Sunday, December 28, 2014

Salted Caramel Baklava Bites

I hope you all had a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, happy Kwanzaa, happy holidays, or just a happy day off from work!

Cannot believe the holidays have come and gone already. I say this every year, but this year just flew by! I am not ready to take down our holiday tree just yet.  It's just so pretty with all the lights on in the dark. Even as I am typing up this post, I have the tree on and am sitting in the dark with the fireplace on.

I wanted to quickly share this recipe because one, I haven't posted something in a while, and two, it was just such a great, quick dessert, and I really wanted to share it with all of you.

This recipe came about completely on a whim because what I thought was a friends potluck dinner tonight, was actually a friends potluck lunch! I went from having all day to make and bring my dessert as promised, to a little over an hour before we had to leave to make it to lunch. My first reaction was to stop by Whole Foods and pick something up, but then I felt bad. I promised a homemade dessert, and I was going to bring one!

I threw on my sweats, hurried off to HEB, and debated between puff pastry or phyllo, and pastry cream or nuts on my drive there. I picked up phyllo shells and nuts. Figured I would make something like baklava with a drizzle of caramel.

If you need a quick dessert, or realize you need to be somewhere at the last minute, these are great to take in hand and share with people you like.

Salted Caramel Baklava Bites

Salted Caramel:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Baklava Bites:
2 packages pre-baked phyllo shells (15 per pack)
1 cup walnut chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbs honey
1 teaspoon rose water
zest one orange
juice of half an orange
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350.

For the caramel, in a small sauce pan, melt down sugar and a couple drops of water. Keep stirring until the sugar melts and become a dark amber color. Add the butter and stir until butter is melted and combined. Turn off the heat, and take the sauce pan off of the stove.  Add the heavy cream, while stirring. The mixture will bubble, but keep stirring until the cream is incorporated and the caramel is smooth.  Add the vanilla and salt and stir until combined.  Let the caramel cool down to a drizzle consistency.

While the caramel cools down, combine the walnuts, pecans, brown sugar, honey, rose water, zest, and orange juice in a bowl.  Stir to coat the nuts fully.

On a large baking sheet, lay out the shells and fill with the nut mixture. Drizzle in a bit of melted butter into each shell.  Pop into preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Let the baklava bites cool a bit until the phyllo is crispy again. Drizzle on the salted caramel.