Citrus, cinnamon and smoky chipotle peppers make my version of this flaky, sweet pastry so unique. It's really rich, so a little goes a long way. —Christine Neary, Portland, Oregon
- 1 package (16 ounces) shelled walnuts
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons grated orange peel
- 1 teaspoon baking cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1-1/2 cups butter, melted
- 1 package (16 ounces, 14x9-inch sheets) frozen phyllo dough, thawed
- 1-3/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 to 2 dried chipotle chilies, split lengthwise in half
- 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches each)
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a food processor, combine the first five ingredients; pulse until walnuts are finely chopped. Brush a 13x9-in. baking pan with some of the butter. Unroll phyllo dough; trim to fit into pan.
- Layer three sheets of phyllo in prepared pan, brushing each with butter. Keep remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent it from drying out. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup walnut mixture. Repeat layers 11 times. Top with remaining phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter.
- Cut into 36 triangles. Bake 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine syrup ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Strain syrup through a fine mesh strainer; discard chilies and cinnamon sticks. Pour over warm baklava. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and let stand several hours or overnight. Yield: 3 dozen.
Originally published as Chipotle-Orange Baklava in Taste of Home November 2013
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