Sunday, March 04, 2007

travados — burekas for purim

first things first, it seems blogger decided my blog was akin to a can of:

well blogger, you're the turkey. how it was decided that my blog was a spammer blog is beyond me. i will say that posting has been an ordeal and i was actually locked out of "publishing" any posts until i was approved by blogger staff that my blog wasn't an infidel. i got some freaky red and yellow message telling me i was blocked and locked. on top of it, leaving messages on other friends' blogs has been impossible because the verifications were not showing up. well, after a few choice four letter expletives, things seemed fixed for the moment.

this post, therefore, is two days late. for those of you who celebrated purim, i hope you had an wonderful holiday and ate well.

i will also add for those of you celebrating the festival of holi that it came to my attention that this holiday and the jewish one of purim fall on the same date every year as both are calculated through the lunar calendar. for you who celebrate/d, a joyful holi wished your way.

we now return to regular programming.

these are a different kind of bureka that is made for the holiday of purim. they are called burekas de muez in ladino or travados. they are small pastries filled with a nut mixture which are baked and then, like many sephardic pastries, dipped in a sugar syrup. they are very much like the pastry called ma'amoul which is also made for the holiday, the only difference being that the ma'moul are not dipped in syrup and have a different shape. sometimes travados are dredged in icing sugar, too. they can have a filling which has finely chopped dried fruit. often the filling mixture is mixed with a bit of jam or marmelade.

i decided to try a different recipe for them this year and while they turned out very good, i found the dough a little tricky to work with. in the end, they worked fine and taste great. they often taste better the day after making them.

travados בורקסים טרבדוס
nut filled burekas

note before starting: this isn't really a beginner's recipe. if you don't have patience then i'd say forgo it :) it also helps to have an extra pair of hands to make things advance faster.

makes about 3 - 3 1/2 dozen


1 1/4 c margarine or butter [2 1/2 sticks]
3 tbsp sugar

4 c AP flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla or almond extract

1/2 c water

1 1/2 c walnut pieces
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 c water
1 c sugar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp orange flower water, optional
2 tbsp lemon juice

1 egg yolk + 2 tsp water [optional]


make the filling:

grind 1 cup of the walnuts with the sugar and cinnamon in a food processor until well ground but not powdery. remove to a bowl. coarsely grind the rest of the walnuts and mix with the first batch. set the filling aside.

make the dough:

cream margarine or butter with the 3 tbsp sugar.

in a bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder.

add the vanilla or almond extract and blend. add the flour in 4 additions and mix well after each.

divide the dough into 4 quarters.

on a very well floured board, roll out the dough between an 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. cut out rounds which are about 3 inches wide. i used a drinking cup to do this.

remove the excess dough and fill each round with a generous tsp or so of the nut mixture. be careful to make sure it stays in the center.

regather the dough (scraps) and repeat until all the dough is used.

preheat the oven to 350F.

using the help of a butter knife, fold half the round over to meet the edge facing you. press down to seal. you may want to use a bit of water but it's not necessary.

the dough may crack but that's okay. it will meld together in the oven. gently press the dough where cracks have formed.

very carefully transfer the pastries to a baking sheet. they won't expand too much when baking.

brush them with the egg yolk and water mixture before baking, if wanted. they work fine without the glaze but it looks much nicer after they are baked.

bake them for about 20 minutes.

now is a second tricky part. do not touch them until they are cooled as they tend to break while hot/warm. they will be fine when completely cooled.

once they are all cooled, make your syrup. take the water and sugar and honey and put in a small pot. bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring. the mixture needs to be thin when finished. do not overcook it. now add the lemon juice and the orange flower water if using.

dip each travado in the syrup and let it sit for about 15 seconds making sure it's submerged. use a fork to remove it and place it on a rack to dry.

make sure to put some paper under the cookie rack to catch the syrup to make clean up easier.

let the cookies air dry. you can skip the dipping and just roll them in icing sugar or sprinkle with some after they have dried.



Blair said...

same thing has happened to me!

Beenzzz said...

Blogger can really suck sometimes!!!

Those nut burekas are so wonderful looking..........drooling......mustwipe mouth. :)

burekaboy — said...

hey blair - i have a feeling it may have been a blog-wide thing. i've been having quite a few problems over the last month or two in particular in that messages just don't publish or i can't see verifications. i've lost countless msgs. i hope it gets fixed soon.

burekaboy — said...

beenzzz - hope you got my last comment re kitty. can't tell you how annoyed i've been with blogger problems lately.

thanks for the comment about the burekas. glad i gave most of them away or i'd have eaten them all!

Linda said...

ive been miserably impatient lately so i may have to put this recipe on hold, but these look wonderful. i love that you live up to your name with all these bureka recipes :)

burekaboy — said...

hi linda - yes, these aren't the kind of thing you want to attempt when you don't have patience!! i figured i'd better post a few bureka recipes since i hadn't until very recently.