This holiday season, I didn’t want to bake cupcakes, cakes, or cookies. I wanted to bake something new, something I’ve never attempted before. I came across something that only a dessert genius would come up with…. NUTELLA BAKLAVA?! Oh my gosh.. my heart skipped a beat when I read the title and my heart skipped a second beat as I was scrolling drooling over the pictures. I skimmed through the list of ingredients and realized ALMOST every item was already in my kitchen. OMG, must be a sign. I immediately put my shoes on and ran out the door to pick up some phyllo dough. I got home and was sad when I realized I had to wait for the phyllo dough to defrost. Darn!
Phyllo dough is an entremely thin dough that is most seen in the freezer aisle today. It can be made at home, but takes a great skill to make and a huge table and long roller is needed along with a lot of your time. It tastes great with meats, potatoes, and of course NUTELLA. DUHHHH. I’ve watched my mother work with phyllo dough when I was a young child so I knew exactly what to do after reading the recipe. If you’ve never heard or worked with phyllo dough, you may get a little confused, but don’t fret! Practice makes perfect!
Hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios – a freak nut’s dream come true. Flakey layers of thin sticky crispy buttery crunch – a pastry lover’s dream. Nutella – well that’s self explanatory. If you fall into all three categories like I do, you REALLY have to try these. They can be time consuming to make, but that’s okay. Just get your baking loving friend to make these for you. I’m pretty sure everyone knows someone who loves being in the kitchen. He or she will thank you for sharing the recipe as much as I thank Epicurean Mom for posting it =]
*I’ve made this twice in the past week. The first time, I didn’t read the instructions carefully and ended up cutting the baklava AFTER baking. It started out as a crumbly mess, but I poured the syrup over the entire thing and let it cool before cutting. Everything turned out OK, WHEW. But I found that cutting before baking is so much easier and the end result is so much prettier.
Cutting before baking:
Adapted from Epicurean Mom
1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 C. nutella, melted
24 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
1/2 C. toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/3 C. blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 C. toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
3/4 C. honey
1/4 C. water
1 cinnamon stick
First things first, make sure all ingredients are ready. I started off with all whole nuts. I even had my sister deshell all of the pistanchios for me =P You can either hand chop the nuts or do what I did and throw them all into a blender. Pulse just a few times. You don’t want to end up with a bunch of powder. Set aside.
Melt butter in a small dish and set aside.
Put nutella in a small bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until the nutella is thin and easy to spread. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a 9×13″ brownie pan, lay 6 sheets of phyllo dough on the bottom of the pan, making sure to brush each layer with butter before putting the next layer on.
Spread 1/3 of the melted nutella over the phyllo dough then spread 1/3 of the nut mixture evenly over the nutella. Layer another 6 sheets of phyllo dough, buttering each layer, over the nutella and nuts followed by another third of the nutella and nuts. Repeat this again, ending with a last layer of 6 buttered sheets of phyllo dough.
Press down to compress everything together. Using a sharp knife, cut into desired sized pieces.
Bake for about 35 minutes, until the phyllo dough is golden brown.
As the baklava is baking, add the honey, water, and cinnamon stick in a small pot. Stir the mixture until the honey and water are mixed together. Bring the mixture up to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. The mixture should still be liquidy, but not as loose as water is. Set aside.
when the baklava is ready, take out the pan and evenly distribute the honey mixture over the baklava. Put aside and let cool.
Enjoy the baklava after it’s been cooled. Keep in a sealed tight container for up to a week for freshness.
Diet starts tomorrow…