the BIG Christmas cookies project: #1 dark forest fruity rolls
Checking off the wishlist... :P last week I was in vacation from work, not that I wanted it they just gave it to me :D so once I figured I would not travel, I chose plan B - to bake. Luckily I had people to support me in this idea. First order came from Lia - the friendly smiley person who dealt with all my HR stuff in the company ever since I was an intern in February. So, I would like to thank her again for the chance and the opportunity she gave me to be creative with the sweets to prepare. I came up with rolls... with forest fruits... almonds... cinnamon sugar... raisins and, and, and needless to say they taste addictingly good :)
Forest Fruit Rolls/Christmas style
(adapted from apricot walnut rugelach)
(makes 50-60 rolls)
230g cream cheese
3 tbsp milk
230g butter soft (in cubes)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
+9 tblp for the topping and filling
1 tsp vanilla extract
the peel of one orange (grated)
2 cups all purpose flour
20g cinnamon sugar
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup chopped almonds
300g forest fruits jam
for the eggwash: 1 egg+1tbsp milk
powder sugar for dipping in the end
The whole preparation requires some effort, but the end result is rewarding, plus I had so much fun preparing it all I hardly noticed there are several different steps in the preparation process.
1. The cream cheese and butter plus the 3 tbsp milk are mised with a mixer until a uniform cream finds itself in your bowl. The 1/4 cup sugar, salt, vanilla extract and orange peel are thrown in the cream and mixed again. Flour is added in stages allowing the dough to absorb it, In the final stage the dough is taken out, put on a floured surface and formed into a bowl.
2. The bowl is divided into 4 equal parts and subsequently each ball is wrapped in foil and put in the fridge for an hour (I put mine for the night, but in the morning had to take them out for at least 40mins to soften a bit)
3. Each ball is rolled out (for me in a rectangle), basically the longer you make it, the more rolls you will have. Then two large tablespoons of jam are spread along the dough (don't miss the angles)...
4. The filling in two parts I suggest: in a small bowl 6tbsp brown sugar together with the cinnamon sugar are mixed. Another bowl takes the chopped almonds (slightly baked on a pan before that) and raisins. After that the filling has to be sprinkled upon the jam. I first sprinkled sugar and then almonds/raisins, pressed them a little and I am ready to cut.
5. With a sharp knife you decide how thick to cut the lines, the thinner the more rolls, the thicker more indulgence for everyone. A ready roll is a colourful swirl that is put with the edge down on a baking tray lined up with baking paper.
6. We brush with eggwash and sprinkle little bit of sugar on top for a shiny look.
7. Baking takes 15-20mins in a 175C pre-heated oven. Then they have to cool down.
Since the jam rebels against the hot oven and decided to flow out, you may have caramelized bottoms,plus some of the rolls fell down because they were too high (still edible though). That is why I recommend not to make them too high - the smaller are more stable in the oven. In the end after they are cooled down it is a good idea to dip them in powder sugar to kill the jam caramel and also to sweeten them a bit (these are perfect for not-too-sweet lovers).
After completely cooled down, it is good if they are kept in an air tight box until eaten. The taste also better with time if you can let them ripen for 2-3 days. To be kept in a comparatively cool place. Speaking of boxes, I discovered this adorable one, it even has a house and bird details on the handle and the snowmen drawn on it are the cutest! :)
Next time - another filling, cause I definitely want to have a batch and eat it all, yes all! :)