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Boughasha

("Cigar" Pastries with Walnut Filling)
3 oz. Shelled walnuts, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Sugar
1/2 lb. Butter, cut into bits and clarified
14 sheets Phyllo pastry, each about 14 inches long and 12, thoroughly defrosted if frozen

Stir the chopped walnuts and the 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl and set the mixture aside.

Preheat the oven to Mark 6:400 degrees F. Grease 2 baking sheets with 1 oz. of the butter, using a pastry brush.

Assemble each "cigar" in the following way: Brush one sheet of phyllo evenly with 3/4 teaspoon of the butter. Fold the sheet in half crosswise to make a two-layered rectangle about 12 inches long and 7 inches wide. Brush the top with about 1/2 teaspoon of the butter. Make a 1-inch-wide fold on the closed side of the pastry and brush the fold lightly with butter. Sprinkle a teaspoon or so of the walnut mixture in an even row along its length, and roll the phyllo into a tight cylinder, about 1 inch in diameter.

Assemble the remaining sheets of phyllo in the same way. Gently transfer the rolls to the baking sheet, and brush the tops lightly with the rest of the butter. Bake in the top part of the oven for about 20 minutes, until the rolls are crisp and a delicate golden brown. Then slide them carefully onto a large serving dish.

SYRUP
1 1/4 lb. Sugar
1/2 pint Water
2 1/2 teaspoons Fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Rose-water

Meanwhile, make the syrup. Bring the sugar, water and lemon juice to the boil over high heat in a small, heavy saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Cook briskly, undisturbed, until the syrup reaches a temperature of 220 degrees F on a sugar-boiling thermometer, or a small bit dripped into iced water immediately forms a coarse thread. Add the rose-water and pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl or jug, and let it cool to lukewarm.

To serve, cut the rolls into 2-inch lengths and arrange them attractively on a serving plate. Moisten the warm pastry with a little syrup and serve the rest separately in a small jug.

Makes 7 dozen.

From "One Thousand And One Delights" by Nahda Salah
available through International Promoters of Art Inc.

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