I use to may these as a child with my grandmother. She called them German Filled Black Walnut Fingers. She had no recipe just did it by the "judge" method. Her and my mother would make a hundred of more each Christmas. I have experimented with many doughs but never quite get it right.
The filling was simple. Ground black walnuts, sugar and evaporated milk brought to almost boil. Let it cool.
The dough was tricky. It was light on flour, more Confectioner's sugar vs flour and heavy butter. It's this ratio that has me stumped. As the flour and 10X sugar have to be perfect otherwise the dough will just spread and you have one big cookie. I remember the dough was made into a log, wrapped in waxed paper and refrigerator for a few hours. Then sliced and the slices was rolled into a finger like shape. A well was made w/ your finger, the filling spooned in and the side folded over but not quite to the middle. Rolled in sugar and/or red and green. Baked and cooled.
Its the dough recipe that has me stumped and a few times I was almost to the right ratio but not quite. Any one that could help is greatly appreciated.
Italian Nut-Filled "Sticks" (Sfratti)
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 Hashannah treat, got its name from its resemblance to a stick, the Jewish sense of humor transforming an object of persecution into a sweet symbol.
Yield: Makes about forty-two 2-inch cookies
Pastry:•3 cups pastry or bleached all-purpose flour, sifted
•1 cup sugar
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1/3 cup unsalted butter or margarine, chilled
•About 2/3 cup sweet or dry white wine
Filling:•1 cup (12 ounces) honey
•2 1/2 cups (about 12 1/2 ounces) walnuts, 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 (1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
1.To make the pastry: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Sprinkle a little wine over a section of the flour, then mix with a fork to moisten. 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.
2. To make the filling: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the honey to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Be careful, 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.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or grease.
4. On a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap or on a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a 14-by-12-inch rectangle, then cut each rectangle lengthwise into three 14-by-14-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.
5. 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.
VARIATIONS Oil Pastry: Substitute 1/3 cup vegetable oil for the butter and combine it with the wine.
Taste of Home
Walnut-Filled Pillows Recipe
These tender cookie pillows, filled with a delicious walnut mixture, are my husband's favorite. He says it wouldn't be Christmas without them.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch YIELD:28 servings
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 package (3 ounces) cold cream cheese
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup ground walnuts
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1. In a large bowl, cut butter and cream cheese into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Blend mixture together until smooth dough forms, about 3 minutes. Pat into a rectangle; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. For filling, combine the walnuts, sugar, milk and vanilla.
2. Unwrap dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 17-1/2x10-in. rectangle; cut into 2-1/2-in. squares. Place a level teaspoonful of filling in the center of each square. Moisten edges with water; fold in half and seal with a fork. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Brush with egg.
3. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 28 cookies.
1 each: 84 calories, 6g fat (3g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 45mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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