Posts Tagged ‘mini desserts’

¼ Cup Baklava Cups

February 17, 2012 2 comments

I’ve been craving Mediterranean food so that’s what we’re having for dinner tonight. I’m making oven-baked falafel, rice pilaf, hummus, tahini sauce, and tzatziki with all the salad fixings (olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, lettuce, onions, pickles, and pepperoncini peppers).  I wanted to make Baklava but I didn’t plan far enough in advance. So, I decided to create a quick and easy baklava-like pastry using frozen mini fillo shells. I named it ¼ Cup Baklava Cups because you use a ¼ cup of all the basic ingredients (honey, water, sugar, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios). To make it a little healthier, you could omit the extra sugar in the filling and the butter.  To me, the ¼ teaspoon of rose flower water is essential to the recipe.  Rose flower water is not the easiest ingredient to find in Huntsville, AL, but it is lovely.  It reminds me of my time living in Cyprus back in my 20s.  There, they baked cookies, baklava, and cakes flavored with rose flower water – they were delightful.

Probably the best place to look for rose flower water is in a Middle Eastern grocery, Mediterranean food market,, or a specialty food store. If you can’t find it, then orange blossom water could be substituted.  Again, not the easiest ingredient to find.   You can check the same stores.  I think our local The Fresh Market (TFM) has orange blossom water.  However, if you can’t find either ingredient, then vanilla will work.  I found the mini fillo cups at Publix.  It took three stores before I found them (Star Market and TFM did not have them). This recipe is really easy if you have a food processor:  you make a honey simple syrup, make a nut filling, fill the shells, bake, and then chill.  If you don’t have a food processor, it’ll just take a little more time to chop the nuts. 

¼ Cup Baklava Cups


¼ cup honey

¼ cup water

¼ cup sugar

1 tablespoon butter

½ a teaspoon of freshly grated Meyer lemon peel (or orange peel, optional)

1 teaspoon Meyer lemon juice (or orange juice, optional)

¼ teaspoon rose extract (orange blossom water or vanilla would also work)

⅛ teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of cloves



¼ cup walnuts

¼ cup almonds

¼ cup pistachios

1 tablespoon melted butter

2 tablespoons sugar

⅛ teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of cloves


Fillo Shells:

1 package 15 mini fillo shells (I used Athens®)

Preheat oven to 350º F. 

Syrup: Combine the syrup ingredients and simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.  You will end up with a nice, fragrant syrup.

Filling: Combine the nuts in a food processor and pulse 10 times.  Add the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.  Pulse another 10-12 times.    If you don’t have a food processor, just chop the nuts and add the other ingredients. You will end up with a nice crumbly mixture. 

Assembly: To keep the cookie sheet neat, I filled the shells in the plastic liner from the container.  Then, I transferred them to the parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Fill the shells with the nut filling (about a teaspoon in each shell). Carefully spoon a half teaspoon of syrup over the pastries.  Transfer the pastries to the parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake for about 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  Spoon the rest of the syrup over the warm pastries (about a teaspoon over each).  I saved the plastic tray and the original box for storing the pastries in the refrigerator.  Transfer the pastries back to the plastic tray and carefully return the tray to the box. I did this so they would stay neat and not take up too much room in the refrigerator (also, it keeps them from getting smooshed). Chill for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.  Remove from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before serving.