Makes 9 generous cookies. Syrup recipe from Warm Bread and Honey Cake, by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra.
For the printable recipe, click here.
I've used both pistachios and walnuts when making baklava. They are both traditional, depending on the origin of the baklava. Pistachios tend to be more Persian and walnuts are most often used in Greek baklava. I like both, but used pistachios for these cookies. The other ingredient of note here is the rose water. It isn't essential, but if you do use it you will have a syrup that has just a hint of the exotic to it. You can't get more traditional than that. You could use orange blossom water as well. You'll find both in a well stocked grocery store, a good kitchen store (like Sur la Table) or a Middle Eastern market.
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed, but kept cool (use all butter pastry if possible)
1 cup finely chopped unsalted pistachios
1 tbs butter, melted
1 cup cooled sugar syrup, recipe below
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lay one sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface. With a sharp knife or pastry cutter cut the pastry into 9 equal sized squares (in a 3 x 3 grid). Lay the squares of pastry on the parchment lined baking sheet leaving at least one inch between them. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of chopped pistachios in the center of each pastry square, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edge.
Cut the second sheet of puff pastry in the same way as the first. Using the tip of the knife, cut a slash diagonally through the center of each pastry square, taking care not to go all the way to the corners. Lay the second pastry squares on top of the pistachio covered ones on the baking sheet, pressing a bit around the edges. Brush the tops with the melted butter. Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops are slightly puffed and golden.
Remove the cookies from the oven and while still hot, brush with a layer of the sugar syrup. Let the syrup soak in completely and then brush the tops with the syrup again. Repeat at least two more times. Let the cookies cool completely. They will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container.
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
2-3 drops rose water
Place the sugar, water and lemon juice in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring, to dissolve the sugar. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the rose water. Let the syrup cool completely before using. It can be kept in a covered container in the refrigerator for two weeks.