Holiday Cookies Part Two

Michele Norris returns to her kitchen with baker Dorie Greenspan to find out how her first try at making rugelach turned out. Greenspan says that, for her, the process of making the cookies is what evokes the holidays.

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MICHELE NORRIS, host:

And now, for something a little sweeter to digest.

Now, if you were with us, a few minutes ago, you know that Dorie Greenspan and I just had a session in the kitchen, and we made her mother-in-law's recipe for rugelach. If you're just joining us, this is Dorie Greenspan, cookbook author, the name of her book is “Baking: From My Home to Yours,” and she's come to my home to help give me a master class in holiday baking. Well, this is the cookie for me. This is my holiday cookie. And you've done a beautiful job.

Ms. DORIE GREENSPAN (Columnist; Author of “Baking: From My Home to Yours”): Oh, they smell so good.

NORRIS: They smell delicious. I'm going to put the baking rack out here.

Ms. GREENSPAN: Good.

NORRIS: Oh, Dorie, that dough is delicious.

Ms. GREENSPAN: Isn't it good? A little tang from the cream cheese. Now, we're tasting them warm. They're really going to change as they cool, because cooling is really part of baking, because it really gives anything that you bake time for it to come together, gather itself, you know, its texture will change. And so it's fun to taste it now while it's warm, and then you'll see how the dough will change as it gets cooler.

NORRIS: Are we eating them too early?

Ms. GREENSPAN: We're eating them a little too early but they're good.

NORRIS: How was I to know?

Ms. GREENSPAN: And it's just -

NORRIS: Quality control.

(Soundbite of laughter)

NORRIS: Now, we began this up by - you were telling me that you, that the recipe is an amended version of your mother-in-law's rugelach. Has she ever tasted this?

Ms. GREENSPAN: She has, and you know, she's so terrific. She is such a fan. Maybe, she doesn't like the chocolate. I don't know. She always says she loves them.

NORRIS: Good. And that's high praise if someone says you've actually taken a recipe and improved it.

Ms. GREENSPAN: You know, my mother-in-law gave me the recipe. And I think that this recipe has been changed over the years. I know that her neighbor, Mrs. Strauss(ph) made rugelach, and she made them a little bit differently. And I think that that's what family recipes are about. You'd get them. You make them your own. You pass them along to your family.

NORRIS: Well, thank you for passing some ideas for my family as I began this adventure of baking in the holidays. Thank you Dorie.

Ms. GREENSPAN: I loved it.

NORRIS: It's been wonderful to be here. I'm hugging her on the radio.

Dorie Greenspan, her book is called, “Baking: From My Home to Yours.” And if you're interested again in the recipe for rugelach or other recipes, you could find that at our Web site NPR.org. Happy baking.

Ms. GREENSPAN: Happy Holidays.

NORRIS: Mmmm. I need a strong cup of coffee with that.

Ms. GREENSPAN: I need another cookie.

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