Celebration Rugelach

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Title: Celebration Rugelach
Yield: 30 Servings
Categories: Holidays, Desserts

Ingredients:

-----------------------------------PASTRY-----------------------------------
8 c Unsifted all-purpose flour
2 ts Baking powder
2 c (4 sticks) butter, softened
4 8-oz packages cream cheese,
-softened


----------------------------------FILLING----------------------------------
3 1/4 c Coarsely chopped walnuts
1 1/4 c Golden raisins
3 tb Sugar
2 ts Ground cinnamon
1 12-oz jar seedless raspberry
-preserves
1/2 c Apricot preserves (opt.)
Fresh ivy or other green
-leaves (opt.)

1. Prepare Pastry in 2 batches: In large bowl, combine half the flour and
baking powder; mix well. With electric mixer at low speed, beat in half the
butter and cream cheese until smooth dough forms. Divide dough into 4
balls. Repeat with remaining flour, baking powder, butter, and cream cheese
to make 4 more balls of dough. Wrap balls of dough in plastic wrap and
refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

2. On lightly floured surface, roll one ball of dough into a 12 by 10 ~inch
rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. With fluted pastry wheel or knife, cut
rectangle into two 12 by 5-inch strips. (Using pastry wheel, trim 1/16 inch
from outside lengthwise edges to flute.) Transfer strips to baking sheet or
large plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Repeat rolling and
cutting with remaining balls of dough, stacking strips between plastic wrap
and refrigerating as they are made.

3. Prepare Filling: Set aside 1/4 C each nuts and raisins. In food
processor fitted with chopping blade, process remaining 3 C walnuts until
finely chopped. In medium-size bowl, combine finely chopped nuts, the
sugar, and cinnamon. Set mixture aside.

4. Heat oven to 325'F. Line 1 large baking sheet with aluminum foil; place
2 sheets of foil crosswise an a second large baking sheet. Place one 9-inch
pastry ring (see Note) on the first baking sheet; place a 6-inch pastry
ring and a 3-inch pastry ring on separate sheets of foil on the other
baking sheet. With the tip of a skewer or toothpick, score outline of all
rings into foil; remove rings and set aside until ready to bake rugelach.

5. To make 9-inch rugelach, brush one strip of dough lightly with raspberry
preserves. Sprinkle 3 T walnut mixture and 1 T raisins to cover half of
strip lengthwise. Fold uncovered half of dough strip lengthwise over
covered half to enclose filling and make a 12 by 2 1/2-inch strip. Brush
top of folded strip lightly with raspberry preserves. From either end,
loosely roll up filled strip; stand, cut edges up, in center of 9-inch ring
scored on baking sheet.

6. Fill and fold 8 more strips of dough as in step 5; brush top of each
with preserves. With preserve-brushed surface facing center, wrap one
filled dough strip, cut edges up, around rolled strip on baking sheet.
Continue wrapping remaining 7 filled strips around center, pinching ends of
strips together, until ring is filled. Sprinkle outside of rugelach with
about 2 T walnut mixture and place 9 inch pastry ring around rugelach
spiral.

7. With remaining pastry strips, prepare 6-inch and 3-inch rugelachs
repeating steps 5 and 6, using 5 filled strips of dough for 6-inch rugelach
and 2 filled strips for 3-inch rugelach. Pat some of remaining walnut
mixture around outside of rugelachs, using about 1 1/2 T on each. Carefully
place pastry rings around rugelachs.

8. Stir reserved nuts and raisins into remaining walnut mixture. Sprinkle
over top of rugelachs, tucking nuts and raisins into the spaces between
pastry rings.

9. Bake 9-inch rugelach 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, 6-inch rugelach 1 1/4 to 1
1/2 hours, and 3 inch rugelach 1 hour or until center is browned and firm
to touch. With large spatula, remove 3-inch rugelach, still on foil, to
wire rack allowing 6-inch rugelach to remain in the oven until it is
completely baked. When baked, carefully transfer all rugelachs to wire
rack; remove pastry ring and foil. Let rugelachs cool to room temperature.

10. Just before serving, in small saucepan, melt apricot preserves and
brush over top of each rugelach. Place 9-inch rugelach on serving plate;
top with the 6 inch and 3-inch rugelachs. (If necessary, trim tops of 9 and
6-inch rugelachs to make level so tiers will stand securely.) Garnish plate
with fresh ivy or other green leaves, if desired.

11. To serve, cut 3-inch rugelach into 6 wedges and remove to individual
plates. Then cut 6-inch rugelach into 10 wedges and remove to plates; cut
9-inch rugelach into 14 wedges and remove.

Note: Pastry rings, which look like bottomless tart pans, can be found at
gourmet cookware stores. If not available in your area, order by mail from
Bridge Kitchenware, 214 E. 52 Street, New York, N.Y. 10022 or call (212)
838-1901. Country Living/December/92 Scanned & fixed by Di Pahl &

From Gemini's MASSIVE MealMaster collection at www.synapse.com/~gemini