22 medical students.

11 cases of beer.

5 bathrooms.

1 house in Jamaica, Vermont.

No. Running. Water.
Sometimes I read over these posts and I think. Wow. It is amazing that anyone believes anything I say. Ever.

And most of the time, you are probably right in harboring some disbelief. (Hint. I exaggerate. Sometimes. Slightly.)

But this time. I am a hundred percent telling the truth. The whole truth. And nothing but the truth. So help me God.

We drove up to Vermont on Friday night. Didn’t get in until around midnight. Had a few beers. Some Everclear-spiked hot chocolate to calm our nerves after almost getting lost (Dear Vermont city planners. If you could make your street signs bigger. That would be nice. If you could actually have street signs on every street. That would be even nicer.) And went to bed, preparing ourselves for a big day of skiing ahead of us.

Saturday. Up at eight. Most people were out by 8:30. I wasn’t actually skiing due to this injury that I’ve been harboring for, oh the past decade or so, and so I waited around to drive the stragglers over. We eventually headed out around 11:30, had a day of skiing/drinking cappuccinos (ahem yes that was me), and all ended up back at the house around 5.

Three showers, one bath, and one dishwasher load later.

There is no hot water. Fine, we kind of expected that to happen. No problem, we’ll just wait for the boiler to get its act together.

There is no cold water. Odd considering it is approximately 20 degrees outside.

And then it dawned on us. No hot. Plus no cold. Equals none. At. All.

Interject mass chaos here.
Now we all have our own coping mechanisms.

Some of us sneak into the kitchen and immediately start doing shots. (Yes, it was only about 6PM at this point. I believe the line of thinking was, “If I’m going to have to pee outside, I had better be drunk while I’m doing it.”)

Some of us spend a half hour in the boiler room trying to analyze which of the three filters (if any) could be the source of the problem. And then attempt to turn each of them off in sequence in the hopes of bypassing the one that is stopping up the system. To no avail.

Some of us experience what is commonly referred to as denial. Keep chugging that beer. In fact, finish a whole case. But remember that what goes in. Must come out. Laws of physics. (I didn’t graduate from MIT for nothing.)

Some of us drive the quarter of a mile to the 7-11 down the road and buy ten gallons of water. Not going to name any names. But that may or may not have been me.

Yes, we all react differently. Sometimes. Very differently.

One thing we all have in common? When presented with a situation in which there is no running water. We all eat cookies.

So while Saturday night will forever be remembered as The Night We Found Out What Living in a Third World Country Must Be Like. It will also be referred to as The Night We Ate 64 Rugelach.

It’s a good thing the water was fixed by noon the next day. Otherwise there would have been another trip to the 7-11. Followed by a lot of baking.
Chocolate, Cranberry and Pecan Rugelach
Makes 64, highly adapted from The Bon Appetit Cookbook

1 cup butter, room temp
8 oz neufchatel, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
raspberry preserves
dried cranberries
chocolate chips
finely chopped pecans

1/3 cup half and half

1. Beat together butter and cheese in large bowl. then beat in the sugar until light. Gradually mix in flour and salt and when the dough comes together into a smooth ball (you might need to help the mixer with your hands), divide into 2 equal discs and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Divide each of the discs into four pieces (for a total of 8) before rolling out.

2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Split each dough disc into four equal pieces. Roll out into piece into an 8-inch round. Spread 2 tablespoons raspberry preserves over each, leaving 1-inch border. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, then 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar and 2 tablespoons pecans. Press filling firmly to adhere to dough. Cut dough round into 8 equal wedges. Starting at wide end of each wedge, roll up tightly. Arrange cookies, tip side down, on prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart and bending slightly to form crescents. Repeat 3 more times with remaining dough disks, preserves, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, cinnamon sugar and pecans.

3. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Brush cookies lightly with half and half. Bake cookies until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely.

This is my submission to Have the Cake!

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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67 Responses to Have the Cake – Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pecan Rugelach

  1. Love your stories! The rugelach look divine, so bursting with flavor – yum!

  2. monicajane says:

    yes, you are very entertaining and I still don’t understand how you find time to have a life.

    these are gorgeous!

  3. haha, i believe it all 😉 sounds like you had fun though, at least! those rugelach look amazing!

  4. Oh i can spank u now-hillariously and with affection ie…u know kinda pat….
    Ooooo…awwww…me no like the no water scene either be it at the hostel or anywhere …..
    Was so eagerly waiting for ur rugelach….
    Love love love the fantastic filling and the extra yeah…..ur dough sounds good too!!!!!
    And since we not a single one in the cookie tin right now,am so so ….well ….drooling is it????

  5. Ty'sMommy says:

    LOL I am totally having flashbacks to my college years. Pretty sure I’ve had similar experiences and most of them were remedied by large amounts of alcohol as well. The rugelach look truly delicious.

  6. Erica says:

    I love all your post! You are funny 😉 Those look delicious and I love the combo!

  7. Luigi says:

    You are funny! (in a nice way) lol.
    Great recipe, they look lovely!

  8. Barbara says:

    I am definitely in the get water from 7/11 group. I am realistic AND practical. Most people think this is boring.

    I make rugelach a lot. My mother had a lovely recipe. Never thought to use cranberries in it…great idea!

  9. It is not the stories you tell, it is how you tell them, that is delightful.

    In all my years of eating rugelach, I have never seen that combination, before. I bet it was good.

  10. Mari says:

    I don’t think you are fair! Seriously some of these posts, should come with a warning! “Warning you will leave my blog hungry if you continue to read” lol

  11. Pam says:

    I’m with you on the trip to 7/11

  12. What a well written post… you are really coming into your own as a story teller…

    ah college, I miss it so (sometimes)

  13. Kris says:

    Oh man, these are perfection! I can eat way too many though. Poppable foods are my downfall, but I’d eat your version any (every) day! hehe

    ps I have a giveaway going on my blog. Stop by if you can to enter!

  14. Your post always crack me up!

    That ragalaush looks amazing 🙂

  15. teresa says:

    oh my gosh, what a funny story! i hope if you ever make it to the philly area, you let me know. it would be so fun to chat with you in person!

    the cookies look amazing!

  16. I think the rugelach saved the day. That and the 10 gallons of water, of course 😉

  17. Kim says:

    Oh no! While it wasn’t funny at the time, it is probably funny now. I think you coped rather well. The rugelach look so good. I’ve tried and tried to make that same cream cheese pastry and it never works for me. Yours looks great!

  18. Megan says:

    First – I LOVE rugelach! I’ve only made them twice (and don’t make them more often because then I eat them all).

    Second – aaahhh, to be young, and not have a nervous breakdown over no water. Me? I’d have been out of there in a split second. I’m not known for my ability to “rough it”.

  19. Katy ~ says:

    Welcome to my world. You were practically within shouting distance of me! Vermont can be pretty rustic and rural, grins.

    Oh, but there’s nothing rustic about your rugelach. Delicious looking bites. Perfect!

  20. Elra says:

    My favorite cookies ever. Thanks for sharing the recipe Joanne.

  21. Marisa says:

    That’s a sucky situation, but if it results in such yummy looking treats, then I’m not sure if it’s all bad…

  22. Andreas says:

    Ah yes, cookies and beer. A failsafe solution to so many problems. 😉

  23. Amy says:

    So, here I am…high tolerance for pain, not grossed out by much, capable of changing the oil in my car, and I don’t take sh*t from anyone. Seriously, I can make a grown man customer service rep cry if he talks down to me.

    But, if I lost water for a day, I would crawl into a corner and immediately assume the fetal position. I might even start shaking.

  24. ahhh college life…I miss it too!

  25. hah ai would DIE if i lost water. sighhh. i’m so lame.

    hey, we ALL deserve a vacation every once in a while. some of us view vacation as MASS AMOUNTS OF FUN EXERCISE. like me. hahha i’m sure you didn’t lose no muscle mass! =D

  26. Yup, I am a buy water gal. I still keep extra water stored in the house.. just in case. Hubs just tells people I’m crazy..
    Baking rugelach seems like an excellent coping strategy to me – they look yummy!

  27. oh but sounds like fun with friends and laughter oh and this look so so good

  28. rena says:

    You are hilarious! Your rugelach look delicious!

  29. Shannon says:

    ha. and i come back for your stories 🙂 and the food! wouldn’t miss it!

  30. Donna-FFW says:

    Can we trade places just for a week, I want to relive my party days through you. That is a memory of a lifetime Joanne!! Keep making them.

    The rugelach, well you can keep making them too, they sound fantastic!

  31. You have the BEST adventures! 🙂 I’m chuckling here at my desk – Water and baking in response to a disaster – you’re a woman after my own heart. 🙂

  32. SE says:

    wonderful and delightful story!!!! rugelach look gr8

  33. Lea Ann says:

    omg what a story!!! Love reading your blog and adventures and of course those cookie things look fabulous.

  34. Karen says:

    Beer & rugelach. Sounds good to me 😉

  35. Faith says:

    No running water is such a major pain the tush! At least you all had this fantatic rugelach for a little comfort…and I have to say that this rugelach filling probably looks like the best filling EVER for rugelach!

  36. Debbie says:

    Even with all the inconveniences it still sounds like you had lots of fun! The rugelach look delicious. I could eat a ton of those right now!

  37. Oh come on, you just can’t make up stories like that – can you? It doesn’t matter what problems came along, with that rugelach all is well with the world! Yum, yum, yum!!!

  38. Kevin says:

    What a great flavour combination! They look amazingly good! I could definitely go for a few right now.

  39. Chef Aimee says:

    OMG! Now that is some story! I am glad you got the water back on by noon the next day – I think my reaction would have been the 10 gallons from 7-11 route as well! 🙂

  40. One time I didn’t have water in my apartment for two days. I bought gallons of water and filled the tub for a bath. I would of comforted myself by eating these scrumptious cookies too. The filling sounds divine!

  41. Oh dear, I would have gone insane! These pastry desserts are impressive! They look so yummy!!!

  42. Debinhawaii says:

    Eating such wonderful cookies seems like an excellent way to get over a trauma like having 11 people in a house with no water. Yikes! 😉

  43. LOved the story! I think the only way to cope with these things is to keep your sense of humor!
    Rugelach is one of my favorite pastries. I used to make it a lot with apricot jam and walnuts; this variation sounds great, cranberries offsetting the sweetness of chocolates.

  44. Perfect with my daily tea break! 🙂

  45. Doc says:

    The food looks yummy but the lack of water not so much… glad your trip was saved.

  46. Debbi Smith says:

    Great story. In the middle of it all, you must have thought at some point “this will make great blogging material!” Cookies sound delicious and highly dangerous.

  47. Momgateway says:

    Lovely post…you have a way with telling stories…

  48. Rugelach are among the best things on Earth in my book. No running water is among the worst things that could happen, so I think you did a good job balancing out the circumstances.

  49. theUngourmet says:

    Except in a third world country you probably wouldn’t have any beer or everclear to help you cope! 😀 Now that would really be rough! HA!

    Your rugelach looks amazingly yummy!

  50. Sara says:

    Oooh, I LOVE rugelach! So yummy. 🙂 Yours looks really amazing…love the idea of using raspberry jam, which I’ve never done!

  51. Too funny! I think I’ve been on a few trips like this one. Baking sounds like the best way to cope.

  52. Paul says:

    Oh no hot water! What a way to fix a hangover eh? Rugelach looks really good, always good stuff Joanne

  53. katecooks says:

    i need need need to make these. they look amazing!!!

  54. Juliana says:

    Yummie, these little rolls look absolutely delicious, love the sticky filling 🙂

  55. tigerfish says:

    can I really have the cake? no no…i can’t reach it!

  56. Karine says:

    I realized how much I depended on water when I was a teen and the water tank was broken at home… Oh my!

    Theserugelachs seem a perfect comfort food in a time like this.

  57. Julie says:

    girl that rugalach (or however you spell it haha) looks amazing! genius. make me some um like now? haha

    excited to meet you next weeek!

  58. Loved the story! And the rugelach sounds so good with the chocolate cranberry and pecan filling! Excellent!

  59. Kerstin says:

    Eeeek, good thing it worked the next day! Your cookies would definitely put a big smile on my face, hot water or not 🙂

  60. Sook says:

    I feel like I know you a little better already! What a fun post. These look so awesome! I want some. 🙂

  61. preventionrd says:

    Those look wonderful! I’m making a version of your spaghetti with mozzarella tonight – I’m excited!

  62. Sophie says:

    I always love your funny stories!! Good thing, the water worked the next day, hey???

    Your creation looks stunning!! Now, I want to eat at least 4 large pieces, Thank you!

  63. Michelle says:

    WOW and WOW! Your rugelach looks fantastic! Perfect for the Super Bowl too!

  64. Hannah says:

    Mm, looks fantastic! But really, who doesn’t love rugelah? The filling you chose sounds like a great combination of fruit, nut, and chocolate.

  65. Jen says:

    I commented on the other blog, but these looks amazing, I wish I could have some of that right now with some coffee!

  66. gotnomilk says:

    I’ve never made rugelah. Yours looks fantastic. They’re on my list to try.

  67. Megan says:

    The rugelach looks tasty and I loved the story!

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