Almond Halvah

(Badem Helvasý)
This is an adaptation of a recipe we enjoyed while visiting Turkey.

Almond Halvah
This nutty-tasting Turkish confection is served at birth celebrations, funerals, and other types of ceremonies.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 12 cup high-protein all-purpose flour, such as King Arthur
  • 12 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tbsp. blanched almond halves, toasted
  • 14 tsp. salt
  • 8 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. rose water

Instructions

  1. Stir together flours, 2 1⁄2 tbsp. of the almonds, and salt in a medium bowl. Melt butter in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture darkens slightly and looks moist, about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put sugar and 1 2⁄3 cups water into a small pot; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Allow syrup to boil for 2 minutes; remove from heat. Add syrup to flour–almond mixture and stir until well combined (the result should look like cookie dough). Cover pot and cook over low heat for 8 minutes. Uncover pot, transfer mixture to a serving plate, and smooth into a 7"–8" round with the back of a spoon. With a large soup spoon, press indentations around the edges of the almond halvah to form a decorative pattern, then sprinkle with rose water. Gently press the remaining almonds into the center of the halvah in a radiating flower pattern. Serve, warm or at room temperature, in scoops with Turkish Coffee, if you like.