Thursday, September 6, 2007

Shirley Gutkin's Strudel (Delicious)

I think my Grandma Millie must've been stoned when she typed out the index card for this recipe. Strudel? Maybe because of the way the original recipe instructs you to roll the dough into a loaf, bake it and then cut it into slices. But not me, these are obviously supposed to be rugelach, so I changed them around a bit and rolled them out the way my mom always did, and had some fun--I've always wanted to try them, but it was the kind of thing my mom would never let me help with--she usually made them for the holidays or company, so I had to be satisfied with watchful eyes. Not only are these one of the tastiest cookies I've ever eaten, they were exciting to put together, though I can understand why it made my mom uneasy. This morning I had a great time putting these together while listening to the Butthole Surfers and hanging out--two nice, young plumbers were over cleaning out the pipes in our toilets. *Cough*

Here's what the darlin's looked like pre-baking:

And afterwards:

I think my favorite thing about the way these cookies taste is the way the jam caramelizes in the oven. My mom always made her rugelach with almond pie filling (not vegan), and I remember it doing the same thing. I also love the variations possible with this recipe...endless!

Here's the veganized recipe, I hope you like them as much as me.

Makes 64 crescent shaped rugelach cookies, can be halved with no issues.
Mix Together for the Dough:
2 sticks (1/2 pound) Earth Balance Buttery Spread (not shortening), melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup Tofutti sour cream
2 1/2 cups flour (The first time I made this, I had to add more flour. Today it worked out OK. If the dough is too soft and doesn't hold together, add more flour in 1/4 cup increments until it just holds together--less is best. This should be a very soft dough, you don't want too much extra flour--plus it gets chilled for an hour in the fridge which firms it up quite a bit, trust me on this one.)

Stir mixture until it forms a ball.
Roll in a ball, cover and chill in the fridge for one hour.

For the insides:
16 oz of jam (I use a really good quality organic raspberry jam and it's heaven. The original recipe calls for a mixture of of orange marmalade and apricot preserves, but that doesn't sound good to me. )
1 heaping cup medium ground walnuts (or your choice, almonds would be good)
1 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
1 cup of raisins or chocolate chips (or white chocolate chips or other dried fruit...)

Preheat the oven to 325F and grease and flour a cookie sheet, or use some kind of Silpat thing.
Cut the chilled dough in quarters. Work with one quarter at a time and keep the others chilled while you work. Roll out the first quarter onto a well floured cutting board. With a well floured rolling pin, carefully roll the dough out into a circle (no need for perfection), that is about 1/8" thick. The circle should be about 13-14" in diameter.

Carefully spread 4oz (1/4) of the jam over the entire circle. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cinnamon sugar over the whole thing, then 1/4 of your ground nuts on top of that and toss with 1/4 cup of the raisins or chocolate chips or whatever doodads you've decided to work with. Oh so carefully, pat all this stuff down, mostly to keep the raisins or chips in place while you roll.

With a pizza cutter, carefully cut the circle into 16ths. Just like a pizza, ya know? First cut it into quarters, then 8ths, then 16ths. They don't have to be perfect.

Now comes the super-fun part. Starting wherever strikes your fancy, begin rolling up the "crust" end of a slice, keeping the edges centered as you go. Just like a little crescent. The pointy tip should become the top. Place on the prepared cookie sheet, and proceed with the next cookie. If you're careful, you should be able to get 32 cookies on a single cookie sheet. They rise in the oven, but don't really spread too much. This will help save you time, because they bake for an eternity. You can also assemble these in advance, put them on a cookie sheet to keep in the fridge to bake later. I bet they'd be great frozen at this point, too.

Bake for ONE HOUR, let rest five minutes and transfer to a cooling rack with a flat spatula. Do not wait longer then 10 minutes to transfer them, the caramelized jam is indestructible once it cools down and will concrete them to your cookie sheet.

My Grandma's directions say to sprinkle with confectioner's sugar, but I think that's over the top. She also typed "(Delicious)" on her card, so there ya go--I don't really know what to say about that!

On a side note, The New Orleans Book Fair is on November 10th. I've promised my newly authored friend Billy that I'll share a table with him at the fair--to sell my vegan cookzine, some knitted mole crafts and some recipes from the zine. That means I have from now until early November to put said zine together. I hope I can do it. I'm writing it here, so y'all can help hold me to this task. So far I've been knitting one mole item a day and as soon as my sewing machine comes home from the shop, I have plans for more fun stuff. If I post recipes here on Cake Maker, is it in poor taste to double them up in the zine? I think I 'll sorta have to do that, or I won't have enough content. Let me know what you think, please.

One more picture:



  1. Amazing Kittee!! Both you and the rugelach! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Of course it's fine for you to include your blog recipes in the zine. Let me know when it's for sale because I want to buy one.

  2. can't wait for the zine! the cookies look sooo good. and i think doubling up on some recipes is a-ok.

  3. Thanks for linking to Epicurvegan! I have been a fan of PakuPaku for a long time, and I love your new blog too. And I will definitely be trying these strudel - and checking out the zine :o)

  4. Those look delicious! I actually laughed because my granny used to write "x-tra good" and such things on her recipe cards too. I love grandmas.

  5. These look so beautiful!

    Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll!

  6. good lawd, miss kittee. i just gained a pound looking at those delicious wanna-be strudels. that is my kind of cookie.
    i think it's fine to double up recipes. or you could slightly modify them for the 'zine or the blog, which ever, you know? either way, make enough copies for me to buy some to sell at the herbivore store, okay?
    are you going to do art for the cover? i hope so!

  7. awesome birthday present, thanks! i'm going to be bringing my cookie jar over soon to be filled.

  8. we always used (and i still use) cinnamon and sugar and chopped walnuts. i make them every year at christmas. maybe i'll try to veganize some for karla this year. wonder if tofutti sour cream holds up in baking? maybe plain soy yogurt instead???

  9. yay, butterhorns!!!
    kim, what are you talking about re: the sour creme holding up, isn't that what kittee did?


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