Ever find yourself enjoying a moment, usually something really small, and thinking, “Ahh, everything is in its place”? Not in a, the bed is made and laundry is done kind of way, but more of a trust in the Universe kind of way. A little too out there?
This morning started like most mornings do lately, with a sinking feeling that I won’t finish everything I’ve set out to finish for the day. I’m in the process of applying to grad school (fingers crossed!) and that’s been the focus more often than not, but of course life gets in the way a bit. I recently took the GRE and since I haven’t taken math since high school, that took up quite a bit of my time. Still, I always feel like I should be doing more. Shouldn’t I be able to write up a few blog posts, cook something new and edit all the photos, do 3 loads of laundry, vacuum up all the dog hair that’s constantly taking over the house and go to yoga all before I go to work at 5pm? Spoiler alert: that’s never happened all in one day. Us overachievers can dream though, can’t we?
But then there are quiet moments that sneak up and make you go, “Chill out, crazy lady. It’ll all come together eventually.” These moments usually come in the form of some simple morning activity – like drinking espresso and watching wind through the trees the yard or cuddling with the pups. In those moments, it’s like so what if I have no clean underwear and there’s enough dog hair under my bed to literally sculpt another dog? Ain’t no thang.
These pastries are another thing that sparked those zen-type moments for me. I’m a sucker for nutty, syrupy Middle Eastern pastries and these were no exception. Plus they gave me a chance to use orange blossom water for the first time and using new ingredients is always exciting to me. These are perfect with morning coffee or tea. Or as a quick snack on the not-so-zen days where you can’t seem to find your self control. Not that I’m saying I did that on more than one occasion or anything…
Though come to think of it, the holidays are officially in full swing, so an emergency batch of these may be in my future.
The recipe calls for “clear honey” and “superfine sugar”, neither of which I had on hand. I ended up using the local honey we had in the cabinet and granulated sugar and they were delicious. Moral of the post… don’t sweat the small stuff! 🙂
- ½ lb. clear honey
- ½ c. water
- 2 c. ground almonds
- ½ to ⅔ c. superfine sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp. orange blossom water
- 14 sheets of fillo dough
- 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- For the syrup: Bring the honey and water to a boil in a pan and simmer for a minute. Take off heat and let cool.
- Mix the ground almonds, sugar, cinnamon and orange blossom water in a large bowl.
- When ready to roll (pun intended!), open fillo dough and place a wet tea towel over top of the pile to keep them from drying out.
- Remove one sheet at a time, brushing with melted butter and adding a line of about 2-2½ tbsp. of the almond mixture ¾ in. in from the shorter side of the sheet. Fold the sides in and roll until the pastry looks like a little log.
- Place on baking sheet, folded side down, an brush with melted butter.
- Bake at 300F for 30 minutes, until golden and crisp.
- While still warm, roll each pastry through the honey syrup. When ready to serve, cold or room temp is fine, pour remaining syrup over top.