Sunday, June 27, 2010

Heavenly Almond Coconut and Pine Nut Triangles

I love baklava!  All the nuts, honey and wonderful gooeyness enclosed in crispy buttery biting into a bit of heaven!  But what I don't love about it is the fact that it is messy, and you get all sticky when you eat I thought making something similar to individual baklava would be a wonderful idea.  Baklava triangles!  But since I am not one to stick with traditional methods,  I made my filling a bit differently than the classic baklava.  I swapped the walnuts and pistachios out for pine nuts, almonds and coconut and did away with the sugar syrup, simply using honey as the primary sweetener.  I added vanilla beans and extract to make the flavor more complexed and heavenly as well.  I enclosed this filling in the traditional filo dough, brushing it with butter and sprinkling it with sugar in between the layers to make it more crispy and satisfying.  As the wonderful golden triangles emerged from the oven, I was very pleased with their appearance!  Perfect beautiful golden, crispy triangles...I couldn't wait for them to cool to dive in.  So I cut one open and carefully took a bite...nearly burning my mouth, but they were so good!  Like the filling of a carmelized nut tart and a coconut macaroon married!  The pine nuts and almonds were a nice swap with the classic baklava nuts...they were so much more buttery and heavenly!  This is why I named these "Hevenly" Triangles, because I was in some other wonderful world while I was enjoying eating them!  They are really quite simple to make, once you get the folding and brushing simply must try making them! 

Heavenly Almond Coconut and Pine Nut Triangles

1 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup toasted sliced almonds
1 cup toasted unsweetened large flake coconut
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp rosewater
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
seeds of one vanilla bean
3/4 tsp salt

10 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
10 sheets filo dough
a heaping 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil, and spray with non-stick spray.

Combine filling ingredients in a food processor and pulse until blended and partially chopped. Set aside in a bowl. Place one sheet phyllo on work surface, and use a pastry brush to coat one half of it with coconut oil then sprinkle butter with about a tsp sugar. Fold in half lengthwise, and brush top with more coconut oil sprinkling again with about 1 tsp sugar. Fold in half again to make 4-inch strip of dough. Brush strip with coconut oil, sprinkle with about a tsp sugar, then spoon about 2 Tbs. nut mixture on corner of bottom edge. Fold corner across to make a small triangle, then fold up like a flag, enclosing nut mixture in triangle of phyllo. Brush both sides of phyllo triangle with coconut oil, then place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining phyllo sheets, butter, and nut mixture. Bake about 20-22 minutes, or until triangles are golden. Transfer to wire rack, and cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 10 triangles