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Fresh Figs with Blue Cheese and Honey
A dozen fresh figs (if no figs are available, try peaches instead)
1 oz blue cheese, room temperature
Candied walnuts (optional)
Slice the figs in half from the top down and arrange on the plate. Crumble the blue cheese over the figs. Drizzle the honey over the figs and cheese and serve with candied walnuts (optional).
HONEY BAKLAVA BATONS
These simple cookies, an interpretation of the Middle Eastern pastry of baked phyllo layered with ground nuts and soaked with honey syrup, go nicely with ice cream.
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
4 phyllo sheets (18 inches by 13 inches each)
2/3 cup pistachios, walnuts or a combination of the two, finely chopped (about 8 tablespoons total)
Melt the butter with the honey in a small saucepan over medium heat, then remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon and allspice. Reserve 2 tablespoons for brushing the formed batons. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner. Lay one sheet of phyllo (cover the remaining stack with dampened paper toweling to keep the sheets from drying out) on the counter, with one of its long edges running parallel with the edge of the counter. Use a pastry brush to paint the sheet with the butter mixture. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of nuts evenly over the sheet. Carefully grip the edge closest to you and fold it one-fourth of the way, away from you. Fold the folded quarter in half and then in half again. This will create a kind of pastry baton that you can then easily roll all the way to the end of the sheet, until you have created 1 long baton. Cut the baton into five 5 1/2-inch lengths. Transfer the batons to the lined baking sheet, with the seams on the bottom. Repeat the process with the three remaining phyllo sheets. Before baking, brush the tops of the batons with the reserved butter mixture. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.
Makes 20 batons
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