Thursday, December 17, 2020

Christmas Cookies, Traditional Paklava and other sweet Treats

We all know this has been a tough year, but it’s finally coming to an end. With that in mind, let’s focus on the celebration of Christmas.

I can think of no better way to prepare, than by making an assortment of Christmas cookies, traditional paklava and other sweet treats!

Here are some of our favorites. We hope you’ll like them as much as we do!

From our Kitchen to yours, we wish you all a Very Merry Christmas – and – a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful New Year!!

Almond Pine Nut Cookies  
Almond Pine Nut Cookies

Apricot Crescent Cookies
Apricot Crescent Cookies

Apricot Logs
Apricot Logs

Apricot Leather 
Apricot Leather


Chocolate Tahini Truffles

Cheese Kadaif

Nut-filled Kadaif
Nut-filled Kadaif

Cream filling for Kadaif

And Last but not least ...
Traditional Paklava (Recipe follows.)
Traditional Paklava - ready to serve!

Yield: 30 to 40 pieces

Fillo dough, clarified butter, simple syrup, and chopped nuts with cinnamon. 
Filling Ingredients:

2 cups walnuts, pecans or pistachio nuts, chopped

1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

Main Ingredients:

11/2 cups clarified unsalted butter, melted (*See below)

1 lb. Phyllo dough, thawed


1. In a medium bowl, combine nuts and cinnamon. Set aside.

2. Lightly brush a 9" x 13" baking pan with melted butter. (FYI: I made a smaller amount in an 8"x8" pan.)

3. Place half of the phyllo sheets (20 sheets) on the bottom of the pan, lightly brushing every (or every other) sheet with melted butter.

4. Spread with nut mixture.

Buttered bottom layers are cover with nut-cinnamon filling.
5. Layer the rest of the phyllo sheets (20 more sheets) on top, lightly brushing each sheet, including the top layer, with melted butter.

6. Place tray of unbaked paklava in refrigerator for about45 minutes to one hour before attempting to cut.

Paklava ready to bake.

7. To make diamond-shaped cuts: using a very sharp knife, cut diagonally, then make vertical cuts through phyllo dough.

8. Bake in preheated 350°- 375° F oven (depending on your oven) for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden brown.

9. As soon as the paklava comes out of the oven, spoon some of the cooled syrup over the top of each piece. Cool completely before serving.


*To clarify butter: Melt about 1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups butter or butter and margarine over low heat until foam appears. Skim foam and keep on low heat for about 15 minutes or until water has evaporated and salt and solids settle to bottom of pan. Cool about 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully pour clarified butter into container, leaving salt and solids at bottom of the pan. Discard solids.

Simple Syrup Ingredients:

2 cups sugar

1 ½ cups water

1 strip of lemon peel or a drop of lemon juice


Bring all ingredients to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and cool.

For the Mini Paklava recipe, click here.

Mini Paklava

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