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Sticky Date Baklava

January 11, 2022
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The buttery crush of rich pastry, combined with the syrupy sweetness of honey and the earthy balance of cinnamon and nuts make baklava a firm favorite throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Israel is no different. You’ll find tempting mounds of this sweet treat for sale in every market, bakery and coffee shop across the Jewish state. This recipe uses date honey for a unique Israeli flavor, but it is equally scrumptious when using regular honey.

Ingredients

For the baklava:
2 cups almonds, chopped
2 tsp. cinnamon
5 Tbsp butter
⅛ cup date honey
22 sheets phyllo dough (cut to fit pan)

For the sauce:
1 cup date honey
3 Tbsp butter
⅓ cup water

Directions

Making the baklava
1.Toss the almonds and cinnamon and set aside.
2.In a small saucepan, melt the butter and mix in the date honey. Stir over medium heat until the date honey has dissolved.
3.Grease an 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm.) pan.
4.Place 5 sheets of phyllo dough in the pan one by one, brushing each sheet with the butter and date honey mixture before adding the next.
5.Sprinkle ½ cup of almonds over the buttered phyllo layer.
6.Top with 4 more sheets of the phyllo dough, brushing each sheet with the butter and date honey mixture.
7.Repeat the process until you have 4 layers of almonds.
8.Finish with the remaining 5 sheets of buttered phyllo dough.
9.Cut into diamonds or squares.
10.Bake for 50 minutes at 350°F (180°C) until golden brown.
11.Set aside to cool for 20 minutes before adding the sauce.

Making the sauce
1.In a small saucepan, combine the date honey, butter and water.
2.Bring to a boil for a minute and then let simmer for 20 minutes on low heat.
3.Pour the hot sauce over the cooled baklava.
Set the finished baklava aside to cool to room temperature or for 2 hours before serving for the best flavor.

Makes 16 pieces

Photo Credit: Maddie Hunt/bridgesforpeace.com

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