Finikia is a specific small kind of Greek pastry. This tiny item uses nuts and other ingredients to provide a unique taste sensation. The finikia pastry is typically part of any ethnic baked goods presentation centered around Greek food.
The basic ingredients for finikia involve varieties of flour and butter, as well as sugar. Many varieties of this dish also include citrus flavorings. Some cooks may use orange juice, while others will use lemon juice. Still other varieties of this dish use orange or lemon zest, made from scrapings off the citrus fruit rind. Citrus zest or juice gives the dish more of its traditional flavor.
Additional ingredients in finikia can include spices like cinnamon, cloves, or vanilla. Honey is a natural food that is often added to this dish. Another element that is not primarily a spice is baking powder, which helps provide texture for the pastry. Cooks may also use amounts of vegetable oils to enhance the texture of finikia.
In many cases, these pastries are topped with crushed almonds or walnuts. Cooks often mash these in a mortar and pestle, or crush them with a mallet to make small enough pieces to fit on top of the small treats. One individual pastry is often only a few inches long, and only one or two inches thick.
To bake these items, cooks generally sift the flour and baking powder, combining these with oil and butter. The spices and zest are then added. Cooks knead the dough together and shape it, placing it onto baking sheets. These foods are often baked at a relatively high temperature for a short time. Although a commercial oven may not be necessary, these small pastries benefit from being cooked in a controlled environment with level and evenly distributed heat.
Finikia can be presented to audiences in numerous ways. Some varieties of this dish are presented with a light syrup on the side, where those who are eating them dip them in the syrup. Other varieties are either served simply on a wide plate, or served individually in small paper wrappers. One of the strengths of this pastry is that it is only semi-perishable, and can be preserved for some time after baking. These pastries may be served at open air markets or other places where people can buy food as an immediate portable snack.