Land of Milk and Honey

Cooking with Honey by Laurie Dotson

Wow, It’s just a few days before Christmas and things should be coming to completion. Right?

The gifts should be all bought and wrapped, dinner plans excepted and food purchased. The stocking should be hanging from the mantle, awaiting the small gifts that will fill them until they become to heavy for the hooks, that they hang from.

But instead, the stress of it all, has made me confused and frazzled. It’s turned me into a procrastinator and a, time filling, baker. So…I leave my untouched, gift wrapping post. To pursue, a dough that will cook up to be a flaky layer of butter and goodness. I  grab some of my amazing sweet honey and buy pounds of delicious ohio walnuts.

…A few hours later the HEAVENS have open up and angels have started to sing glorious carols, while eating Baklava.  Ok, maybe not angels from heaven above, but angels that we call friends. So I give you this recipe with great joy.

Don’t forget the true meaning Christmas.  A Holy child, Emmanuel, was born to a virgin. Angels sang to him, shepherds worshipped him and kings traveled great distances to give him gifts.
He then grew up to teach, love and die for our sins. Arose from the died and then he went to heaven to prepare a mansion for us!

Merry Christmas Friends

baklava 2

Buttery layers of nuts and cinnamon, then cut into diamonds shape before baking

baklava 1

baklave should be served with a cup of hot Java!

 

Baklava

Ingredients:

For the Baklava:
1 pound pistachios and/or walnuts, coarsely ground, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
1 cup ground butter crackers
4 sticks unsalted butter, melted
16 sheets phyllo dough (thawed, if frozen), cut in half
For the Syrup:
3 cups sugar
1  8-ounce jar local raw honey
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Directions
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Combine the nuts, cinnamon and ground crackers in a bowl.

Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with some of the butter. Layer 10 pieces of phyllo in the dish, brushing each piece with butter before adding the next (keep the remaining dough covered with a damp towel). Sprinkle a quarter of the nut mixture over the dough. Layer 4 pieces of phyllo on top, brushing each with butter before adding the next; sprinkle with another quarter of the nut mixture. Add 4 more phyllo pieces on top, brushing each with butter, then add another quarter of the nut mixture, 4 more pieces of phyllo with butter, and the remaining nuts.

Layer the remaining 10 pieces of phyllo on top of the nuts, brushing each with butter; brush the top piece with extra butter. Cut into the baklava to make strips, about 1 1/2 inches wide. Then make diagonal slices, about 1 1/2 inches apart, to create a diamond pattern. Bake until golden, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the syrup: Bring the sugar, honey and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and boil 2 more minutes, then let cool slightly.

Pour the syrup over the warm baklava; let soak, uncovered, at least 6 hours or overnight. Garnish with nuts.

May your house be filled with great laughter,  May your loved ones fill your home and May your mouth be filled with the sweet, stick Baklava!

Laurie

Luke 2:10-14       The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

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