Saturday, February 16, 2013

Betty Crocker & Savour Fare: Baklava Bars

My friend Kim has a bad habit of looking at what I have pinned to my boards, and then demanding that I make all the wonderful things that she sees.  I'm not sure who is going to eat all these luscious goodies, especially since she eats like a bird, but just this one time I figured I would humor her.  I mean, what are friends for?  Especially friends with baklava bars?

These were stellar.  I like the changes that were made to the Betty Crocker recipe, although I had to cut back on the lemon juice for my finalized version.  Maybe I just had a particularly juicy lemon, but ½ a lemon was a bit overpowering.  Oh, and schedule a dentist appointment before you indulge.  I promise you'll get a cavity.

Baklava Bars
Adapted from Betty Crocker and Savour Fare blog

Cookie Base:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
Zest of 1 lemon
3 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

8 sheets frozen phyllo dough
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1½ cups chopped walnuts
 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cream the butter with the sugar, baking soda, salt, extracts, and lemon zest until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Add flour and baking powder and beat until combined.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter, and lay the phyllo sheets out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or silpat, brushing each sheet with melted butter before adding the next. It does not matter if it bunches or tears since it will all be crumbled up anyway. Brush the last sheet with the remaining melted butter, and pop it in the oven until the phyllo is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

Reduce oven heat to 350°F. Press the cookie dough into a greased 9x13-inch rectangular pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until just starting to color, and remove from oven to cool.

Crumble the phyllo sheets into a medium bowl. Add the walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and 4 more tablespoons of the butter, softened, and mix to combine. Spread this mixture over the par-baked cookie dough, and bake 18 minutes longer. Remove from the oven.

Meanwhile, in a small, microwave safe bowl, combine remaining 4 tablespoons butter, cinnamon, lemon juice, brown sugar, honey, and vanilla extract. Microwave 1 minute or until the mixture is bubbly (this can also be done on the stovetop). Pour the glaze evenly over the cookies still in the pan. Let cool thoroughly, and cut into triangles.

Makes 48 cookies

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