Yes, the Baklava obsession continues!
I made these for a friend’s 30th birthday, and I just love how they turned out (luckily, he did too!). I’d researched several Baklava “rolls” recipes prior to making these, but none of the fillings really spoke to me. I ended up improvising and adapting the filling recipe from my Baklava Pull-Apart Bread. It has just the right amount of lemon zest and spice, and a little moisture added to the mix makes the ground nuts clump together. This makes it easier to roll them up into Filo cigars.
Do I have to tell you how amazing these are with coffee? Do it!
I’ll admit to being a little intimidated by the rolling process, but after the first two rolls I found the groove, and from then on it was smooth sailing. The video will help demonstrate the technique. It’s really not that difficult, and kind of like rolling up a burrito!
These cigars are hearty and definitely good party fare. They are doused with honey soaking syrup so the texture and flavors improve upon standing. They can be made ahead if you have time constraints.
These were so delicious! I decided to use the fancy honey I’d been saving for a special occasion to drizzle on top just before serving. The second batch I made was served with pieces of comb honey which makes a pretty presentation and it’s fun to squeeze the honey onto the cigars (and then lick honeyed fingers).
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup water
- Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 12 ounces pistachios
- 12 ounces walnuts
- 6 ounces pecans
- Zest of 1 large lemon about 1 tablespoon
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 package 1 lb. frozen Filo pastry, thawed
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted
- Comb honey or other runny honey
- Make the syrup: Combine the sugar, honey and water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla bean seeds and cinnamon. Let cool completely.
- Make the cigars:
- In the bowl of a food processor combine the pistachios, walnuts, pecans, lemon zest, cinnamon and sea salt. Process until the nuts are ground fine. Add the vanilla extract and process until the mixture forms large moist clumps. Place about 1/4 cup of the ground nuts in a small bowl and set aside for garnish.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Butter a 13×9-inch baking dish.
- Remove the phyllo from the package. Work with one roll at a time and keep the stack of dough sheets covered with a moist towel to prevent them from drying out. Take out 1 sheet and put it on a work surface. Gently brush with the melted butter. Add a second sheet; brush with butter. Top with a third sheet, brush with butter. Add about 3 tablespoons of nut filling toward the bottom of the short end of the pastry and roll up about half way; fold in the long edges of the pastry and roll up completely. Place the roll seam-side down in the buttered 13×9-inch baking dish. Repeat process with remaining phyllo sheets and filling. When the baking dish is full, cut the rolls down the center with a sharp knife. Brush the rolls lightly with melted butter.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 22 to 32 minutes. Keep a sharp eye on them so they don’t over-brown.
- Remove the cigars from the oven and immediately drizzle the cooled syrup over the hot baklava. (This is important! The baklava must be hot and the syrup must be cool so that the phyllo retains its crispiness!) Garnish with the reserved ground nuts. Serve with comb honey or drizzle with honey before serving.