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Category: Desserts

Haman's fingers

You may know that Queen Esther is the heroine of the joyful holiday of Purim, which begins Wednesday evening. She was the beautiful Jewish woman selected by the King of Persia to be his wife. After she became queen, she ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes | Makes 36 to 40 pastries
Note: To thaw the filo dough, place the package in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours and up to overnight. Remove the box from the refrigerator 2 hours before using, leaving the sheets in their packaging. (Return remaining filo sheets to their plastic sleeve, re-roll and return to the package; refrigerate or refreeze until needed.) You can keep the pastries for 1 day in an airtight container at room temperature; they can be frozen up to 1 month (thaw the pastries before sprinkling over the powdered sugar). Pareve margarine can be found at kosher markets.
  • 1 cup whole almonds, with skins (about 5 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or additional almonds
  • 3/4 cup walnuts (about 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar, sifted, plus 2 to 3 tablespoons additional powdered sugar for sprinkling
  • About 1/2 pound filo dough
  • 8 or 9 tablespoons canola oil or melted vegan or pareve margarine

Step 1Place the almonds in a food processor. (If using extra almonds instead of the pine nuts, add these to the processor; if using pine nuts, do not add them as they should be left whole.) Pulse the processor to chop the nuts; do not grind the nuts to a powder, there should be some small pieces left. Place the chopped nuts in a medium bowl, then pulse the walnuts in the same way. Add the chopped walnuts to the bowl with the almonds.

Step 2Add the pine nuts, cinnamon and 3 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons powdered sugar to the bowl, stirring to mix thoroughly.

Step 3Lightly oil 2 baking sheets, or line them with parchment paper or foil and lightly oil the paper.

Step 4Remove the filo sheets from the package and unroll them onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Cover the remaining stack immediately with plastic wrap, then with a slightly damp towel. (Return filo sheets you won't use to their plastic sleeve, re-roll and return to the package; refrigerate or freeze for other uses.)

Step 5Transfer the stack of filo to a completely dry cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut the stack of filo into rectangles about 8½ inches in length and 6 inches wide (Sheet size will vary by brand; filo sheets measuring 17 inches by 12 inches should be quartered to form smaller rectangles, sheets measuring 12 inches by 9 inches should be halved.)

Step 6Remove a pastry piece from the stack to a work surface. Brush the piece lightly with oil, beginning with the edges; avoid getting oil on the work surface, as it would make the dough stick. Work with only one sheet at a time, keeping the remaining sheets covered so they don't dry out.

Step 7Spoon about 2 teaspoons filling along the short end of a filo piece so that the filling extends along the short edge, leaving about three-fourths inch free of filling on each side. Roll the filling into the filo as you would a very thin burrito: Fold the two longer sides of the dough rectangle inward, covering the filling by about 3/4 to 1 inch on each side. Dab the folded dough lightly with oil. Roll the pastry tightly to form a thin finger. Set the pastry seam-side down on a prepared baking sheet. Brush the pastry finger lightly with oil.

Step 8Make more filo fingers with the remaining dough and filling. Wipe the work surface with a paper towel once in a while so it does not become oily. You can shape the pastries 1 day ahead and refrigerate them, tightly covered with plastic wrap, on baking sheets or on plates; or you can freeze them, tightly covered, up to 1 month.

Step 9Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the pastries until golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool them on a rack.

Step 10Just before serving, shake or sift powdered sugar generously over the pastries.

Each of 40 pastries:
85 calories; 2 grams protein; 5 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 7 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 28 mg sodium.
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