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A little bit of poetry. A little bit of recipe. And a whole lot of love. This poem was inspired by my still-vibrant memories of the oh-so-delicious rugelach my mom used to make:

Ode to My Mom’s Rugelach

Condensed sweetened milk

Just for the dough

Like soft creamy silk

“Into the flour you go!”

Her hands in the basin

Caressing the mix

“May I have a raisin?”

She gave me six.

Each one like a crescent

Sugary cocoa inside

Extra filling…my present!

“Here it comes. Open wide.”

Warm rugelach? Mazel tov!

So nu…what’s not to love?

One of my warmest memories as a little girl was “helping” my mom make her signature rugelach. Her recipe was loved by everyone in our family – and most of all by me and my brother! These were not the heavy sometimes overly-sweet rugelach you usually find in stores, but instead they were almost danish-like in texture, with each layer of lightly-browned crusted pastry lifting off easily, so you could savor it slowly…piece by yummy piece.

Although sadly I never got the recipe, I think the dough was basically flour, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, salt, and baking powder. The mixture of sugar, cocoa (usually Nestle’s Quik), cinnamon, and raisins was spread on each triangular slice of dough and then rolled up and shaped into a crescent. Then the top of each one was basted with beaten egg before baking.

And when they were fresh out of the oven … mmmmmm … so good! I can still remember the mouth-watering taste, and the way each warm,  flaky layer pulled apart so beautifully – and filled the whole house with the best of smells. And filled our tummies with mom’s love.