High Holy Day recipes, Jewish nut and honey filled cookies

High Holy Day recipes, Jewish nut and honey filled cookies

The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust opens its fall public programming on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 2:30 p.m. with “Exploring Italian-Jewish Cuisine.” Food historian Cara De Silva, chef/food writer Silvia Nacamulli, food writer Alessandra Rovati, and restaurateur Walter Potenza of Potenza Ristorante will be on the panel, which will be moderated by cookbook author Jayne Cohen. A reception featuring Italian cheese provided by the Cheese Guy, Brent Delman, and wine provided by Sentieri Ebraici Wines will follow. (646) 437-4202 or www.mjhnyc.org.

Part I of this story was in the Jewish Standard’s Aug. 3 “Keeping Kosher” section. Here, as promised, is a recipe for “Sfratti” (Jewish nut and honey filled cookies) from Walter Potenza, restaurateur of Potenza Ristorante.


Walter’s recipe is a traditional Rosh Hashanah specialty from the Tuscan village of Pitigliano, which was once known as Little Jerusalem.

Yield: Makes 42 cookies


3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup cold, unsalted butter (or 1/3 cup vegetable oil)
approx. 2/3 cup chilled dry white wine


1 cup honey
2 cups chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
dash of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper

Egg wash

1 large egg beaten with 1 tablesp 
Dough: Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the wine a little at a time, mixing with a fork to moisten the dough. Continue adding wine until the dough just holds together. Divide dough in half and press into balls. Flatten balls into discs, then wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Dough can be made up to 3 days ahead. When ready to use, allow dough to 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. If it starts to foam over, lower heat slightly. Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring constantly for another 3-5 minutes, then remove from heat. (If the mixture begins turn dark, it is starting to burn-remove from the heat immediately and keep stirring.) Let the mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until it is cool enough to handle. Pour mixture onto a floured surface, divide into 6 equal portions, and shape the portions into 14-inch-long sticks.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Preparing the cookies: On a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap or on a lightly floured surface, roll each disc of dough into a 14-by-12-inch rectangle, then cut each rectangle lengthwise into three long rectangles. Place one of the strips of filling near a long side of each rectangle, then roll the dough around the filling.

You will have six long sticks of dough with filling in each. Cut these into 2-inch sticks. Place seam- side down on the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1-inch between the cookies. Brush with the egg wash.

Bake cookies until golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool. You can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

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