I was looking for a challenge today, something that would be appropriate for the bullpen while nudging me out of my muffins and cookies monotony and into the baking big leagues. Flipping through Baking Illustrated, I settled on rugelach, which had the added advantage of using up the cream cheese and finely chopped walnuts hanging around my kitchen. And so I very proudly present my first pastry! They’re flaky and everything! They are imperfect, no doubt, but I find them charming. I will say, I reduced the filling by about half to cut down on calories. (Yeah, lame, I know.) Even so, they were almost overflowing–I don’t know how one would wedge the proscribed amount of filling in there. Also, instead of the traditional apricot preserves, I used my grandmother’s peach preserves. So the rugelach is 100% homemade, if not entirely by me.