Chocolate Chip Baklava
My version of baklava, a rich pastry made with layers of phyllo dough filled with toasted ground nuts, miniature semisweet chocolate chips and a kiss of orange and cinnamon.
1 1/2 pounds nuts (walnuts, almonds or pecans or a combination), toasted
1 (12-ounce) package miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound phyllo pastry sheets* (also called filo)
2 cups (1 pound) butter, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
Peel from 1/2 an orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Finely chop the nuts in a food processor and transfer to a bowl. Add the chocolate chips, brown sugar and ground cinnamon; stir to combine. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Unroll the phyllo and halve crosswise with a very sharp knife. Immediately cover with a piece of plastic wrap and a damp tea towel. Keep the phyllo covered at all times while working to prevent it from drying out.
- Brush a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with some of the melted butter.
- To build the baklava, lay a sheet of phyllo in the pan. Lightly brush with melted butter; cover with another sheet of phyllo, and butter again. Repeat 6 more times for a base of 8 buttered phyllo sheets. Sprinkle about 1/3 cup (or enough to cover entire surface) of the nut/chocolate chip filling evenly over the stacked sheets. Cover with 4 phyllo sheets, brushing each with melted butter and then sprinkle with another 1/3 cup of the filling. Continue layering until the filling is used up. Top the last layer of filling with 8 layers of buttered phyllo sheets.
- Using a sharp knife, make 5 cuts across the baklava lengthwise and then cut diagonally to form diamonds.
- Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until the baklava is a lovely golden brown.
- Meanwhile, combine the sugar, water, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon stick and orange peel in a saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, discard the cinnamon stick and orange peel and stir in the vanilla. Set aside to cool.
- Pour the syrup over the entire surface of the baked baklava. Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting into 48 small squares or as desired.
Makes 48 servings.
*Found in the frozen food section of supermarkets. For best results, thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/48 of recipe): 266.8 calories; 62% calories from fat; 19.6g total fat; 20.3mg cholesterol; 102.0mg sodium; 78.9mg potassium; 22.9g carbohydrates; 1.7g fiber; 11.6g sugar; 21.2g net carbs; 3.2g protein.