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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.


Egg Wash

  • 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 margarine, chilled
  • 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


  1. Egg Wash: Mix egg and water together.
  2. Pastry: Combine the flour, sugar and salt.
  3. Cut in the butter to resemble coarse crumbs.
  4. Sprinkle a little wine over a section of the flour, then mix with a fork to moisten.
  5. 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.
  6. Flatten into discs, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
  7. Let stand at room temperature until malleable but not soft.
  8. 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.
  9. Add the remaining filling ingredients and cook, stirring constantly, for another 5 minutes.
  10. Remove from the heat and let stand, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is cool enough to handle but not set.
  11. Pour onto a floured surface, divide into 6 equal portions, and shape the portions into 14-inch long sticks.
  12. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or grease.
  13. 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.
  14. Place a nut strip near a long side of each rectangle and roll up from the filling side. Cut into 2-inch sticks.
  15. Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between the cookies, and brush with the egg wash.
  16. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
  17. Transfer to a rack and let cool.
  18. Wrap in aluminum foil until ready to serve.
  19. 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 the wine.

Source: The World of Jewish Desserts


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