I was invited to a party last weekend, of course I needed to bring a dish, so I had a great spinach feta and black olive pastry planned. They were going to be cute little bundles of crispy phyllo dough with a nice creamy filling. When I realized we were going to have to be a little more that "fashionably" late I thought bringing a dessert would be a better choice so I looked in my pantry to see what I had on hand and here is what I ended up with. Baklava!! If you have never had Baklave it is a nice crispy thin pastry with a sweet layer of sugars, nuts, and spices between. It is a pretty thing to bring to a get together because it looks far more "fancy" than it actually is. Not to mention it just shines next to the Jello mold that someone always brings but no one ever eats! LOL
OK There is just one rule you must know before making this... Phyllo dough is THIN a few pieces may tear and that is fine what isn't fine is to let it dry out! So lay your dough out on a piece of wax paper lay a piece of wax paper on top of it and on top of that lay a wet (not dripping!) towel. You need to do this step!!
The Cooking Diva's Baklava
Phyllo dough (1 pkg)
Stick butter about 2 sticks per roll melted... (there are 2 rolls in the pkg of phyllo)
Brown sugar about 3/4 cup per roll
Cinnamon 1 tablespoon per roll
Nutmeg 1 teaspoon per roll
Almonds about a cup or so per roll (I only had about 1/2 that on hand and it came out fine too)
vanilla 1/2 tablespoon per roll
first take everything EXCEPT the dough and the butter and throw it in the food processor and let her rip.
You see the funny looking pad in the pic below? These are great for any baking you may do but if you don't have one you will be ok. Just use some wax paper.
Preheat the oven to 375. Lay a sheet of phyllo out on the wax paper brush with butter and lay another sheet on top of that do this 3 times so you will have 4 sheet of just the butter and phyllo then you start layering the sugar mixture. Phyllo, butter, sugar mixture, phyllo, butter.... you get the idea you do this until you have used all of the dough. I usually top mine off with just a cinnamon sugar mix but you can use the one you already have made if you like I just think it looks prettier without the bits on nuts on top.
Bake it for about 15 or 20 min or so you want it to be crispy on the edges and a little browned
Then cut it into pieces and then take all of the "oh you are so good, you made this?!?" that come your way. And if you have any leftover it is nice with your morning coffee the next day.
Ok I had to put these pictures on here I first started making bundles but they were way more work then I had time to put in that day. Then I found out that Phyllo makes little shells that may have worked out better. I may try them next time. If you decide to use the shells I think you could brush with butter and fill them with the sugar mixture and they should bake up beautifully. Although maybe not as pretty as these! :)