Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Food Desert Project: Poor Man's "Baklava"

It's not all about me, and that goes double for dessert: the love of my life's sweet tooth started firing one evening, and Sparky (the other love of my life) was there to fan the flame, and now I have the delectable result to share with you.

Sparky "discovered" honey when we used it to make Peeta's Bread, and he was jonesing for a honey-based dessert.  This set my beloved into hunter-gatherer mode, rummaging through cupboards and freezer compartments (not for the faint of heart in my house.  He barely escaped the freezer avalanche.)  His laser-sights were set on baklava, and he was only mildly deterred by the discovery that I was out of phyllo dough.  Gears churned, cupboards were overturned, Alton Brown was consulted, and with only a small amount of roaring and gnashing of teeth, this excellent dessert was born:

1 tbsp melted butter
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup chopped dates (if using packaged pre-chopped dates, increase honey)
1/2 cup pistachios (or whatever nuts you've got)
1 tbsp honey

1 muffin tin, well greased with butter

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Put your batter ingredients into the blender, blend on high until completely combined, scrape down the sides with a spatula and blend out any lumps.  Set aside.

In a separate blender jar, food chopper or food processor, blend the dates and pistachios until well chopped.  Add honey until this mixture comes together in a sticky blob.

Pour the batter into your muffin cups*, filling them about half-way.  Plop a tablespoon-sized blob of the filling into the center of each cup.  Bake at 400 degrees until they puff in the center and are GB&D, about 30 minutes. (The filling may cause a hole in the center, this is fine, just make sure the batter is cooked in the center around it.) 

Sticky, gooey desserts taste best when somebody else does all the work for you...


*Note, as the ingredients were cheap and we didn't mind tossing the excess, we made 6 "baklavas" in our toaster-oven pan in the toaster oven.  We could probably have made 12 but be forewarned: I have no practical experience.  If your batter isn't sufficient to fill all 12 cups, put a small amount of water in the empty ones to keep your pan from burning.

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