Monday, September 7, 2009

Baklava Tartlettes

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What dessert tends to go best with a Mediterranean inspired meal? Baklava! Often associated with Greek cuisine, Baklava is also popular among Persian, Lebanese and other middle eastern countries. With the feast I prepared, I didn't want to end with something heavy. These buttery, flaky tarts were perfect and easy to prepare.

If you're not familiar (or comfortable) working with phyllo dough, have no fear. The original recipe calls for phyllo tart shells that are already formed, ready to fill and serve. However, sometimes the phyllo tart shells are either hard to find or more expensive than the plain phyllo dough. In that case, pick up the plain phyllo dough, use only 6 delicate sheets and save the rest for another day. The six sheets is all you need to yield 24 tartlettes. How is this possible? Stack the phyllo sheets and then cut it into 24 squares. It doesn't have to be perfect squares because you will take each stack of small squares, fan them out and form them inside each well of a mini muffin pan. Before you know it, you'll have 24 phyllo cups for a fraction of the price and any rips or tears you may have made while handling the phyllo dough will go unnoticed!

Baklava Tartlettes
recipe adapted from Taste of Home


6 sheets of phyllo dough
1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Stack the 6 phyllo sheets on top of each other. Cut the phyllo sheets into 24 squares (6 across, 4 down). If they are not perfect squares, it's okay.

Take 1 stack of squares and overlap in the well of a mini muffin pan. Press them into the well to form a tart shell. Repeat with each stack of squares until the mini muffin pan has been filled, set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; spoon 2 teaspoonfuls into each phyllo tart shell. Bake in the preheated oven for 1o minutes and cool on a baking rack.

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