Bride's Fingers Cookies
|Prep time||30 minutes|
|Cooking time||30 minutes|
|Total time||1 hour|
Nomadic Oven baker Jen Smith says: While travelling in Morocco, I was amazed by the hospitality and generosity of the people I met. Each time I was invited to visit someones home, I was plied with cups of sweet mint tea, and an assortment of even sweeter pastries, including these. The ones I bake at home have a bit less sugar, but are chock full of the dates, nuts, and orange blossom water that make Moroccan pastry so wonderful.
In a small saucepan, bring the honey and water to a boil. Boil for thirty seconds, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. When cool, add the orange blossom water to taste, a little bit at a time (it can be overpowering!).
If the dates seem dry, soak them for 10 minutes in a bit of hot water. Drain, and in the bowl of a food processor, blend into a chunky paste. Chop the walnuts finely, and reserve about 1/3 of a cup for garnishing. Using a spatula, blend the remaining walnuts and cinnamon into the dates.
Preheat the oven to 325º, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On your work surface, lay out your phyllo sheets, and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap, and a slightly damp cloth. This will keep it from drying out as you work. Using a sharp knife, cut each sheet into two strips, about 4.5 inches wide, and 12 inches long (this will depend on the size of your sheets, and is flexible).
Lay one rectangle of pastry out in front of you, and cover the rest of the stack with the towel. Use a pastry brush to cover the phyllo with a thin layer of butter, then lay a second piece on top. Brush the top piece with a thin layer of butter.
Take about two tablespoons of the date mixture, shape into an oblong, and place it on the short side of the pastry rectangle closest to you. Roll over one time, and tuck the sides of the pastry in, folding all the way to the ends, so the ends of the pastry roll will be tucked over. Roll the pastry to the end, and set the roll on the baking sheet, with the loose end down. Brush with melted butter.
When all the pastries are formed, bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes, then briefly dunk each pastry in the cooled honey syrup. Sprinkle with the reserved, chopped walnuts, and let cool completely.
If you buy frozen phyllo dough, allow it to defrost overnight in the refrigerator