Sfratti (Italian Nut-Filled "Sticks")
Sfratti means "sticks" in Italian, as well as "evicted,"
for at one time landlords were allowed to persuade unwanted and delinquent tenants
to leave by force of a rod. A similar practice was employed to chase away Jews during
all-too-frequent periods of expulsion. This nut-filled cookie, a popular Italian
Rosh Hashanah treat, got its name from its resemblance to a stick, the Jewish sense
of humor transforming an object of persecution into a sweet symbol.
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 cups pastry or bleached all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter or
- 2/3 cup sweet or dry white wine
- 1 cup honey (12 ounce)
- 2 1/2 cup walnuts (about
12 1/2 ounces), chopped
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest (optional)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon
freshly grated black pepper
- Egg wash: Mix egg and water together.
- Pastry: Combine the flour, sugar and salt.
- Cut in the butter to resemble coarse
- Sprinkle a little wine over a section of the flour, then mix with a fork
- Push the moistened dough aside and continue adding enough wine until
the dough just holds together. Divide in half. Using your fingertips, lightly press
and knead into balls.
- Flatten into discs, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour
or up to 3 days.
- Let stand at room temperature until malleable but not soft.
- Filling: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the honey to a boil and
cook for 5 minutes. Be careful as it may foam up.
- Add the remaining filling ingredients
and cook, stirring constantly, for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let stand, stirring occasionally, until the mixture
is cool enough to handle but not set.
- Pour onto a floured surface, divide into 6
equal portions, and shape the portions into 14-inch long sticks.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
- On a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap or on a lightly floured surface, roll
each piece of dough into a 14 x 12-inch rectangle, then cut each rectangle lengthwise
into three 14 x 4-inch rectangles.
- Place a nut strip near a long side of each rectangle
and roll up from the filling side. Cut into 2-inch sticks.
- Place seam side down
on the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between the cookies, and brush with
the egg wash.
- Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer to a rack and let cool.
- Wrap in aluminum foil until ready to serve.
- Store in an airtight container at room
temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Serving size: 42
Oil Pastry: Substitute 1/3 cup vegetable oil for the butter and combine it with
Source: The World of Jewish Desserts