Medjool Date Baklava with Rose Syrup
For Rose Syrup In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, honey, lemon juice, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 4 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and allow the syrup to cool; set aside. For Baklava Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, pulse walnuts with the ground cardamom until coarsely chopped, then set walnuts aside. Brush the inside of a large cast iron pan or baking dish with lavender butter (to prevent sticking). Layer one sheet of dough into the pan, brush generously with butter, then repeat 9 times, being sure to cover entire bottom of pan. (Should be 10 layers on the bottom of the pan.) When all layers are placed, spread 1/2 chopped walnuts evenly on top as well as a few diced Medjool dates. Lay another sheet of dough atop this, brush with butter, then repeat 4 times. (Should be 5 layers in the middle of the baklava.) Layer the remaining walnuts. Layer another sheet of dough atop this, brush butter, then repeat an additional 4 times. Continue this process of alternating walnuts and dates/dough until there are no more nuts, making sure to properly butter the last layer of phyllo dough on top. Using a knife, cut desired shapes into the top of the baklava (optional). Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, or until the tops are golden brown. Once removed from oven, immediately spoon the syrup mixture on top (it should sizzle when drizzles on top). Garnish with a sprinkling of rose petals. Allow baklava to cool to room temperature, cover with a tea towel or cloth and allow to sit for 4-6 hours or overnight to allow the flavors and textures to harmonize and blend together. Share and enjoy!