I thought I knew how to make rugelach.
I’ve only been making them since I was shorter than the countertops and helping my Mom bake them every year for Christmas. Which means I’ve made them a minimum of oh . . . two dozen times??? Yet . . . there I stood in my kitchen staring at the little recipe card, my brain all a fuzz.
Hi, Mom? I’m making rugelach and I’m trying to remember if it matters which particular kind of cottage cheese I use? Full fat? Low fat? Small curd?
Oh, hun. I don’t remember. (She’s only made them . . . what . . . four dozen times? Maybe it runs in the family.) I’m pretty sure we don’t use low fat and I’d probably buy the smallest curd they have.
Ok, thanks! Running to the store! Love you, bye!
There is no such thing as “full fat” at the grocery store, so I buy the 2% cottage cheese, since it’s the one with the most fat. More fat = better dessert. Right? Small curd. I make it back to the kitchen with all the goods and get going . . . only . . . wait . . .
Hi, Mom. Sorry to bug you, again. All my recipe card says is mix. (Stellar note takers, aren’t we?) Blender? Beaters? Food processor? Did we beat the cottage cheese first to break up the curds?
Ummmm. . . . I’m pretty sure I use the beaters. I don’t remember if we break up the curds. Maybe? You could!
Erm. Well, I was thinking about using the food processor.
Okay. Thanks, Mom!
Yep. Definitely runs in the family.
Fortunately, everything came out perfectly, and I tested out a delightful apple butter rugelach for you guys. Do you guys still call your Mom when you’re baking? Pretty sure I’ll be doing it forever.
Apple Butter Pecan Rugelach
I’m not really sure where my family went awry, but we always called these pastries “meltaways.” Only as an adult did I realize that most people know these flaky, buttery “cookies” as rugelach.
Rugelach uses a shortcrust pastry similar to pie pastry mixed with some form of mild cheese in place of the ice water–traditionally cream cheese! This is a rugelach recipe without cream cheese, because my family always made rugelach with cottage cheese! The pastry dough comes together so easily in the food processor that you’ll be able to pop them out in no time and fit your favorite re-run in during the chilling times.
We traditionally made rugelach with a cinnamon sugar filling, but because I am THIS anxious for Fall to be here, I decided on an apple butter pecan rugelach. But you can pretty much wrap anything up in pastry and call it a win! Would it be overkill to start working on a pumpkin spice rugelach???