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Sephardic Petit Fours

This is from my friend Paula, who got the recipe many years ago in a Sephardic cooking class taught by Ginette Spier.

1-1/2 pounds blanched almonds, it's much better if you buy whole almonds and blanch them yourself
12 ounces sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon or 2 tablespoons orange blossom water
2 to 3 egg yolks

1/2 pound dates (better ones)
1/2 pound walnut halves
1/2 pound medium prunes

Grind the almonds in a food processor with the sugar and lemon. Make paste. Add yolk if necessary. Divide the paste into thirds and color them red, green and yellow. (Traditionally, Moroccan cooks use yellow for prunes, pink for nuts and green for the dates.) Work the color in well with hands. Slit the tops of the dates and prunes, fill them with the shaped filling and place the filling between 2 walnut halves.

Decorate with fork tines. Dip the tops in sugar. Put the petit fours in papers.

This recipe appeared in “What’s Cooking with Sheilah Kaufman,” an online column on jwmag.org from 2002-2010. Kaufman, the author of 26 cookbooks, teaches “fearless and fussless” techniques for elegant cooking in classes throughout the country. Contact her at www.cookingwithsheilah.com.

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