Haman's Fingers - Sephardic Nut Filled Phyllo Cookies. Photo: Michal Herbstman.
Haman's Fingers - Sephardic Nut Filled Phyllo Cookies. Photo: Michal Herbstman.
Recipe

Haman’s Fingers – Sephardic Nut Filled Phyllo Cookies

Adopted by Sephardic Jews these Spanish phyllo cigar cookies represent Haman's fingers and are prepared for Purim

The Sephardic Jews of Spain adopted these nut filled phyllo cigar cookies, and called them “Haman’s fingers”. For the recipe here, we filled them with walnuts and almonds, but you can replace those with any type of nuts according to your taste – such as pistachios, pecans or hazelnuts – and add rose water, citrus blossom water or cinnamon to the filling.

Ingredients for Sephardic Haman's Fingers Cookies

  • 14 sheets phyllo dough (about 1 package)
  • 7 tablespoons (100 grams) butter melted

For the filling:

  • 1 cup (200 grams) Sugar
  • 1/2 cup less 2 tablespoons (100 grams) water
  • 1 cardamom pods split
  • 1 cup (100 grams) walnuts whole
  • 1 cup (130 grams) almonds whole
  • grated orange peel from 1/2 an orange

Instructions

Prepare the filling:

  • 1. In a small pot, bring the sugar, water and cardamom pods to a boil, and continue to cook until the sugar dissolves. Cool completely.

  • 2. Grind the walnuts, almonds and grated orange peel in a food processor in short pulses. Add 3/4 of the cold simple syrup while pulsing, until you get an almost pasty texture.

Assemble and bake:

  • 3. Preheat the oven to 395F (200C) degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • 4. Cut phyllo sheets width-wise and keep them covered with a clean kitchen towel or parchment paper to prevent drying out.

  • 5. Spread 1/2 sheet of phyllo with melted butter. Cover with another 1/2 sheet and spread with butter. Cover with 1/2 of a third sheet and spread with butter, so that 3 layers of phyllo sheets are formed.

  • 6. Transfer the stuffing to a piping bag without a tip and cut an opening in it the diameter of your pinky finger. Pipe a thin strip of the filling across the dough. Alternatively, roll a thin log of the filling and place it across the dough. Roll into a tight cigar shape, cut into 3 smaller cigars and place on the prepared sheets. Assemble the rest of the cookies in the same way.

  • 7. Brush the cookies with more simple syrup and bake for about 15 minutes, until golden.

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