It wasn’t too long ago that I had my first experience with baklava. My mom’s boss has a big Lebanese family, and one Christmas he sent her home with some of his sister’s home-made baklava. I only got a small piece of it, as the rest was demolished by the rest of my family, but I was hooked. I’ve never tried making the real thing myself, but when I saw this less messy and more travel-appropriate version, I just had to try it. I made these for a new years party, (where I also brought the cheesecake filled chocolate covered strawberries) and they went over quite well with the non-chocolate lovers of the group. I really love the combination of cinnamon, honey and walnuts in these — it makes the filling chewy, spicy and warm, which is a nice contrast to the crispy puff pastry.
These do take a little bit of time to assemble, but I found that it’s a lot easier when you’ve got everything assembled and ready to go. I didn’t have to roll out my puff pastry at all, because the sheets were already the size that the recipe called for. The only thing I would do differently is add some kind of glaze. They looked a little plain on the outside, and I think an extra bit of sugar on the outside would have worked really well. An easy way to do this would be to combine some powdered sugar, a little bit of vanilla and honey, a dash of vanilla, and enough water or milk to form a very thin glaze to drizzle on top. Also, unless you’re super confident in your pastry-closing skills, I would recommend lining your cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper. My pockets tended to leak a bit as the puff pastry expanded, and let me tell you, burnt-on caramel is not an easy thing to get off a cookie sheet!
You can find puff pastry at just about any grocery store. Look in the frozen section, near the pie crusts and ready-made desserts.
Adapted from: Baking Bites
1 box (16 oz.) puff pastry, at room temperature
1 c. walnuts, finely chopped
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 c. honey
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1) In a small bowl, mix together the walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
2) Add the honey and melted butter, mixing until well combined.
3) On a lightly floured surface, lay out the puff pastry. You should have two 8×10 inch sheets. Gently roll out to reach that size, if needed.
4) Cut each sheet into 2×4 inch strips. You should get 10 strips from each sheet, for a total of 20.
5) Place 1/2 tbsp. of the filling on one side of each strip, folding over the other side to form a pocket. Pinch the edges together very tightly.
6) Place pockets on a greased (preferably foil or parchment lined) cookie sheet.
7) Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until puffy and golden brown.