Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Football and Baklava

So, unfortunately I lost this last week, but I am still number two in the league and I go up against Nick again in a few more weeks.

My graze box arrived today!!!!  Once I get a chance to go through it all, I will review this box.

As for the rest of life, I get paid Thursday and will be looking to cook a few awesome treats then.  I'm going to get the stuff to do a cheese fondue one night and I'll also be grabbing things to make baklava!!!

Here is my take on baklava.  It's a recipe I've played with since I was given the original my senior year of high school:
3 cups sugar
1.5 cup water
1&1/4 cup local honey
4 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 (3-inch) stick cinnamon

A few shakes of ground cinnamon
Combine ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Immediately remove from heat; cool syrup completely.

8 cups Walnuts (or other nut to taste) - 
CONSIDER subbing: 6 cups walnuts + 2 cups Dark chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
AT LEAST one of the three following:
1 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1 teaspoon allspice (optional

Combine the nuts and other ingredients, stirring well for nut mixture

1 (16-ounce) package frozen phyllo dough, (best to thaw for 2 days in fridge... can be thawed a few hours ahead of time on counter... DO NOT attempt to thaw quickly in bowl of warm water)
1 pound unsalted butter, melted (favorite option: cook the butter Beurre Noisette style.  It will give more of a nutty flavor to the pastry!)
Brush 2 (13- x 9- x 2-inch) baking pans with melted butter. Place ~8 phyllo sheets in 1 pan, brushing each sheet with butter; top with 1.5 cups nut mixture.
Place ~3 phyllo sheets over nut mixture, brushing each sheet with butter; top with 1.5 cups nut mixture. Repeat with ~3 more phyllo sheets and 1 cup nut mixture; top with ~6 phyllo sheets, brushing all but the top sheet with butter. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo sheets, butter, and nut mixture in second pan.
MAKE SURE you are keeping the phyllo dough covered during this process or it may dry out and become impossible to work with!!
Cut layers diagonally into 3/4-inch diamonds; empty remaining butter over the baklava
Bake at 300° for 1 hour.
Remove from oven, and pour syrup EVENLY over baklava. Cool completely in pans on wire racks.

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