Recipes

I made the chocolate rugelach pastries from The Great Canadian Baking Show

Anne T. Donahue joins the festivities during Holiday Baking Week and creates her first-ever batch of rugelach pastries.
(Anne T. Donahue)

The Holiday Baking Week technical challenge stumped the bakers on The Great Canadian Baking Show. As Judge Bruno explained, the task of baking rugelach tests a baker's problem solving, common sense, and technical skills. Each week, Anne T. Donahue attempts to recreate the technical challenge on The Great Canadian Baking Show and shares her (mis)adventures. This week she created some flaky pastries that she was looking forward to sharing (even though she didn't). Read on.

I'm going to be honest with you guys (my close and personal friends): Rugelach is delicious. I'm eating one as I type, and I swear I've eaten them (or one) before, and I swear I'm going to eat this entire batch in front of Mad Men tonight.

And I don't even like cream cheese. In the immortal words of Linda, "I have never done this — no idea."

Everybody? Let's do this.

00:00 — I am combining flour and butter with my hands, and there's nothing anyone can do to stop me. Also, I would like the small stamp James has with all his Rugelach knowledge on it. (James, if you're reading this, please mail it to me.)

00:05 — But between you and me, I hate cream cheese. I also hate sour cream. So, did I go into this dreading what I was about to do? Yes. I'm the only person on this planet who happily passes on cheesecake, so as soon as I saw the ingredient list I thought, "Why?" This was followed by an even more deliberate, "Dear Lord, no, help me" when I read that I'd have to combine it with the flour, butter, and salt with my hands.

And the sour cream. So much dairy. Pray for me.

00:10 — And it wasn't that bad! It wasn't that bad, and it's combined, and I've rolled the dough into two discs, and spoiler alert: I will only be making a chocolate batch because I live by myself and I hate apricots. And yes, I intend to eat all of these on my own. We discussed this already.

00:15 — And here's to making the filling. Guys! This is fun. This feels very holiday-appropriate. I'm going to force everyone I know and love to eat these, if I manage to leave any of them behind. Also, I am absolutely eating spoonfuls of melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon because I am an adult who makes her own choices and is fine with feeling sick later.

00:40 — I made the filling, I chilled the dough, I washed the dishes, I watched more TV, and now it's time to make and roll-out these bad boys. Somebody tell Terri that she was right! That you shape the dough into discs and roll out accordingly. That's why you can divvy them up accordingly. Terri, you were correct and never doubt yourself.

00:50 — None of these will look the same. I tried to divide them up evenly, but I failed, and who can get angry about that? I mean, a lot of people, probably. And the judges would probably have a few words about the way these are starting to look. But as long as they taste good, right? Isn't that why we're all here?

Anyway, I think I've made the whole new dessert James may have invented, and like he said: it will be delicious. (James, you optimist: teach me how.)

01:00 — Also, I used chocolate chips instead of chopping up chocolate because moving means never having the proper knives until it's too late. (As in, tomorrow I will buy the knife I should've had today.) But hey, Rochelle can't see me. I'm the captain now. This is my house.

Also chocolate chips are delicious.

01:05 — And into the oven they go! For ... half an hour.

01:06 — I forgot to put the egg wash and sugar on! THIS IS ME REMEMBERING. GIVE ME AN AWARD.

01:15 — And the second tray goes in!

01:25 — And I forgot to put the egg wash and sugar on again, but it's too late now, they're too warm, and you know what? I don't know. I've got nothing but a lot of egg wash leftover. And the realization that if I were to take the tray out right this second, I would run out of time.

01:30 — The first batch is out! And they look ... fine! They're okay! They're certainly not uniform, and they're certainly not perfect but they look better than the maple leaf cookies (lest we forget). I'm going to eat one.

01:40 — They were too hot to eat right away, so now I'm going to eat one.

01:50 — I've eaten three! They're tender and flakey! One for sure was under-baked, but it was still delicious and I will live with my choices. Which is especially appropriate because in this moment I realized that I am still lactose intolerant. And because I would never, ever lie to you — my close and personal friends — believe me when I say I do not care.

Happy holidays to us all.

(Anne T. Donahue)