For these phyllo pastries with nuts and honey, some almonds, pistachio, or walnuts (or a combination of all three) are ground and mixed with honey and orange blossom water and then rolled in phyllo dough and baked. The pastries are also known as bride’s fingers.
While some of us find these pastries’ nickname “bride’s finger,” taken from medieval Arab manuscripts, to be quite endearing, others find it to be somewhat disconcerting. And a few of us are, quite simply, confused. But none of us are conflicted as to how we feel about the pastries themselves. Crisp phyllo, crunchy nuts, aromatic orange water, and sweet, sweet honey. Swoon. Originally published January 14, 2010.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Phyllo Pastries with Nuts and Honey
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 35 M
- 1 H
- Makes about 14 pastries
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
Other Authentic Renditions
- Sugar Syrup
Instead of the honey syrup, make a sugar syrup by simmering 1 cup water with 2 cups granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon orange blossom water toward the end of the simmering.
- Make-Ahead Dessert
Instead of rolling the pastries in the syrup, sprinkle them with confectioners’ sugar. These keep very well for several days in an airtight cookie tin.
- Dainty Bride’s Fingers
Cut the phyllo dough into narrower strips, measuring 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches wide and about 12 inches long. Use 1 heaping tablespoon filling for each roll. This makes about 28 pastries.
Recipe Testers Reviews
This recipe is definitely a TC! The pastries are so easy to make and the results are as professional as you’d find in an upscale bakery. I made the smaller variation by cutting my supermarket brand of phyllo into 3 long strips and on each I placed a tablespoon of filling. This resulted in nice two-bite pastries that could be eaten as finger food. Great for any occasion—but it’ll be hard to eat just one! Of course, the smaller variation took less time in the oven—15 to 20 minutes rather than the 30 minutes for the larger version. I tried freezing some of them before baking and then baked them right from the freezer. These turned out just as delicious as those that were baked immediately.
This is a delicious recipe—both the almond filling and the honey soaking sauce. It isn’t an easy recipe, though. A note: Phyllo sheets come in many different sizes now. I’d look for the smaller sizes, because otherwise you’ll have to cut and fill at the same time. It’d be easier to find sheets that are closest to the size specified in the headnote. I think that 7-inch pastries might be too large for most people, so I opted for the smaller brides’ fingers. If you’re a beginner or just find phyllo difficult to work with, you can double the layers to make the pastry more sturdy before rolling. Brush butter between the layers and they’ll stick together. Then roll as described in the instructions. (I actually found it easier to turn the edges in earlier—I tried it both ways—and brushed butter along the seams. This is similar to making triangles and sealing in the filling right in the beginning.) I think that the pieces could take more filling than the 1 tablespoon, or thin line, specified in the recipe. Freezing these works well. I formed the rolls, wrapped each one individually in plastic wrap, and threw them into a freezer bag. To bake, just preheat the oven, unwrap and place the rolls directly from the freezer onto a baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes or until golden.