Desserts · Mediterreanean Cuisine · Middle Eastern Cuisine

Almond Baklava with Rose Water

 

Almond Baklava

I have no excuse for not blogging for months but the question I have for you is…did you notice? Actually I have a lot of reasons why I haven’t been blogging but this isn’t a bitching blog, is it? :)

For the past few months, I’ve been eating some delightfully addicting foods which I’ll be blogging about soon enough in subsequent posts. Ajvar, Shopska salad, Macedonian toast, Sarma (aka dolmas but all meat!), fries topped with feta and oregano…

Oh, and pepperoni pizza topped with fresh basil?!

Ok, I’ll stop drooling now. For now, I’ll leave you with a baklava recipe I found on Epicurious. The rose water syrup adds a lovely flavor to the baklava but I found the almonds required a bit too much chewing in contrast to the layers of phyllo dough.

Almonds are a pain to chop. My food processor even struggled with chopping them. Perhaps I didn’t chop them small enough? Do I need to toast them before so they chop easier? –> I know, something I could google but I’m too lazy.

The thought of just using walnuts next time seems more appealing!

oh wait, did I mention that expresso with coffee ice cream and whip cream is to-die-for?

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
8 2×1/2-inch strips orange peel
2 teaspoons rose water*

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 cups coarsely chopped almonds (I suggest walnuts though…)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

15 fresh phyllo pastry sheets. Thaw phyllo dough in fridge overnight!

Directions

Stir 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, honey, cinnamon sticks, and orange peel in saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; bring to boil. Remove from heat. Mix in rose water. Chill until cold.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Brush 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with some of melted butter. Mix almonds, ground cinnamon, allspice, and 1/3 cup sugar in medium bowl.

Fold 1 sheet of phyllo in half to form 12×9-inch rectangle. Place folded sheet in prepared pan. Brush with melted butter. Repeat with 4 more folded sheets, brushing top of each folded sheet with butter. Sprinkle half of nut mixture over. Top with 1 folded pastry sheet and brush with butter. Repeat with 4 more folded sheets, brushing top of each with butter. Sprinkle remaining nut mixture over. Repeat with 5 more folded sheets, brushing top of each with butter. Using sharp knife, make 5 diagonal cuts across phyllo, cutting through top layers only and spacing cuts evenly. Repeat in opposite direction to form diamond pattern. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes.

Strain rose syrup. Spoon 1 cup syrup over hot baklava; cover and chill remaining syrup. Recut baklava along lines all the way through layers. Pour another 1/2 to 3/4 cup of syrup. Let stand 4 hours (I think baklava tastes better a day later.)

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