Olive Oil Baklawa with Pistachios

Pistachio baklawa made with olive oil, cut in pieces in the pan

Olive oil baklawa is a fabulous alternative to classic baklawa, or baklava — the Mediterranean pastry traditionally drenched in butter and flower water syrup. How exciting to have a vegan baklawa (vegan baklava) option that tastes so very good! I won’t say that olive oil baklawa tastes exactly the same as if you’ve made your…

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Lebanese Almond Baklawa Fingers Recipe

Almond baklawa fingers in a pan, Maureen Abood

These Lebanese almond baklawa fingers are delicate, crisp, and fun to make. They’re flavored with aromatic orange blossom syrup. One of the great things about all of the baking and exchanging of cookies this time of year is finding out about what is treasured enough to get baked up in other people’s kitchens every Christmas.…

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Recipes for your (full) holiday cookie plate

  Here’s what goes on in our house right about this time every year: the holiday china and its accessory pieces appear, as do the pretty paper plates for giving some of the bounty away. A plate or two are filled with cookies and candies, and refilled so that the plates are full at all times.…

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Orange Blossom Simple Syrup

Orange Blossom Simple Syrup, MaureenAbood.com

Orange blossom simple syrup is an essential part of many Lebanese pastries. For many pastries, it is important to pour cold syrup over the hot pastry when it comes out of the oven, so this syrup is best made in advance. And it lasts forever in an airtight container! What is Simple Syrup? So many…

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A Christmas Eve Menu, with ideas and tips

Somewhere along the line, our Christmas feast shifted from Christmas day to Christmas Eve. Our Eve used to be the seven of us, along with Sitto, Aunt Hilda and everyone’s favorite cousin, Alberta. Hilda liked a screwdriver to kick off the evening, something to soften the edges after all of the output from her kitchen—the…

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Bohica Lodge Lebanese Menu, way up north

I love a small world. Several months back, I received a note from someone who had been googling around for a good recipe for kibbeh nayeh. Clif came across my site (yay SEO), and as he read my essay about my father’s near-religious devotion to the proper kibbeh-making technique, he realized that he was reading…

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Postcard from Lebanon

The Lebanese love the water. Might explain what brought us to Michigan. Can you smell the roses and herbs? It was so aromatic, I hope it wafts in for you. Hallab pastry shop. Need I say more? Beirut beckons.

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Lebanese Baklawa Recipe. Do you hear what I hear?

Lebanese Baklawa diamonds, Maureen Abood

My Lebanese baklawa recipe gives you step-by-step instructions so you can enjoy baking and eating this beautiful classic pastry. Lebanese baklawa is buttery, crisp layers of phyllo filled with nuts and drenched in flower water syrup. Once you get the hang of the many parts involved, it’s a wonderful and not-difficult addition to your baking…

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How to clarify butter

Clarified butter in a pan, Maureen Abood

Clarified butter is simply butter with the solids removed. Learn how to clarify butter with ease, an ingredient used in many pastry and baking recipes. I have become such close friends with butter over the last year that this post makes me feel right at home in butter’s lovin’ arms. I didn’t used to be…

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Ingredient: Phyllo dough

Phyllo dough for Lebanese baklawa, Maureen Abood

Perhaps it’s my love of paper that inspires my fascination with phyllo dough. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, phyllo dough is a beautiful, delicate pastry that requires a lot of tender loving care when handled. Made with flour, water, and oil, phyllo is an unleavened (no yeast) paper-thin dough that is…

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