I love the sticky honey syrup, spices, nuts and crispy phyllo of homemade baklava but don’t want the fuss of preparing it in the traditional way. These easy-to-make cups offer all of the classic flavors and textures in the form of little cheesecakes.
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 teaspoons rosewater, optional
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 18 sheets phyllo dough (14 inches x 9 inches)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted
- 2/3 cup finely chopped almonds, toasted
- 2/3 cup finely chopped pistachios, toasted
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, flour and rosewater if desired; beat on low speed just until combined. Set aside.
- Using two 12-cup muffin tins, brush 12 alternating cups with butter. Layer six sheets of phyllo dough on a work surface, brushing each with butter. Cut stacked phyllo in half widthwise, then cut in half lengthwise. (Keep remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent it from drying out.)
- Carefully place each stack in a greased muffin cup, rotating sheets so corners do not overlap. Repeat twice with remaining phyllo dough and butter making 12 tarts.
- Fill each with a scant 1/4 cup cheesecake mixture. Bake at 350° for 20-22 minutes or until tarts are golden brown and crisp and filling is set. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water and honey; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cool. Spoon over tarts just before serving. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 1 dozen.
Originally published as Baklava Cheesecake Tarts in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2013, p138
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