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Counting is a big part of our lives. We count the hours, the days, the months, or years, always counting down to the next thing: a deadline, a vacation, a celebration, or a new stage in life. It is easy to get wrapped up in constantly looking ahead at the next thing and forget to focus on our accomplishments and the milestones we hit along the way.
In Jewish tradition, the counting of the omer is not a count down, but rather a count up. We build in excitement and energy the closer we get to the receiving of the Ten Commandments and as our energy builds so does the size of the number we count. We are still marking each day, but as a successful step towards our goal.
Every year during Passover we begin the count of the omer. We count up to 49 days, when we reach Shavuot. We count these days, remembering the time between leaving Egypt and receiving the Ten Commandments. Because of this commemoration of the Israelites wandering in the desert and many tragedies occurring during this time, the time of the omer is somber. Traditionally, people do not cut their hair, hold big celebrations, or get married until the count is complete. However, Lag Ba’Omer marks a point of partial completion during the counting. It is the 33rd day of the omer and is celebrated as a day to give a child their first haircut, get married, and just take a break from mourning.
The mark of partial completion often falls during a very timely point in the academic year for religious schools, especially in the South, as it is the end of the school year. Each year we celebrate being done with our learning and ready for summer. In Judaism, we teach that our learning is never over. We are encouraged to study Torah, engage in Jewish texts, and question from an early age until we physically or mentally can no longer do so. We think of the end of the school year as an end, but in reality it is just a partial completion. We come back to our education. We return time and time again.
Partial completion can be a moment of celebration. If we focus only on the far future, it might be difficult to stick it out for the long haul. Judaism perfectly embodies this realization by providing holidays such as Lag Ba’Omer. In school we celebrate partial completions through graduations from preschool, elementary school, middle school, confirmation (as pictured, my own midway-through-secular-high Jewish milestone!) high school and beyond. Each year we may also award perfect attendance, top math student, and more. Celebrations of accomplishments keep spirits up and encourage further learning.
As school years come to an end and Lag Ba’Omer arrives we can celebrate the partial completion of our education and the partial completion of working toward Shavuot. Each step in our journey, the hard ones and the easy ones, are worth celebrating as a step we have taken. Rather than focus on what is left still, we can celebrate these partial completions, each little milestone and year. We can celebrate the end of the school year and still look forward to the many years of Jewish learning to come.
Traditional shwarma can be made with turkey, lamb, or chicken, and is usually cooked slowly, stacked on a spit so that the meat and fat drips down onto itself, creating a moist, flavorful, and slightly crispy texture. The delicious meat is then stuffed into a fluffy pita and topped with a variety of veggies or sauces depending on your taste. Amba, a sauce made from dried, salted mango and spices, is one of the most favored toppings in Israel.
These cauliflower rice bowls are the health-ified version of the classic Israeli sandwich. If cauliflower rice isn’t your thing, swap it out for regular rice or quinoa. I have made it all of these ways and it’s so satisfying. If you are feeling like you want to be REALLY healthy, you could even turn this into a — gasp — salad.
Many supermarkets these days carry cauliflower rice either in the produce department near all the other skinny bitch food like spiralized zucchini noodles and such. Trader Joe’s carries cauliflower rice in the freezer section, which is what I have used with very successful results. But if you cannot find packaged cauliflower rice, you can make your own just using a nice head of cauliflower and a food processor.
You can cook the chicken or tofu in a pan, but I bake them for EASE and also, it is healthier. But don’t be mistaken — this shwarma is so well spiced and perfectly cooked you won’t feel like you’re eating health food. Blegh.
To all who care about the Jewish community and the Jewish future, let’s ban the phrase “non-Jew.” Let’s never again speak this phrase or even think it. People in spiritual life are too important to describe in negative terms.
Like any broad-brush label, the phrase “non-Jew” evokes inclusion by implication (“Jew” is the in-group) and exclusion by negation (“non-Jew” is the out-group). This result sorts people into two categories: “Jew,” and everyone else. While it’s human nature to sort into in-groups and out-groups, this particular label can corrode, rather than nourish, spiritual and community life.
Where does this label come from? One source is a dark history in which multiple civilizations’ collective othering of Jews scarred the Jewish psyche. Jews repeatedly have been “Othered” to death by war, exile, ghetto, slavery, and Holocaust. Anti-Semitism (then and now) projects onto Jews the sinat chinam (senseless hatred) of what seems different. Some corners of Jewish life adapted to this xenophobia with us/them protectionism, essentially a counter-xenophobia – not just pride in distinctive selfhood but also a defense against others. Some went even further: particularism’s healthy self-respect fermented into triumphalism’s toxic superiority.
But this Jewish historical narrative of othering also holds that for precisely the same reason, Jews must regard the other as one’s own self, “for you were slaves in Egypt.” Torah repeats this call 36 times: being othered gives no license to other another. Torah’s calling is that anyone who individually and/or collectively experienced the pain, fear or shame of being othered should strive to channel that pain, fear or shame into empathy, compassion, and inclusivity.
Such is the timeless journey of love over fear. Jewish life must have zero tolerance for senseless othering, in any form, period.
Of course, differences have rightful places in Jewish spiritual and community life: people aren’t all the same, and needn’t be. For valid reasons that lovingly affirm Jewish history and practice, Jewish communities may determine that Jews should fulfill certain ritual functions on behalf of the community. But when people identify themselves or another as who they’re not (“non-Jew”) rather than who they are, spirituality and community both suffer.
The community I serve proudly aspires to embrace all who seek an inclusive spiritual Judaism. Some may consider my community “liberal,” others find elements surprisingly “traditional.” The overwhelming majority of my congregants are Jewish, some raised in orthodoxy; some participants live joyfully among us having no familial or aspirational connection to Judaism but still seek meaning and spiritual encounter in Jewish life.
How does the term “non-Jew” harm if the intention is so inclusive? One harm is that group segmentation tacitly sets apart “Jews” from the “non-Jews” sitting next to them, learning with them, praying with them and living with them. This segmentation weakens community’s bonds and rehearses the outsider/insider and us/them dynamics that freighted Jews throughout history. Whatever one’s sense of Jewish community and Halachah (Jewish law), negative set-apart labels are unnecessary.
A second harm subtly (and not so subtly) demeans so-called “non-Jews.” These people are people, not “non“-people. Whether relatives of Jews or friends of Jews, they’re fellow seekers in their own rights. They might call themselves atheist, agnostic, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or something else entirely. Regardless, if they don’t describe their identity and spiritual experience as “non”-something, then what right does anyone have to impose a “non” label that diminishes or denies their affirmative identity and experience?
A third harm glosses the diversity of these so-called “non-Jews.” Like many broad-brush labels, the category “non-Jew” misperceives the breadth of identity and experience of persons whom this term purports to describe. It’s difficult and often inaccurate enough to paint “Jews” with a broad brush: do we imagine “non-Jews” are any less diverse?
A fourth harm deprives a spiritual community of the many gifts that “non-Jews” offer. “Non-Jews” offer “Jewish” community many nutrients from the authenticity of their affirmative (not “non”) spiritual lives. Often their perspectives reflect tradition’s “seventy faces of Torah” (Num. Rabbah 13:15). For instance, a Catholic who reads a Psalm to evoke divine grace can evoke the very Jewish sense of chen (grace) – a quality of love that can’t be earned but still flows freely. A Buddhist who reads chesed (loving kindness) as “compassion” offers a welcomingly deeper and sometimes more challenging engagement than merely being nice. When people say “karma,” one might recall the Ten Commandments holding that consequence can flow for generations (Exodus 20:5-6), and invoke the teaching of Jewish ethics that mitzvah and misstep both create feedback loops and momentum of behavior (Avot 4:2).
These and other kinds of deep engagements – which occur on Jewish soil around the world every day – most nourish Jewish soil when communities don’t diminish or distance themselves from that very source of nourishment. Calling people “non-Jews,” even if technically accurate, may discourage them from sharing their full authentic selves, because the “non-Jew” label declines to identify much less fully value their full authentic selves.
So what should we call these people if not “non-Jews”? If we banned the phrase “non-Jew,” we might need to call these people (not “non”-people) what they are: atheists, agnostics, Protestants, Catholics, Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus. We might need to say, clearly and unequivocally, that communities affirmatively include these people in their fullest selves because of who they are, not because of who they’re not. Don’t Jews want the same thing for ourselves?
By banning the phrase “non-Jew,” Jewish communities would need to name the reality that in their midst are atheists, agnostics, Protestants, Catholics, Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus – not so-called “non-Jews” but people having affirmative worldviews, styles, approaches, wants and needs, gifts to offer and sensitivities to honor. Communities naturally would ask how they can engage most wisely and meaningfully with these people as people (not “non”-people), and answer these kinds of questions based on who people are rather than who they’re not. Far from diminishing or diluting the Jewish character of Jewish community, ritual, and spirituality, this subtle change would fully serve and uplift the best of who and what we are called to be.
My suspicion is that this kind of affirmative engagement would require soul-searching from many who care about Jewish tradition and community. My suspicion is that communities might find some quiet (and maybe not so quiet) xenophobia buried deep within. Asking these kinds of questions affirmatively, and committing to seek answers and act on them, might challenge communities to wrestle their own demons of theology, culture, and sociology.
That’d be a good thing. Every person, every group, and every community sometimes needs a mirror to see itself clearly and sense its own conscience. To the extent that Jewish life continues to bear the scars of xenophobic hatred heaped on Jews for centuries, one of the many blessings that so-called “non-Jews” offer is to be a mirror that helps focus Jewish vision on those scars. We can heal only what we choose to see.
A famous story recounts that a monarch was distressed to find a scratch in a precious diamond. Rather than pretend away the scratch, the monarch called one jeweler after another to repair the scratch, but to no avail.
Finally, someone engraved onto the diamond the shape of a flower, using the scratch as the flower’s stem.
We can’t turn back time, pretend away history’s turmoil or ignore continuing anti-Semitism. Perhaps Jewish life always will bear scars of past hatred and xenophobia; maybe Jews always will be “othered.” What we can do is turn the scars into flower stems on the diamonds of our collective soul. The first step is to ban the phrase “non-Jew” and not repeat history’s mistakes.
Move over shakshuka — there’s a new Israeli favorite on the horizon: couscous, another delicious and versatile dish originating in North Africa.
If you think I’m talking about the couscous that comes in a box that you find in the “ethnic” aisle of the supermarket, well, it’s not quite that.
Couscous is neither a pasta nor a grain. It’s made from semolina and steamed to cook. Making couscous is an almost sacred act in North Africa, and by some still in Israel, where couscous is lovingly and painstakingly hand rolled. It is served as an everyday meal and for special occasions alike. It is true comfort food beloved by those who grew up with this revered dish.
And now, dear fellow American citizens, it is our time for couscous. In both Los Angeles and New York City, couscous is making its way onto the food scene.
Palikao is a fast-casual couscous restaurant located in downtown Los Angeles, a few blocks away from Grand Central Market, where chef and owner Lionel Pigeard is serving up bowls of couscous topped with customers’ vegetables and proteins of choice, including perfectly roasted eggplant, cauliflower, chicken tagine, chickpeas, beef meatballs, and even spicy vegetarian matzah balls made with harissa. That’s right — Sephardi couscous meets delicious Ashkenazi matzah balls.
The inspiration for Palikao comes from Pigeard’s family, whose Algerian grandmother and mother used to make couscous by hand to share with their family, a memory Lionel cherishes from his childhood in Paris. Lionel sees his couscous creations as a more modern couscous, where each vegetable and protein is treated differently, unlike traditional couscous where all the ingredients are boiled together and served on top. Although Palikao’s couscous is not hand-rolled, they are taking great care to work with local ingredients, adding Mexican chilies to their red harissa, tomatillos to their green harissa, and roasting up fresh, local veggies each day to serve to their downtown clientele.
On the other coast, according to Eater NY, Chef Einat Admony’s long-awaited couscous-focused restaurant Kish Kash is slated to open this spring in New York City. Admony was one of the first Israeli chefs credited with introducing Americans to Israeli fare with her restaurants Taim, Balaboosta, and Bar Bolonat. Her first restaurant, Taim, is reported to be expanding into a fast-casual falafel chain across the country. But at Kish Kash, hand-rolled couscous will truly be the star. They will offer a variety of toppings and condiments for customers choose from including mafrum (meat stuffed potato), chraime (spicy fish stew), chicken tagine and matbucha (a spicy tomato and spice condiment). Also on the menu will be debla, a Moroccan cookie that is traditional for Mimouna.
Couscous is far from new, mind you. In fact, it’s a traditional dish whose roots have almost been forgotten, which is why it’s so interesting that it’s being revived. Leetal Arazi of NY Shuk , a NY-based company whose mission is to bring traditional Sephardi spices and ingredients to a wider audience, is excited to see couscous taking culinary center stage in America; her and her husband Ron have been sharing the tradition of couscous with their customers for years. They even have a couscous kit you can buy to make it at home.
Couscous can be enjoyed in so many ways, depending on the country of origin. From NY Shuk’s website:
Moroccans treasure a couscous dish served with a vegetable stew, typically a mix of root veggies and squashes. Algerians, often add tomatoes to their couscous stews. In Libya, it is sometimes made with millet instead of semolina and most often served with lamb. Tunisians, meanwhile, like to liberally spice up their couscous with harissa, and serve it with a brothy fish bouillabaisse.
Like a true American. I have never given couscous much thought other than to pick up a box every once in awhile to use as a side dish. But after tasting the couscous bowl with spicy matzah balls from Palikao, I am a true convert. And I’m ready for more.
The post The Newest Israeli Food Trend Is Here – And It’s Delicious appeared first on My Jewish Learning.
It’s been said many times – but is still true- that our society reveres the young and the beautiful, and fears age. It’s not surprising that we fear age – age and decrepitude are the end for all of us, leading to death. It isn’t crazy to fear the shrinkage of power and potential helplessness that so many of us experience at the ends of our lives.
And nothing in the Torah contradicts the rationality of that fear. Nevertheless, this week when we read the double portion of Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, it instructs us, “You shall rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord. (Lev. 19:32).”
Although the Jewish tradition sometimes understands this verse as a commentary on the wisdom of Torah scholars (some sages explain that the words seivah – “hoary head” and zaken “old person” refer specifically to Torah scholars and wise old people) regardless of age, the Talmud itself seems to reject this view. It goes out of its way to note (BT Kiddushin 33a) that Rabbi Yoḥanan would stand before Aramean (that is to say, non-Jewish) elders and would say, “How many experiences have occurred to these individuals. It is appropriate to honor them, due to the wisdom they have garnered from their long lives.” And elsewhere it elaborates even further,
“Be careful to continue to respect an elder who has forgotten his Torah knowledge due to circumstances beyond his control. Even though he is no longer a Torah scholar, he must still be respected for the Torah that he once possessed. As we say: Both the tablets of the Covenant and the broken tablets are placed in the Ark.”
In other words, we revere the aged not because they are thoroughly pickled in Torah, since people who aren’t Jewish aren’t expected to be, nor are those who have forgotten their learning any less precious to us. We respect the aged for their experiences and their wisdom, but sometimes they no longer have that – and we still love and respect them. Even when our bodies or minds no longer function as they once did, God still remembers that within them are all the love and work and knowledge that they put into the world throughout their lives. That we are here – our strength and our youth – comes from their sacrifice and their persistence and their care for us.
And God, too, remembers that love and care – that is the piece of us that God sees, whether we are old or young, whole in body and strong in mind, or even when we are born lacking those things. The spark within us is what God values. The truth is that שֶׁקֶר הַחֵן, וְהֶבֶל הַיֹּפִי (Proverbs 31:30) “Grace is a lie and beauty is fleeting.” We can try to cling to it with all our strength – but it will eventually disappear, to be followed by death. But those we love remain beautiful to us, even as they leave us because the human soul is itself the thing which is beautiful and which deserves respect.
The post Acharei Mot – Kedoshim, Fearing Death and Respecting Our Elders appeared first on My Jewish Learning.
I gratefully acknowledge Your Face; Spirit lives and endures;
You return my soul to me with compassion; How great is your faith in me!
מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ רוח חַי וְקַיָּם שֶהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְחֶמְלָה, רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ
Modeh ah-nee lifanecha, Ru-ach chai v’kayam, she-hechezarta bee nishma-tee b’chemlah rabbah emunatecha.
ָAs human beings, we have inherited a brain from our stone-age ancestors that is particularly alert to the possibilities of danger. Neuroscientists call this negativity bias. We are programmed to first notice what’s wrong. My prayer life is designed to overcome this negative bias and open my heart to the blessing and miracle that God is giving me today.
Every spiritual tradition acknowledges that how we begin our day matters. Each day I wake up with an intention that when I open my eyes I will see and recognize God’s face in the details of the day I am about to encounter. If my very first expression is gratefulness (rather than seeing what’s wrong today or obsessing over how much I need to get done) then I step on to a path of blessing. I prepare myself for wonder.
With the first phrase of the prayer (Modah ah-nee lifanecha), I open to the miracle embedded in the day that is being given to me. For the second phrase (Ru-ach chai v’kayam), I substitute Ru-ach (Spirit) for the traditional Melech (King). I acknowledge that although my whole world is in flux, there is a Great Spirit — eternal and enduring, moving through all of it.
With the third phrase (she-hechezarta bee nishma-tee b’chemlah), I become receptive to the gift of consciousness from the Compassionate One and I open to the sense of being seen, known, loved and fully accepted by the Great Mystery that embraces me this very day.
The last phrase of the prayer (rabbah emunatecha) is taken from Eicha, the Book of Lamentations 3:23. When I experience God’s faith in me, I receive a glimpse of the widest, longest perspective. In that glimpse, I am calmed. I relax my frantic grip. I stop trying to figure it out. I begin to trust the flow of inexorable change.
As God sees me, I surrender to that faithful gaze. This Divine faith in me is what grows my own fragile faith. When I am known, seen and loved completely through this Divine faith, I can dare to rise to the challenge of loving this world with all that I am and everything I’ve got.
The fact that this final phrase comes from the saddest text of our tradition bears a profound teaching. It seems to be saying that our gratefulness and faith don’t come from denying our suffering, but rather by moving through that suffering and getting to the other side.
Meister Eckart said that if the only prayer you ever say is, “Thank You,” that would be enough.
Gratefulness connects us up to the great flow of receptivity and generosity. When we begin the day in gratefulness, we step on to the path of love.
Rabbi Shefa Gold leads workshops and retreats on the theory and art of chanting, devotional healing, spiritual community building and meditation. She has also created an app, Flavors of Gratefulness, that includes 49 separate melodies for Modeh Ani.
People often ask me where my family came from before the United States. I always proudly answer, “Greece.”
Shocked, they respond, “Really? I didn’t know there were Jews in Greece.” Not only are there still Jews in Greece today, there is an active, vibrant, and growing Greek Jewish community in New York City, with an amazing Greek Jewish Festival.
How exactly did the Festival begin? On Sundays in NYC, my father would always take us to different street fairs, which gave us the opportunity to explore the incredible diversity of culture throughout the city. He would often joke that the synagogue should put on a street fair of its own, highlighting our unique Greek Jewish heritage. But after years of street fairs and joking about what our own would look like, my brother finally said, “Let’s do it,” and went ahead to lead the charge in founding the first event of its kind in the world.
I grew up in Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum, the only Romaniote synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. Romaniote Jews are a unique community whose history in Greece dates back over two thousand three hundred years to the time of Alexander the Great. They were historically distinct from the Sephardim, who settled in Greece after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and spoke a Judeo-Spanish language known as Ladino. Yet the Romaniote Jews kept their unique Greek language, customs, foods, and traditions, distinguishing them from both the Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazim of Eastern Europe and the Sephardim of the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East.
The idea was simple but organizing it was not easy. It required months of preparation, community buy-in, and fundraising to get it off the ground. In fact, one of the biggest challenges we faced was receiving the proper number of signatures from the mostly Chinese-speaking residents of our street to support a festival. Today, it’s amazing to watch the older Chinese residents of our Lower East Side block dance in the street to the live Greek, Ladino, and Israeli music.
The festival has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. At our first festival in 2015, we had over 2,000 people join us. In 2016, over 6,000, and last year, more than 8,000. People now come from around the world to join us. This year, the festival kicks off with a special Greek Jewish Shabbaton with four esteemed Romaniote and Sephardic Rabbis from around the world. The Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Athens in Greece and delegations from Greek Jewish and Sephardic communities in Seattle, Miami, Indianapolis, and beyond will be in attendance.
The greatest success, however, is seeing the third and fourth generation Greek Jews return to the Lower East Side every year, to the community their grandparents grew up in, re-engaging with their heritage and connecting to their Romaniote and Sephardic identities. Through the new Greek Jewish Young Professionals Network formed by some of the young leaders within our community, we now host Jewish education classes, Young Professional Shabbatons, tours of Jewish Greece, and Greek cooking classes. We are bringing our once dispersed community back to their home.
Not only am I more hopeful now than ever before for my community’s future, one that was unclear only a decade ago, I am proud to be a part such a warm and loving Kehila (congregation), one that represents the best that the Greek Jewish tradition has to offer.
The post Taking Greek Jewish Life to the Streets of New York appeared first on My Jewish Learning.
Las Vegas may not be considered one of the top havens for Jewish food in the U.S., but you may be surprised to learn how many Jewish and Israeli-inspired eateries exist in Sin City. Las Vegas has been attracting Jewish citizens since the 1850s, during the Western Gold Rush. Again in the 1960s, the city began attracting a larger community.
But in recent years, particularly as Jewish food has gained popularity across the U.S., Jewish eateries are cropping up all over the city for the tourists looking for every possible culinary experience under the sun, which yes, includes Jewish deli and Israeli-inspired Mediterranean fare.
Heading to Vegas for some debaucherous fun? Check out one of these stellar restaurants when you’re not hitting the slots or the shows.
That’s right — you can get Los Angeles’ famous Canter’s Deli sandwiches, bagels, and schmear in not one, but two locations in Las Vegas. Canter’s has been an institution in Los Angeles since 1931, and their Las Vegas outposts feature all the classics you crave: hot pastrami sandwiches, matzah ball soup, and cheesecake.
While New York City’s famous Carnegie Deli in the heart of Manhattan may have closed, their Las Vegas location is still churning out their signature mile-high sandwiches. Located in the Mirage Hotel, they are also serving up chopped liver, matzah ball soup, and an array of breakfast classics all day long.
Started by New York transplants 20 years ago, this bagel and bialy shop is also serving up house-made knishes, overstuffed deli sandwiches, stuffed cabbage, and a great selection of desserts like mandel bread, rainbow cookies, black and white cookies, and cheesecake. They have two locations in Las Vegas.
The Tel Aviv-born burger chain Burgerim has one delicious outpost in Las Vegas, with several other locations in Nevada also in the works. Featuring mini burgers, fresh salads with tahini and lemon, Israeli-style “chips” (i.e. round, thin french fries), and their signature shakes, this is truly American comfort meets Israeli freshness at its best.
One of the many kosher eateries in the city, Haifa customers love their traditional Moroccan and Mediterranean-inspired menu. Like many kosher restaurants, the menu is eclectic, featuring everything from Moroccan-style meatballs to deli sandwiches to Yemenite soup.
Also kosher, this casual eatery offers fluffy pitas stuffed with falafel, meatballs, and shwarma freshly sliced. Be sure to come on Sunday when they serve up steaming bowls of shakshuka, sabich, and malawach, too.
What’s the perfect thing to do with leftover challah in the house? Bread pudding, of course. It is a wonderfully unpretentious, comforting dessert that is easy to make and not too heavy. Having tried and tested different breads for bread pudding, challah gets my vote (unsurprisingly). It’s better than brioche in flavor, and ultimately, it makes for the best sponge.
Now, if you are a fan of the classic bread and butter pudding, you are bound to fall for this spring adaptation. Sharp rhubarb, tender juicy strawberries, and mellow creamy ricotta — what’s not to like? Naturally, serve with plenty of fresh whipped cream or Greek yogurt.
The post Strawberry, Rhubarb and Ricotta Challah Bread Pudding appeared first on My Jewish Learning.
I had never been much of a rugelach baker until this recipe. While I gravitated towards challah and babka, I always found store-bought rugelach to be a bit bland and disappointing.
But to my great delight, rugelach are supremely easy to make. Most recipes rely on a 1:1 ratio of butter and cream cheese in the dough for flavor and flakiness. I stick with that classic method (don’t mess with perfection!) but also add a bit of sour cream for an extra tender texture. The dough comes together in seconds with the help of a mixer (or food processor) and after a short rest, it’s ready to be rolled out. But don’t forget to rest and chill your dough!
These rugelach are perfect for spring, for Shavuot, or just because homemade rugelach are delicious.
Notes: these will store well in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature, and will freeze well for up to 3 months.