Baklava Two Ways

2 Jan

I am surprised that I haven’t ever posted this recipe!  Most likely because I haven’t made it in a while.  I really enjoy baklava, but like Spanakopita and Tiropita, it’s somewhat time-consuming to make having to butter all the phyllo dough.  In the end, though, all the work is so worth it!  For New Year’s Day, my sister and I decided we wanted a Greek feast for dinner, and we spent 3 hours prepping tiropita, pastitsio, and dolmathes.  We had a roll of phyllo dough left, so we decided to make a dessert to take to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for dinner tonight.  I thought of baklava, but the nuts are pretty expensive to get already chopped.  So, then I thought about the Biscoff Cookie Truffles my sister had made last week, which were absolutely amazing, and thought that the Biscoff cookies and Biscoff spread would make a great filling instead of the traditional nut filling.  Turns out that I’m not the only to have the idea of Biscoff Baklava, but we made a few changes because I was worried that version would be way to sweet and over seasoned.  The Biscoff cookies and spread are already so flavorful on their own, they don’t need anything else, as evidenced by the truffles we’d just made.  It turned out amazing, and I will share how we made it and include the traditional baklava filling and the Biscoff filling.

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Baklava

What you need:

1 roll 9″ x 14″ phyllo dough (usually in your grocery’s freezer section)
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

Traditional baklava filling:
4 cups (1 lb) coarsely ground walnuts
2 cups (1/2 lb) coarsely ground almonds
4 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 Tbsp melted butter

Alternate Biscoff baklava filling:
1 8.8 oz package Biscoff cookies
1/2 of a 14 oz jar of Biscoff spread
4 oz cream cheese

Syrup:
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 c. water
2 c. sugar
1 cinnamon stick

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Traditional baklava filling:
Combine the ingredients for the filling.  Brush bottom and sides of 13″ X 9″ pan with melted butter. Lay phyllo dough in bottom of pan, generously brushing with butter.  Repeat this process, brushing each sheet of dough with butter, using half the dough in your roll. Pour filling over phyllo dough and spread evenly. Continue again with layers of phyllo dough, brushing each sheet of dough with butter, until you have used the remaining dough.

Alternate Biscoff filling:
Place Biscoff cookies in a large zipper bag and crush into fine pieces using a rolling pin.  In a small saucepan, heat Biscoff spread and cream cheese over low heat.  Stir continuously until mixed together and easier to spread.  Brush bottom and sides of 13″ X 9″ pan with melted butter. Lay phyllo dough in bottom of pan, generously brushing with butter.  Repeat this process, brushing each sheet of dough with butter, using half the dough in your roll. Carefully spread the Biscoff spread and cream cheese mixture over the phyllo dough.  Next, evenly pour the crushed Biscoff cookies over the spread.  Continue again with layers of phyllo dough, brushing each sheet of dough with butter, until you have used the remaining dough.

Score through top layers of the pastry with a sharp knife. Pour remaining butter over. Bake for 40 minutes on the bottom oven rack or until pastry is golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack and cool for 5 minutes.

Biscoff Baklava

I forgot to get a picture before we started serving it, but this gives you an idea of one way to make the cuts.

Combine all syrup ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes or until it reaches 225 F on a candy thermometer. Remove cinnamon stick and allow to cool.

Pour cooled syrup over hot pastry. Allow to stand for at least 3 hours or overnight. (Note: I like to put mine in the fridge overnight, then bring to room temperature before served.)

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