talk about! Well, conversation didn’t end up being a problem…we gabbed for hours, and we have been good friends ever since. We’ve roomed together at blogging/writing conferences, we’ve had many more meals together, and I’ve spent the weekend at her lovely home in Washington, DC. And now it is with great pleasure that I get to tell you about Cathy’s newly published cookbook: Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving.

Cathy is truly a preserving maven: she is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the craft of canning. Her first book (I am pretty certain there will be more!) is both beautifully written and photographed (the photos were taken by Christopher Hirscheimer and Melissa Hamilton, the team behind the wildly successful Canal House). If you enjoy spending time in the kitchen and have an interest in preserving fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, canning beans and soups, and making cheese, I think you will love Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry.

One of the things I like most about this book is that it’s not just a collection of preserving techniques. It also includes numerous “bonus” recipes that show you how to use what you have preserved. Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Rugelach, which I made with 2 kinds of jam, is the perfect example.

I’ve sampled Cathy’s jams many times before this book was published and I know them to be exceptional, so I was excited to see her recipe for Straight-Up Preserves with Any Fruit. This is a brilliant recipe that works as a starting point for turning just about any fruit into jam, and Cathy gives many suggestions for herbs, spices, and other flavorings one may use to complement the fruit. With guidance from the book, I made Pear Preserves with Bourbon and Rosemary.

pears_

syrup dripping

pear preserves

Then I used some of the pear preserves (along with some of my Preserved Rose Petals) in Cathy’s rugelach.

dough and rolling pin_

2 preserves on dough 1_

2 preserves on dough

cookies in process

pear preserves + walnuts on dough

These rugelach are really fabulous and I will be making them again and again! I hope you’ll give them a try, and that you will pick up a copy of Cathy’s book.

Recipe for Rugelach

Yield: 16 cookies

Note that I omitted the breadcrumbs and sugar from the filling, and that I topped the pear preserves with chopped pecans but chose not to add nuts to cookies I made with the preserved rose petals. Also: I forgot to brush the cookies with the egg yolk before baking (oops!).

Cathy's favorite filling combinations are:

-Raspberry jam and macadamia nuts
-Apricot jam and almonds
-Plum jam and hazelnuts
-Pear jam and walnuts
-Bacon-onion jam (page 295 of the book) and salted roasted peanuts

Ingredients:

For the dough:

*4 ounces (110g) cream cheese, homemade (recipe on page 389 of the book) or store-bought
*8 tablespoons (4 oz., 100g) unsalted butter
*1 cup (4.25 oz, 125g) all-purpose flour
*1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

*1/4 cup (1.5 oz., 40gg) toasted nuts, finely chopped
*1 tablespoon granulated sugar
*2 tablespoons soft fresh bread crumbs
*1/2 cup (4 oz., 120ml) any preserves

*1 egg yolk, beaten

Directions:

For the dough:

1. To make the dough, cut the butter and cream cheese into 1-inch cubes. Place the butter, cream cheese, flour, and salt in a metal bowl and freeze for 30 minutes.

2. Transfer the chilled ingredients to a food processor and pulse until the dough forms a shaggy ball, about 20 pulses. Alternatively, cut the butter and cream cheese into the flour with a pastry cutter or two table knives to combine. Scrape the moist, sticky dough onto a floured countertop and form into a 6-inch disk. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a small bowl, mix together the nuts, sugar, and bread crumbs.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread the jam across the surface of the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle the nut mixture over the jam.

5. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the disk into 16 wedges. Starting from the wide end of the long triangle, roll each segment up and press on the pointy end to seal. Place seam side down on the baking sheet and place the pan in the freezer for at least 2 hours. (Once frozen hard, the rugelach can be transferred to zip-lock bags and kept frozen for up to 6 months.)

6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush the egg yolk gently on the tops of the cookies. Place another baking sheet under the cookie-filled sheet. (Stacking will keep the rugelach from burning on the bottom.) Bake for 22 to 25 minutes. The nuts and jam will have squished out a little and be a little messy; that's okay. The bottoms of the rugelach should be caramelized, not burned. Transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

7. Stored between layers of wax paper in a tightly covered container, rugelach keep well for 3 weeks.

cookies done 2

 

8 Comments

  1. 1

    Lynda — November 8, 2014 @ 10:38 am

    I just got a copy of Cathy’s book and I cannot wait to try the recipes. The rugelach are tempting me. It’s fun how F52 has created a blog community – the only downside is being so far from the east coast!

  2. 2

    gluttonforlife — November 9, 2014 @ 8:15 pm

    Winnie, these look so beautiful! Such a lovely tribute to Cathy and her wonderful new book. xo

  3. 3

    people are cooking from the practical pantry | Mrs Wheelbarrow's Kitchen — November 10, 2014 @ 3:32 pm

    […] Winnie Abramson & Healthy Green Kitchen bakes beautiful rugelach¬† […]

  4. 4

    Anne Kim — November 15, 2014 @ 2:17 pm

    Lovely blog, beautiful photos and clear writing. I appreciate how they all come together to tempt me to try this: perhaps for an alternative Thanksgiving dessert. The ability to change the fillings make it possible to try different flavors, for sure. My sugar-consciousness has eliminated for years the use of jams. However, I an still appreciate what you’ve produced here. Thank you. Anne

  5. 5

    Lisa — November 16, 2014 @ 11:52 am

    This recipe sounds so yummy. I may make these as Holiday gifts. Rugelach always brings back memories of my childhood. Love your blog!

  6. 6

    elizabeth @LocalSavour — November 19, 2014 @ 10:59 am

    Love this write up, recipe, and Mrs. Wheelbarrow! Well done, Winnie. :)

  7. 7

    eva@myfrontburner — December 8, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

    I’m a big fan of Cathy’s too. Love her blog and book. Very pretty post – the jams look so bright and fresh and I love how you own up to forgetting the egg wash. They still look great!

  8. 8

    eva@myfrontburner — December 8, 2014 @ 3:36 pm

    Forgot to add in my previous comment that my mom used to live in Olive Bridge (near Stone Ridge- have you heard of it? I’ve spent a lot of time in the area and really loved it and there is some great food happening in them hills.