I’m going through a couple of “obsessions.” The first is my discovery of puff pastry. As I mentioned in the Cheesy Lebanese Kofta Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers post, I’m pretty much the last person to the whatever’s the “latest thing” party. Not that puff pastry is happening now, but I imagine this dough has been around, like, forever, but I never used it until I made this Cannoli Cheese Danish. I love it as it’s super convenient and of course, delicious! So now I’m kinda sorta obsessed with it.
My other obsession is taking traditional recipes and giving them a little make over or fusion- like said Cannoli Cheese Danish, or Swedish “Meatballs” Meat Sauce or this Steak Fajita Noodle Bowl. I think it’s fun to change the same ol’ same ol’ up and I suppose that’s what food bloggers are supposed to do, right?
So in keeping with my 2 obsessions, I decided to use puff pastry in place of phyllo dough to make a baklava pastry; instead of layering it as baklava is traditionally done, I sliced the puff pastry into thin strips. It makes for a nice, interesting look and texture and the good news is slicing the pastry dough is the hardest part of this recipe! While the pastry bakes you’ll make the delicious cardamom simple syrup to pour over it. The pastry will perfectly soak it all up leaving a sweet, chewy, yet not soggy dessert. I seriously could eat the entire pan of this. But don’t do that! Make sure when you make this you have at least one other person in the house to eat the other half. K? Oh, and a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream wouldn’t hurt either 😉
- 1 box (2 sheets) puff pastry, thawed, cut in ¼ in strips and pulled apart
- ½ cup finely diced walnuts
- 2 Tbsps. sugar
- ½ tsp. each allspice, cinnamon
- 1 cup water
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp. cardamom
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in the center.
- Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with oil or butter.
- Mix the 2 Tbsps. sugar, allspice and cinnamon together then sprinkle 2 tsps. of the sugar mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.
- Add puff pastry strips to the baking dish evenly.
- Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. of the sugar mixture on top of the puff pastry.
- Bake 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the simple syrup by combining all simple syrup ingredients in a small sauce pan bringing to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and cook 20 minutes. Then remove from heat to cool.
- After the pastry has baked 25 minutes, remove from the oven and sprinkle on the remaining sugar mixture and walnuts over the top.
- Return to oven and bake 20 minutes more or until the pastry is done in the middle.
- Remove and allow to cool 10 minutes. Slice the pastry in squares or like a pie in wedges. The slicing ensures the simple syrup will better soak into the pastry.
- Pour simple syrup all over the pastry and allow to sit 10 minutes to soak.