Prep 1 hr
Cook 2 hrs 20 mins
By way of La Cucina Ebraica, these cookies, traditionally served at Rosh Hashanah, (sfratti means evicted) supposedly represent the sticks landlords used to chase non-paying tenants. The pastry, moistened with sweet wine, is made with butter or margarine--depending on whether the meal is dairy or not. Cook time includes two hours for dough to chill.
For the pastry
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄3 cup cold unsalted butter (or 1/3 cup cold margarine)
- 2⁄3 cup sweet wine
For the filling
- 2⁄3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- fine dry breadcrumb (for dusting)
- 1 egg yolk (beaten with 2 tablespoons water, for egg wash)
- To make the dough:.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Cut in the margarine or butter with a pastry blender until the mixture has the consistency of coarse meal.
- Add the wine and stir and toss with a fork until the mixture just holds together. Remove the dough from the bowl and gather it into a ball(The dough can also be made in a food processor, pulsing it to cut in the butter and processing to bring the dough together).
- Divide the dough in half and flatten each half into a disk.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
- To make the filling:.
- Pour the honey into a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Bring to a boil, add the cinnamon and cloves, and boil until it forms a ribbon when a spoon is lifted, about 10 minutes. Add the nuts, citrus zests, and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let cool until you can touch the mixture without burning yourself.
- Dust the counter(or chilled pastry board) with bread crumbs(you can substitute flour). Pour the filling onto the board and, using your hands, roll it into 6 long, thin ropes, each 12 to 14 inches long (work quickly as the mixture sets up fast).
- To make the cookies:.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Butter 1 or 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured board, divide the dough into 6 equal pieces.
- Roll out each piece into a 4-inch-wide strip that is 12 to 14 inches long.
- Place a strip of nut paste on the center of each piece of dough, and roll up the dough, fully enclosing the nut paste.
- Cut into finger-length cookies and place on the prepared baking sheet(s).
- Brush the sticks with the egg wash glaze. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
- These keep well in an air-tight tin.