Probably because I've always been able to relate to the misfit.
That person who doesn't quite look or act like everyone else, and because of it, is set apart.
But when we focus on exteriors and what we perceive to be beautiful, we run the risk of losing our chance to meet - or taste - people, and cookies, that might at first put us off.
Pictured above is my first effort at making blueberry rugelach.
If there was an island for misfit cookies, I'm certain these poor, prehistoric parcels of baked dough would qualify for entry.
Which is always the case with Rugelach and me.
I make it every Christmas, and each time I do, I end up with a hot mess as I put together the first batch.
The dough is too sticky.
It won't come together.
It's just not like "other" mixtures.
And I have to admit, this year I almost abandoned my quest to make these lovely little morsels because my first efforts were so Quasimoto.
But as I went to throw out a cookie that disintigrated as I attempted to remove it from the tray, I tasted a corner...
Despite a rather poor first impression, it was DELICIOUS!
Even though I had baked many better looking cookies that day, these - as it turns out - were my favourites.
Which puts a whole new holiday spin on "You can't judge a book by it's cover."
The difficult little rugelach became easier and easier to work with once I got to know the dough better and felt comfortable working with its unique texture.
Which is another lovely holiday metaphor if you think about it.
So, feeling pleased and peaceful, I conjured up a little celebration...
There's nothing quite like watching holiday movies with warm cookies and a cold glass of milk surrounded by the warm ambience of Christmas lights.
And that's the blog.
For printable recipe click HERE
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup good quality blueberry jam (I used home made)
- 1 large egg white, beaten
- Beat the butter, cream cheese and 2 tablespoons sugar at high speed until fluffy.
- Mix in the flour and salt at low speed.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface; divide into 6 equal portions. Shape into balls, wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for 30 at least minutes.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, unwrap a piece of dough and roll out to an 8-inch round. You may need to add a little more flour to the dough and work it a bit with your hands to get it to the right consistency to roll out. Don't be afraid to handle it a little - pretend you're a kid again playing with Play Dough.
- Spread 2 tablespoons jam over the surface, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
- Cut the dough into 8 pie-slice-like triangles. Sprinkle 2 heaping tablespoons of the pecans on top and then roll up each triangle from the outside in; bend slightly into a crescent shape. Place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with more of the dough and walnut mixture until the sheet is full. Brush with the egg white and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake until golden, about 22 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.