Hi, Dear Friend!
Happy Christmas, and/or… Hanukah! And/or if you’re celebrating something else! 🙂
Because… IT DOESN’T MATTER! As long as it’s HAPPY! As long as YOU are HAPPY!!!!!!…Because it’s been a hot topic over the past… few thousands years (!?) and because I think that our perception of religion very much affects our health (and with that, yes, beauty), today let me share with you what I think about religion and what I believe in… And, don’t worry, I won’t bore you; it’ll be VERY short and right to the point! 🙂…Um… I don’t usually speak about Religion (or politics) a lot! Especially at the dinner table! 🙂
And if being a Christian/Jewish/Protestant/Buddhist/…, or even an atheist helps you be a better, kinder, healthier, content, compassionate and beautiful human being… If it helps you find PEACE within your soul… If it helps you see that no matter HOW you call your GOD… God doesn’t really care what you call him. Or how you pray to him. All he cares about (and I’m speaking about my vision of REAL God here) is how we ACT. He doesn’t want us to HATE! He doesn’t want anyone to get hurt! Especially in his name! And those who think that he does… they’re just using God’s Holy name as an excuse to do the wrong thing…And so, this Holiday Season (no matter what Holiday you’re celebrating), let’s LOVE each other! Let’s be curious about our various ethnic and religious and cultural traditions. Let’s embrace the BEAUTY of them all. Because all those lights, and candles, and ornaments… Aren’t they beautiful? Let’s SMILE! 🙂I’m sorry for being so… political today… But now that I said all that… Let’s get to the SWEET part of it, shall we? The COOKIES! And today it’ll be the traditional Jewish cookies…
Um… The Healthy kind of course… 🙂 …”Healthyfying” these yummy pretty little things was a bit challenging… 🙂 Because how can you “healthify” a cookie made out of just a few ingredients that together create this famous buttery, crumbly and rich cookie flavor?But I do hope that you’ll be proud of me! 🙂
- My cookies TASTED just like the “regular Rugelach”: buttery and decadently rich! And I have a proof to that! Oh, yes I do! My Brother-In -Law who usually turns down everything that’s even remotely classified as “healthy-isn” LOVED my cookies! What better compliment can I possibly get?!
- Because there ARE ways to change a recipe’s formula to legitimately healthify it WITHOUT compromising its taste!
And here’s what I did:
- I subbed most of the butter with the fat-free cream cheese. I still used SOME butter. Without it the cookies wouldn’t taste buttery at all! But compare 1 cup of butter in the usual recipe to my 6 tbsp! Sound pretty good, doesn’t it? 🙂
- Because these cookies are usually made without any eggs I felt that just the cream cheese alone will not give my cookies as much protein as I’d like them to provide. My answer: my favorite garbanzo bean flour! Low-calorie, flavorful, and high in protein naturally – what could be a better answer to this problem?!
- Because my cookies are lower in fat I didn’t want them to come out too doughy. (This same case I had with my White Chocolate Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies). To make sure that my cookies taste great no matter what I simply used slightly less flour than a usual recipe calls for. The dough ends up being stickier than the usual Rugelach dough. But this problem can be solved, too, my friends! And the solution is… in your fridge! Yes. Literally. Chill the dough long enough – and it becomes solid and easy to work with no matter how sticky it was when you were mixing it!
So… what do you think now? I think that these beautiful cookies can be served to both healthy and “healthy-to-be” (hopefully) Jewish, Christian, and… whatever they consider themselves to be foodies out there!
…Wishing you Love, Joy and Peace that I hope you’re all feeling in your hearts this beautiful Holiday Season! 🙂
Healthy Rugelach Cookies and a Few Thoughts on Religion...
For the Rugelach:
- 2/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 8 oz fat free cream cheese
- 6 tbsp butter at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup blueberry jam find the home-made recipe below!
- 1/3 cup roasted pistachios, chopped
For the Blueberry Jam:
- 2 cups blueberries fresh or frozen; I used the frozen ones
- 1/3-1/2* cup sugar
- 1 tsp natural pectin
- To make the Blueberry Jam sterilize the jars to prolong your jam's shelf-life. Add the sugar and 2-3 tbsp of water in a saucepan and let the sugar melt over the low flame. Add the blueberries and bring to boil. Dissolve the pectin in 1 tbsp of water and pour it in the saucepan. Let the blueberries boil for 5-10 minutes. The longer your jam boils the thicker it's going to be. Take the pot of the heat and puree the jam in the blender when it's cooled down.
- To make the cookies put the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla extract in bowl and whip until fluffy. Add the cream cheese and mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.
- Pour the flours over the butter mixture and mix until coarse crumbs form. You don't have to worry too much about the flour being completely incorporated with the butter. Stop mixing the dough when you don't see anymore loose flour on the sides of the bowl.
- Gather the dough in a ball (or two balls for the smaller cookies like I did to make these) and wrap it in a plastic wrap. Then flatten each ball (as it's wrapped) into a roughly 6-7 inch circle. Chill the dough until it's firm, 2 to 24 hours. Note: when I don't have any patience to wait that long for the dough to chill I stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes and then move it to the fridge for another 30 minutes.
- 5 minutes before you're ready to take your dough out heat up the oven to 350 F.
- Prepare a cutting board and a rolling pin by sprinkling them lightly with some flour. Prepare two cookie sheets by lining them with some parchment paper.
- Unwrap the dough from the plastic. Roll each disk of the dough into a 9 inch round. Spread the jam over the disks. Sprinkle with some pistachios. With a knife or a pizza cutter, cut each round into 16 wedges. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge toward the inner point. As you roll try not pressing down on the cookies to much so that the filling doesn't spill out. Put the cookies on the baking sheet with the points tucked under.
- Bake the cookies in the center rack of your oven for about 25-30 minutes until lightly golden. Cool on the wire racks.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container. You can also freeze them to enjoy them later!
*I usually use 1/3 cup and the jam comes out great! But it won't stay fresh as long as the jelly made with the 1/2 sugar. For the cookies I'd recommend going with the 1/3 cup of sugar for 2 cups of blueberries and either consuming your jam within the next month or making only a little bit so that you don't have too much leftovers to worry about spoiling by cutting the recipe in half (for 1 cup of blueberries use 3 tbsp of sugar).