Phyllo recipe

Holiday Chocolate Fan Cookies

Holiday Chocolate Fans

Holiday Chocolate Fans

If you want a cookie that is really going to impress you might want to make these Holiday Chocolate Fans. They are crisp, not too sweet and tipped with chocolate and fine chopped nuts. While they look difficult to make, they are actually quite easy. For starters you don’t have to make dough. These are made with phyllo dough. Phyllo is found in the freezer section at the grocery store. Phyllo dough (also spelled filo)  can be a little fussy. Be sure to keep extra dough covered with a damp towel so it won’t dry out and get brittle. It is best to work quickly when making these. We made these dipped in finely chopped toasted almonds. Other nuts could be used. You could also use white chocolate, if you prefer. I have even added a few sprinkles to the nuts for a pop of color.

 

 

 

Holiday Chocolate Fans

1 lb. phyllo dough, thawed*
1 c. butter, melted
12-oz. chocolate chips
2 T. shortening- you can use coconut oil instead
1 c. finely chopped nuts or coconut, pistachios are extra nice

Remove phyllo from box, still rolled up and cut crosswise into 5-6 equal pieces. Keep unused dough covered in a damp towel to prevent drying out. Take one piece of dough and open it up, cutting it in half crosswise. Take 1 sheet and brush with butter. Place another sheet on top and brush again with butter. Place third piece of dough on top and butter again. Starting at short end begin to fold the dough in ¾ inch folds, accordion style. Pinch together at one end and fan out the dough at the other. It should look like a little fan. Place on ungreased baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough. Bake at 375 degrees for 5 minutes. Cool. Melt chocolate and shortening together in microwave or on top of double boiler. Stir to smooth. Dip tip of wide end of fans in melted chocolate and then in the nuts or coconut. Place on a rack to cool and harden. Makes about 65 fans. Can be frozen.

 

 

*I buy frozen phyllo dough but be sure to get the right one. Around here there are 2 different sizes. You’ll need the long box- where the dough is 15 inches long.

fold dough like a pleat

fold dough like a pleat

Pinch one end and fan out the dough

Pinch one end and fan out the dough

finished fans

finished fans

Baklava

Baklava

Baklava

This was specially requested for a dinner with friends. I don’t make it often, but who can say “no” to friends? Rich and sweet, small squares of baklava are a wonderful end to any meal.  You can easily cut this recipe in half if you want to make a smaller batch. When working with phyllo keep the sheets pliable by covering them with  a damp towel to keep them from drying out.

Baklava

2 lbs. phyllo

1 lb. butter, preferably unsalted

1½ lbs. walnuts or blanched almonds, chopped fine

½ c. sugar

½ t. cinnamon

1/8 t. cloves

Combine nuts, sugar and seasonings and set aside. Brush a large jellyroll pan (12×17) with butter and line bottom with 15 phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter as you go. Spread 1/3 of the nut mixture on phyllo leaves. Top with 5-6 buttered sheets of phyllo. Spread with another third of the nut mixture. Add another layer of 5-6 buttered leaves and remaining nut mixture. You should have 15-17 leaves for the top. Brush top layer of leaves with remaining butter. With a sharp pointed knife score the top sheets in whatever shapes and sizes you want. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour. Baklava should be golden brown.  Meanwhile prepare syrup. When baklava has cooled, warm up the syrup and pour over.

Syrup:

2 c. sugar

1 c. honey

2 c. water

zest of 1 lemon or orange

Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.  Strain and set aside.

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