Since the very first time I waltzed into a Mediterranean restaurant and was introduced to falafel, hummus, pita bread, and BAKLAVA my outlook on the Mediterranean Sea has never been the same! The beautifully random nuts that are thrown into each of their dishes in some form or fashion is intriguing!
My husband is half Persian which makes me intricately excited about all things MIDDLE EASTERN! We recently began planning a family trip to Turkey to vacation with our Persian family so acknowledging that one of my favorite deserts is Turkish makes me tickled turquoise!
Baklava, surprisingly, is a super easy middle eastern dish! The hardest part would be trying to make your Phyllo dough which would be a bit ridiculous for me. Phyllo dough is the thinest slice of dough you will ever see in your life. Thankfully, most grocery stores have them readily available in the frozen food section which makes making this desert much easier and less time consuming! Maybe one day when we make it over to Turkey I will learn the trade of making Phyllo dough, but until then, I will stick with the frozen!
-1 Package of Phyllo Dough
-1/2 cup Organic Coconut Oil, melted (you may need more depending)
-1 1/2 cups of finely chopped nuts of your choice (I like pecans and walnuts)
-1/8 cup Coconut Palm Sugar
-1/8 tsp cloves
-1/8 tsp nutmeg
-1/8 tsp cinnamon
-1 cup of Simple Syrup (recipe below)
-ground pistachio (or any ground nuts for garnish)
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix nuts, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar together. Brush the melted coconut oil on each layer of the Phyllo dough and layer four sheets at a time then add nuts and repeat the layers. If you run out of nut mix towards the end, it's okay, just keep brushing the coconut oil on the rest of the Phyllo dough layers (because it makes the baklava taste even better when there is a thick layer of crust on top).
-CUT the pastry into triangles or squares and then place it in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown.
-Drizzle the baklava while in the pan with the SIMPLE SYRUP (RECIPE BELOW) and let it cool completely before serving. Garnish with chopped pistachio (or any chopped nuts).
-1 cup COCONUT Palm Sugar
-1/2 cup water
-1 TBS lemon juice
-1/2 TBS Rose Water
-1/2 TBS Orange Blossom Water
-Boil water and then add the sugar. Once sugar is dissolved then add the rest of the ingredients while stirring continuously. *Rose Water and Orange Blossom Water could be hard to find if you do not live close to a Middle Eastern Food Store. If you are having a problem finding these ingredients, you can omit them completely.