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[Comments] (1) Baklava Brownies: I have reached that annoying (to you) stage of culinary skill where I can kind of make food on the fly, but I can't precisely recreate a recipe after the fact. I just can't envision the quantities. However, the secret of cooking is that recipes are very flexible so long as you're not making a cake or anything. So although the quantities I put down below are estimates, they should come out fine. If you run out of filling, just make more. That's what I did.

With that in mind, here is my baklava recipe. This is not at all like traditional baklava, which I think I've mentioned I don't really like. It's really dry and I can't help but think it is a complete waste of an opportunity to use figs or dates. The consensus from the salon.com tasting lab is that these are like brownies, so I dub them Baklava Brownies. They are probably healthier than fudge brownies, because they're basically made of dates and nuts, the sort of things that if you cornered a doctor and asked if it was healthy to eat a lot of them, the doctor would give sort of an equivocal answer versus a straight "no".

The goal of this recipe is to prepare FILLING, put it between sheets of BUTTERED PHYLLO, and bake it before adding TOPPING. First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then start assembling the


Chop up everything in a food processor. You should have a big sticky mass. This is going to have a browniesh consistency and taste, but it's not going to have any structural integrity. That's why you're going to employ it as filling in a


I'm not going to get into the mechanics of buttering phyllo dough. Suffice to say that you need:

Layer three sheets (actually half-sheets) of dough on the bottom and spread half of the filling on top. Layer three more sheets on top of the filling and put the rest of the filling on top of that. Top with three more sheets. Butter every side of every sheet of phyllo dough.

I built my baklava on a cookie sheet, but it should be small enough and would be more in keeping with the brownie theme to put it in a brownie pan. Anyway, according to some online sources you should cut squares out of the baklava before you bake it--just cut the top layer of dough, don't cut into the filling. I did this and it turned out fine.

You've got a half-sheet of phyllo dough left. Cut it up, butter it, and smush it along the sides of your assemblage so that the filling doesn't run out when you bake it. Then bake it, for about 10 minutes. While it's baking make the


You really shouldn't trust my recipe here, because my topping never reduced and thus didn't turn out too well. But it's equal parts honey and sugar (about 1/4 cup of each), reduced in an equal amount of water with a tablespoon of lemon juice. Spoon it over the baklava when you take it out of the oven.

Like brownies, you can eat this hot or let it cool. It's good either way.


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