I was so happy to find that I had a few extra hours the other day to do with whatever I wanted. Anyone know the feeling? It’s kind of like Christmas (which, am I the only that’s freaking out a little about how close that is?)
So what did this crazy girl do with those hours. Well, that disaster area that was my closet a few days ago, yeah, I finally organized it and put all the cold weather clothes away and pulled out my capris and t-shirts cause it’s heating up and it’s long past time for them. I found a few summer items I bought last year that still have tags because I never wore them, how lame right? I did that and along with some other spring cleaning things that I’ve been putting off for forever. This might seem like a weird way to spend some free time but I couldn’t have been happier about getting it all done. Ooooh, and I even had time to give myself a pedicure, something I haven’t done in longer than I’d like to admit because it’s easy to forget to be a girl when you’re always covered in flour and tomato sauce. There isn’t a lot of motivation to dress well when you know you’ll probably just stain it.
I’m going to ignore that this season. I’ve got my flip-flops ready, my space somewhat in order, and I’m ready for Spring and the holidays! I know, that sounds so strange to me too. I’m still trying to fit those two things (Spring and Christmas) into the same sentence in a way that doesn’t make me want to cringe, but it hasn’t been working out yet. I’m not gonna let that kill the excitement I feel for November though. You guys with me? Prepare for the holidays cause they’re on the way.
I’m definitely going to try to find a few more of those free time pockets this month because I really want to get some new Christmas tunes (suggestions?), and I still need to have my official annual gingerbread house brainstorm session. I’ve got some fun ideas but nothing’s decided yet.
Okay, but you’re probably all a little bit curious about this recipe so I’ll tell you about it. If you’ve never heard of baklava then don’t feel bad. It’s not the most common dessert to those who don’t avidly read food blogs. It’s a turkish dessert that is made throughout Southwest Asia and it’s traditionally done with honey and pistachios, but you know how bad I am about tweaking recipes.
I’ve wanted to make baklava since I first heard of it but I didn’t decide to actually do it until Liv (my big sis) did nothing short of beg me to make it for her. After that I had to try it, you know, for my sister’s benefit. She made me do it.
I knew it had to include chocolate and, even though pistachios are hard to get here, I still wanted to include nuts of some kind and that’s when the idea hit me to make taste like one of my favorite cookie bars ever. Yep, magic bars. Those perfectly balanced treats that I used to love making for my daddy when I first started baking. I could never leave the recipe alone though, and I always changed something. I have a recipe on the blog for the best version of those bars that I’ve ever made, but I wanted to take the idea further and go baklava style.
And I’m sorry, but I’m not gonna lie to you. This recipe isn’t going to fit into a healthy category by anyone’s standards because it’s got tons of chocolate and lots of butter, and some more butter, and then there’s a little bit of butter, oh, and did I mention I put butter in it? Okay fine, it’s not really as bad as that. You just notice the butter more since you have to spread it layer by layer but it’s the same amount in a typical batch of cookies. and isn’t the overall mood of the health world shifting to “fat’s okay” and “sugar is what’s really bad”? Who can keep track anyway? Either way, maybe you could just make that salad I posted yesterday and this won’t seem so decadent. I’m also planning some healthy stuff to post soon because I have to keep beach season in mind while I’m planning my holiday menus. Ah, southern hem problems.
What I can say for this recipe is that it is way easier than it looks. Almost as easy as regular magic bars because you’re pretty much just replacing the graham crust with lots of phyllo dough sheets. The only part that is just a little tricky is not tearing the phyllo sheets, but after you get the hang of it you can put this together really fast and throw it in the oven. Then after it bakes you pour the sweetened condensed milk all over it, let it cool, and then you’ve got yourself a dessert that will have everyone impressed thinking you slaved over it.
Have a great weekend guys!
- 1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
- 1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
- 1 1/2 cups chopped semisweet chocolate chunks (or chips)
- 1 cup coconut flakes (I use unsweetened but sweetened will work)
- 1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1/2 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(180 C) and grease a 9x13 inch pan very well.
- Divide the phyllo sheets into fourths and layer 1/4 in pan, brushing each piece with a generous amount of butter in between each layer. Fold in any of the overhang from the sheets.
- Sprinkle about 1/3 of the chocolate chunks, nuts, and coconut as evenly as possible over first layer of phyllo.
- Repeat last 2 steps twice, layering another 1/4 of the phyllo sheets and brushing with butter then sprinkling chunks, until all the sheets have been added. Use a sharp knife to cut halfway through layers and cut into diamond shaped pieces (or squares if you prefer).
- Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the top is nice and golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for 3 to 4 minutes then pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over baklava and allow it to cool completely, at least 45 minutes.
- Cut pieces apart and if desired melt chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler or microwave safe bowl and drizzle over pieces, then sprinkle with nuts and let chocolate set.