When it comes to travelling or exploring a culture, what are you most interested in learning about? For me, it’s always the food. No matter where you go in the world, one of the most important aspects of any culture is food. That’s what I want to experience!
One of my favourite things about living in Toronto is that it’s one of the most diverse cities in the world. Toronto’s diversity is the reason we have an epic food scene. No matter what type of food you’re craving, there’s countless restaurants in and around the city serving up authentic eats.
Of course, even though I love to experience the foods from other cultures, some of my favourite foods come from my own culture. Then again, I’m sure most of us feel that way. Something that you may not know about me, is that I’m Jewish. I’m in no way, shape or form religious, which is why I don’t talk about religion on the blog. Since my family has been in Canada for many generations, “being Jewish” is essentially my cultural background. I know I’m biased, but in my opinion, Jewish food is delicious!
You might be wondering, what is Jewish food exactly? As you can imagine, it’s tough to define because Judaism is a religion and not a country. There are Jewish people all over the world, so there are some major differences in food preferences, depending on who you ask.
Nonetheless, there are certain foods that are associated with the Jewish community in North America. Some of my favourite foods are bagels and lox, matzo ball soup, corned beef sandwiches (actually, deli food in general), and rugelach. Did that last one throw you off? Well, the odds are, if you haven’t been to a Jewish bakery, you’ve probably never had rugelach before. Trust me, you don’t know what you’re missing!
Essentially, ‘rugelach’ are small crescent-shaped, rolled cookies. Traditionally, they are made by rolling a triangular piece of dough around a filling of some sort. The filling is usually some combination of jam, chocolate, cinnamon, or nuts. The dough is made with cream cheese and butter and it’s deliciously flakey.
Adding a Modern Twist:
I recently had the opportunity to partner with the iconic Canadian food brand, E.D.SMITH on a fun campaign. E.D.SMITH’s roots date back to 1882 and their jams and pie fillings have been a staple in the kitchens of Canadian bakers ever since. This year, the E.D.SMITH brand is turning 135 years old. To celebrate 135 years (and counting), they challenged me to choose one of my favourite traditional recipes and give it a modern twist. As you can imagine, rugelach are pretty “old school.” I’ve never seen them made with any unique flavour combinations or modern twists…until now.
Lately, I’ve been loving the ‘unicorn foods’ trend. Unicorn food is magical, whimsical, over-the-top, fun, and of course, very Instagram-able. Everyone loves to take photos of their outrageous unicorn milkshakes, bagels, cakes, macarons and more. In fact, I’m pretty sure the trend only exists because of Instagram!
I can tell you that traditional rugelach are delicious, but they definitely aren’t pretty! If you’re looking for delicious and pretty, I hope you give my unicorn rugelach recipe a try.
Unicorn Rugelach Recipe:
*This recipe is adapted from the Pleasures of Your Food Processor cookbook*
Yield is 2 dozen cookies
CREAM CHEESE PASTRY
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, cut into chunks
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. rainbow sprinkles
- 2/3 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2/3 cup E.D.SMITH Triple Fruits Field Berry Spread
- 1 cup white chocolate melting wafers
- 1 tbsp each purple, blue and pink sprinkles
- 2 tbsp star-shaped sprinkles
- 1 small tube of pink decorating gel
- Preheat your oven to 375. Prepare a cookie sheet by covering it with tinfoil and a generous spritz of cooking spray.
- Prepare your pastry by adding all of the ingredients into a food processor. Process all of the ingredients until a ball of dough forms around the blade. This should take about 18-20 seconds. It’s not necessary to chill the dough, so divide it into 2 balls and set them aside.
- Wipe down your food processor. Add the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon into the food processor and blend until the nuts are fairly fine. This should take about 12-15 seconds.
- On a well-floured surface, roll one of the balls of pastry into a 1/16” circle. Spread half of the jam over the pastry, leaving half an inch from the edges. Sprinkle half the nut mixture on top of the jam.
- With a sharp knife, slice the dough into 12 triangles.
- Starting from the outside edge, roll each piece of dough towards the centre. Each piece should resemble a small crescent shape. Place each one onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the rugelach are lightly browned.
- Let the rugelach cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Place some tin foil (or waxed paper) underneath the cooling rack that the rugelach are sitting on. This will be to catch any mess from the unicorn decoration process.
- Melt the white chocolate and set up the sprinkles next to the cooling rack.
- Take a cooled rugelach cookie and dip it into the white chocolate, allowing some of the excess to drip off. While the chocolate is still warm, add some sprinkles. Repeat with all of the rugelach.
- To finish, drizzle the top of each cookie with some pink decoration gel.
- Voila! Your unicorn rugelach recipe is complete. Enjoy! 🙂
Thank you to E.D.SMITH for partnering with me on this post.