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Barbara's Low-Fat-Reduced-Calorie Baklava

Servings: Makes approximately 35 servings
This wonderful low-fat-reduced-calorie Baklava recipe comes from my sister Barbara, a lover of middle eastern foods and pastries....Diana, Diana's Desserts

This rich-tasting baklava contains a fraction of the fat you would normally use and thanks to using sugar substitute instead of regular sugar it tastes just as sweet. The end result will satisfy your craving for a wonderful and healthier version of this delicious middle eastern pastry.

1/2 pound (226g) walnuts or shelled pistaschios, ground
3 tablespoons Splenda for Baking (or other sugar substitute such as Equal)
3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons rose water* (see note)
1/2 pound (226g) Filo (phyllo) dough
1/2 cup low-calorie (diet) margarine, melted
Rose Water Syrup (see recipe below)

Garnish (optional)
Ground Pistachios

*Note: Rose Water (or Rose Flower Water) may be purchased at Middle Eastern, Greek or Turkish grocery stores or at some gourmet stores. It may also be found at several stores on the internet.

1. Combine walnuts (or pistaschios), sugar, cinnamon and rose water in small bowl. Using half of filo sheets (cover remaining with plastic wrap to prevent from drying out), place 3 sheets in bottom of lightly greased 13-inch x 9-inch baking sheet. Brush with some of the melted margarine. Sprinkle evenly with nut mixture. Place remaining sheets over nut filling, brushing after every third sheet and top sheet.

2. Cut baklava at 1-1/2" intervals diagonally to form pattern of about 35 diamond shapes. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 C) for 25 minutes or until golden. Place on wire rack to cool. Drizzle Rose Water Syrup evenly over top and allow to soak several hours. If desired, sprinkle ground pistachios over top of Baklava.

Nutritional Information:
Each piece baklava with syrup contains about: 85 calories; 32mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 5 grams fat; 9 grams carbohydrate; 2 grams protein; trace fiber.

Exchanges: Serving Size: 1 piece
1/2 bread; 1/2 fat.

Rose Water Syrup
2 1/2 cups sugar substitute (such as Splenda, Equal, or Sweet N' Low)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup rose water

Prepare the syrup by combining the sugar substitute and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, add the rose water, and set aside until ready to use.

Source: Barbara Ehrlich
Date: April 11, 2005