About a hundred years ago, grape molasses was the sweet of choice in rural Lebanon. Mixed with water and orange blossom essence for a summer drink, mixed with bread and ghee for a quick pudding, mixed with flour for some cookies, with bulgur, with chick peas…the list is very long.
Grape molasses is simply the molasses extracted from the sweet grapes. In our village in the Chouf mountains, there is a communal press which will make you some from your own grapes. The difference in taste and quality between the artisanal grape molasses and the ones available at the store is stark, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.
So here is some super-easy rolls, made with some frozen puff pastry, grape molasses and tahini. It is not very sweet, so feel free to sprinkle some raw brown sugar on top before throwing them in the oven if you have an acute sweet tooth.
- 1 Sheet of puff pastry
- 1 cup of tahini (stir before pouring)
- 1/2 cup of grape molasses
- 1 cup of raw (brown) sugar (optional)
- 1 egg yolk to brush the pastries before baking (optional)
- 1/4 cup of toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- Defrost the puff pastry sheet (or make your own: Just kidding)
- In a small bowl, pour one cup of tahini and 1/2 cup of grape molasses; you may adjust this depending on the size of your sheet of pastry and your taste, adding more molasses if the taste is too nutty and vice-versa.
- Spread the tahini/molasses mixture on the pastry. Sprinkle one cup of raw sugar on top if desired. Roll up like a jelly roll and cut into even-sized pieces. Place on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat (silicone sheet) or parchment paper. Brush the rolls with an egg yolk if you like sheen on the pastry. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for about 12 minutes or until the rolls are golden and puffed and crisped.
Grape molasses is sold in ethnic stores (such as Greek, Turkish, Middle-Eastern), some health food stores, some supermarkets and online.
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