Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Easy Baklava Cups

     Hello everyone!  How are things?  I know I haven't posted in almost forever (7 days), but I've been kind of busy.  And I cannot wait until spring break.
     Anyways, you wanna know what those gems up there are?  Let's call them a "rustic" version of baklava-- you know, that delicious Greek dessert made from phyllo, honey, and nuts?  The only change I made was putting the dessert into cups, kind of like those brownie-cookie bites I made earlier.  It's funny how the reason I make these bite-sized things is because I don't have enough ingredients or materials to make the full version, and the cute little desserts turn out even better.  Seriously, these would be great at a party.  
      I didn't have enough phyllo dough to make the full version (I only had 8oz instead of 16), so I decides to make phyllo cups.  To make the process a lot quicker, you can buy the pre-made, pre-baked cups that you can find in the freezer isle. 
 To make 2 dozen phyllo cups:
1/4 cup melted butter
at least 10 sheets phyllo (more in case some rip)
some sugar
Brush one sheet with butter and sprinkle with sugar, then place another sheet on top.  Repeat until you have 5 sheets stacked on top of each other (the top shouldn't be brushed with butter.)  Cut into 12 pieces.  Repeat for another 12 squares.  
Spray a mini muffin pan (24 cups) with baking spray (or just grease). Press the squares of dough in so they look like cups.  Bake at 375*F for 5 minutes, or until the edges are light brown.  

      Phyllo dough is amazing.  It's so flaky and wonderful. However, it's a but tricky to work with, because if you don't keep the dough covered, it'll turn dry and flaky a little too early, and it'll be impossible to work with.  You should make sure that you have a few extra sheets in case some rip or dry out.  I kept my dough under damp paper towels, and it worked fine.  Also, remember to thaw the dough for 2 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. 
      The filling is really simple: just toasted walnuts and some spices ground.  You can use any kind of nut, actually.  Toasting them really brings out the flavor.
Place the filling in the cups and bake for 5-8 minutes until the filling is hot and the phyllo is brown.
       What sets baklava apart is it's syrup.  It's simple and made from honey, water, orange peel, and cinnamon.  You should let the baklava sit for 5 hours at room temperature to let the syrup soak in.  I know, I can't wait that long either.  Store the baklava by covering it and keeping it at room temperature.
Syrup in the making.
The product should look something like this.


Baklava Cups

makes 24 cups
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker


1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick (or a dash of ground cinnamon)
1 strip orange peel (or lemon)
24 phyllo cups, pre-baked and thawed if frozen (see notes above)
1 cup walnuts, toasted (or a different kind of nut)
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves


  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease a 24 cup mini muffin pan and put in phyllo cups.
  2. Bring water, sugar, honey, cinnamon stick, and orange peel to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to combine.  Lower heat to medium and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved.  Set aside.
  3. Place walnuts, cinnamon, and cloves in a food processor and grind until fine.  It's okay if there are a few larger pieces, and you shouldn't process it for too long or it'll become a paste.  You can also just chop the walnuts and mix in the spices.
  4. Place the nut mixture into the phyllo cups.  Bake in preheated oven for 5-8 minutes, until the shells are brown and the filling is hot. Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack.
  5. Pour a spoonful of syrup into each cup.  Let the baklava sit for 5 hours before serving so that the syrup can soak in.  Store, covered, at room temperature.  

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