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Monday, March 22, 2010

Golden Diples

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade?  No... very, very wrong.  Let's leave the lemons to the amateurs...  So, if you want to learn to do it up "Greek-style," then, when life gives you sour, you make something sweet, to savour! Now, roll up those sleeves and get ready for some delicious goodness; we're going in heavy: traditional golden 'diples' (pronounced: thee-p-less).

Diples are a traditional Greek dessert made from thin sheet-like dough. Quickly, the dough is rolled into long thin strips, cut into rectangles, and then fried in hot oil. Once they have cooled, they are dipped into a hot, honey-like syrup. Traditionally, warm honey is used in place of syrup, and the diples are sprinkled with chopped walnuts and cinnamon. The shapes vary from region to region but the most common are bow ties and spirals.

Diples are a common dessert in the Peloponnese region. They are served across all occasions and celebrations without reserve.
So, I ask you, "who could ignore 365 days of sunshine?" Everyday can feel like a little sliver of you basking on one of those 3,000 gorgeous, blue-water islands, slowly indulging in scrumptious honey soaked diples while sipping on your Greek 'cafe' and letting the warm breeze blow through your hair..."  I couldn't resist, well, rather, I refuse to resist!- and neither could the nobility of Mt. Olympus with it's reigning habitants. Besides, it's not by chance or coincidence that they deemed Greece their playground.  Enjoy!

Greek Diples
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
3 eggs
4 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons sugar
oil, for frying
1 cup honey
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
ground cinnamon
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt and make a well in the center using your hands. In a small bowl, combine eggs, brandy and sugar; whisk to combine. Add the egg mixture to the well in the flour and stir to combine. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to knead the mixture lightly until smooth (add a bit more flour if the dough seems sticky). Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, working with half of the dough at one time, roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/8-inch. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into long strips, about 1 1/4 inches wide. Tie the strips into loose knots and lay on a lightly floured baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Fill a Dutch oven or other heavy pan with 2 inches of oil and heat to 375 degrees F. Place the dough shapes into the hot oil, one by one, and fry until golden brown and crispy, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the fried "diples" to paper-towel-lined plates for draining.
In a small saucepan combine the honey and water and cook over low heat until honey is dissolved. Set aside and keep warm.
Dip the Diples one by one into the warm honey for a few seconds . 
Transfer the "diples" to a serving platter, or plates. Sprinkle with the walnuts and cinnamon, to taste.
Serve immediately.


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