Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bacon Easter Baskets (Bacon Baklava)

You'd be amazed on what is out there when you "Ask the Google" about bacon.  Just this morning, as I was perusing various social networking sites I came across the Easter Basket of my dreams!  The Bacon-aholic in me wants it.  Now.  However, the other me, the never ending line of projects, 2 job-working, mom and wife just doesn't think I have the energy. Check out the Epic Bacon Easter Basket!

This week's recipe came from a book I got for Christmas called Bacon 24/7.  I modified a bit, because in all honesty, what Martha Stewart-freak just happens to have Orange Flower Water or Rose Water in their pantry.  I don't.  But the results look and smell fantastic.

Bacon Baklava
1/2 pound raw walnut pieces
1/2 pound raw pistachio meats
1 cup cooked and crumbled bacon (about 12 slices, regular cut)
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 package (16 ounces) phyllo dough, thawed
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a food processor, pulse the nuts until they are ground, but not fine.  Add the bacon, 1/3 cup sugar and pulse a few more times until mixed well.

Begin layering the baklava.  Brush a 9 x 13 inch pan or sheet pan with sides, generously with the melted butter.  Unroll the phyllo dough and cover the exposed sheets with a damp paper towel, so the sheets do not dry out while you are layering.

Place a sheet of the phyllo dough on the pan and brush it with melted butter.  Repeat with 6 more sheets of phyllo dough and butter, to total 7 sheets.  Spread 1/3 of the nut/bacon mixture evenly over the dough.  Top the nuts with two more buttered phyllo sheets.  Continue sprinkling 1/3 of the nut mixture adding two sheets of buttered phyllo until all of the nut mixture is used.  Top with a final layer of the 7 buttered phyllo sheets.

Use a sharp knife to cut the uncooked baklava into 24 diamond shapes.  Bake the baklava until brown and crisp....roughly 28-35 minutes.

While the baklava is baking, combine the remaining wet ingredients in a saucepan.  Gradually heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves.  Add the cinnamon and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a slow simmer (low) and heat for another 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from the heat and let cool slightly.  Pour the syrup evenly over the baklava as soon as it comes out of the oven.  Make sure you cover the baklava completely with the syrup.  Leave this out at room temperature to soak for several hours.  Serve at room temp, store leftovers in the refrigerator.

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