Almond Cigars with Blood Orange Reduction

Chef Zadi shares his recipe

OK, one holiday meal down, one to go. …Unless you count those dozen or so holiday parties in between—the ones filled with an endless parade of deviled eggs and peppermint brownies. If you want to stand out, try this finger-food dessert that will be gobbled up ten-times quicker then pimento loaf. Chef Farid Zadi of Culver City’s newly renamed Cafe Livré (formerly Eat. Good. Clean. Food.) shares his recipe for these easy-to-make almond cigars: rolls of crispy pastry dough filled with crushed almonds and orange-rose water and served with a blood orange sauce. It’s the kind of dessert that disappears quickly when served with tea or hot chocolate—perfect for dunking.

Almond Cigars with Blood Orange Reduction

2 cups ground almonds
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange or rose water1 stick butter, melted
10 sheets feuilles de brick (filo dough can be substituted, but it’s less crisp)
2 cups fresh blood orange juice (substitute 1/2 lemon juice and 1/2 orange juice when blood oranges are not in season)

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Melt butter in sauce pan
3. Combine almonds, sugar and rose water
4. Cut sheet of feuilles de brick in half, brush with melted butter, and place 4 tablespoons of the almond sugar mixture in a thin line lengthwise across the feuilles de brick and roll into a thin cigar. Repeat until all the filling is used up. Place almond cigars on baking sheet. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
5. In a sauce pot, bring blood orange juice to a gentle boil over medium high heat. Cook until juice is reduce by half. Drizzle reduce juice over almond cigars just before service.

Almond cigars also freeze well.