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Mike Wolfberg's Recipe for Baked Cigar Pastries with Walnut Filling

This is one of several recipes developed by Mike and his late wife, Julie, for a Concord/Carlisle Massachusetts Newcomers Gourmet Group dinner which took place in the first half of the 1970s.

This is an Arab States dish called Boughasha in Arabic.

  1. Chop the walnuts (a blender can be used). Mix the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon and set aside.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350°.

  3. Clarify the butter (Melt over medium heat; remove from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. Skim the white foam off the top and discard.).

  4. Assemble the "cigars": Lay one sheet of filo on a piece of waxed paper. Brush it evenly with butter. Fold the sheet in half crosswise, making a two-layered rectangle about 12" long and 8" wide. Brush the top with butter. Make a 1" wide fold on the closed side of the pastry and brush the fold lightly with butter. Sprinkle about 2 TBL. of filling in an even row along its length about 1" from the folded edge. Roll the filo jelly-roll fashion into a tight cylinder about 1" in diameter. You may find that the waxed paper is helpful in rolling the filo. Gently transfer the rolls to a baking sheet and brush the top with butter (do each one as it is finished; otherwise it will dry out). Assemble the remaining sheets of filo in a similar fashion.

  5. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned. WATCH CAREFULLY THAT THEY DO NOT BROWN TOO MUCH.

  6. To serve: heat the "cigars" about 10 minutes in a 325° oven. Cut each roll into 6 pieces, each about 2" long and arrange on a serving plate. Pass the syrup separately.

SYRUP for the Boughasha
  1. Combine sugar, water, and lemon juice in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, and boil about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the rose water.

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