Traditionally, Ruglech is made with a cream cheese dough that’s rolled out into a circle, spread with preserves and nuts, cut like a pizza into wedges, and then rolled up wedge-by-wedge into crescent-shaped cookies. Some people add a little sugar to the dough, while others do not. I don’t add sugar to the dough, because I think the cookies are sweet enough with the preserves. However, I do add some grated orange rind to the dough for added flavor. For J, I used two different flavors of fruit spread (no added sugar), strawberry and raspberry, together with chopped walnuts. The Rugelach are pictured in the upper, right-hand corner of the photo above.
I created a special pumpkin pinwheel cookie for J & K that has no added sugar. I make a pumpkin dough sweetened with a little Splenda and plenty of spices – cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Then I roll the dough into a rectangle and spread it with a heavy layer of chopped, candied ginger (yes, there is sugar in the candied ginger), dried cranberries, and walnuts. Then I roll up the dough into a log (jelly-roll style) and slice and bake. These pumpkin pinwheel cookies are fantastic for getting into the Fall mood. They’re pictured in the lower, right-hand corner of the photo above.
Cheesecakes with Tie Dye Bows
I made three separate, small cheesecakes in 6” cake pans. I lined the pans with tin foil, made a crust using chocolate graham crackers (store bought and containing some sugar), then made cheesecakes sweetened with Splenda in three different flavors: citrus, pumpkin, and espresso. After baking, to prepare the cheesecakes for serving, first I used a round cookie cutter to cut a round piece from the center of each cheesecake. After removing the center rounds, I cut the remaining donut-shaped cheesecakes into 12 slices each. I pulled the slices out to form a larger circle (8” or so, instead of the 6” diameter of the actual cakes), so they would be easy for people to serve themselves, then topped each slice with one of several toppings (detailed below). Finally, I put a tie dyed bow made out of white chocolate on top of the center round of each cake.
Here’s what they looked like.
Citrus Cheesecake with raspberry puree and dark chocolate ganache toppings, decorated with little chocolate peace signs and a blue and yellow tie dye bow:
Espresso Cheesecake with dark and white chocolate ganache toppings, decorated with little chocolate hearts and a blue and green tie dye bow:
Pumpkin Cheesecake with dark and white chocolate ganache toppings, decorated with little chocolate flowers and a burgundy and orange tie dye bow:
Cheesecake with Candied Oranges and Cranberries
J requested a plain cheesecake topped with candied oranges and cranberries for his private celebration with K. I made the same citrus cheesecake as that above. I made candied orange slices (using sugar), folded the slices into cones, then used toothpicks to hold the cone shapes in place. I let the cone-shaped slices sit in the refrigerator with the toothpicks in them for several days. Then I placed the candied orange cones on top of the cheesecake and pulled out the toothpicks. Voila! The cones held their shapes! I made some candied cranberries and put them in the center to create a beautiful flower.