An easy Greek baklava recipe made bite sized! These Rolled Baklava Cigars With Citrus Honey are a more fun, less messy way to eat baklava! Topped with honey and orange zest, these rolls are not too sweet and can be frozen if needed!
Being Greek, I have had my fair share of baklava.
Ironically as a child, I never liked it. Weird since when your young, anything that sweet is usually very appealing. I guess I thought of it as a “grown up” dessert with the nuts especially.
Now I can’t get enough of it! Give me a slice with some hot coffee and I’m a happy girl.
Traditional baklava does not require a fork but the flakey phyllo layers make it very messy to eat. So I decided to make baklava BITE SIZED because it is just too easy to eat and WAY neater!
What Ingredients Are In Baklava?
Traditionally, baklava is made with the following ingredients:
- Phyllo Dough
- Nuts (walnuts or pistachios)
I added honey, brown sugar and lemon zest to my baklava.
Because it makes these even better!
How Do You Make “Greek” Baklava?
Greek baklava is typically made with all of the above ingredients (pistachios being the ideal nut) and sometimes made with honey!
You may find some variations of traditional baklava recipes but stick to those ingredients and you wont go wrong.
I often see a lot of baklava recipes calling for lemon juice or the zest but it is not necessary. With that said, the addition of that citrus definitely adds ‘brightness’ to the dessert.
And in my opinion, orange and honey go much better together so I added some orange zest instead of the lemon!
Just grate the zest of an orange and add it to the honey and water and mix!
Are You Intimidated By Phyllo?
Baklava is one of those desserts that looks like it took hours to make. I think that is because it requires Phyllo or “Filo” dough which always looks so fancy.
Phyllo can definitely be very intimidating so don’t even bother making your own!!
Buy a package from your local grocer. You can find the dough in the freezer aisle.
*For my Mini Baklava Rolls With Citrus Honey, one sheet will yield two rolls.
Things to keep in mind when working with Phyllo dough:
- Defrost in the fridge! It can get gummy if you do otherwise.
- Keep sheets of phyllo moist by laying a damp towel over top when not using.
- Be gentle with dough so you do not puncture too many holes.
- Lightly flour your counter top so the dough does not stick and rip.
- More butter does not necessarily yield a flakier dough
Can You Freeze Baklava?
Yes!! If you want to make these ahead of time, go right ahead!
You can freeze these pre-baked or baked.
If you freeze them baked, I recommend using some parchment paper between the baklava rolls so they do not stick to one another!
Then, defrost in the fridge overnight and you’ll be ready to bake or serve come party time!
One thing I never liked is an overly sticky, sweet baklava. I do believe desserts can be TOO sweet!
You want to avoid the extremes. Extremely DRY baklava and extremely SOGGY baklava.
Dry baklava is from a lack of syrup (or honey). This can easily be fixed.
Soggy dough can happen after covering the finished product with too much simple syrup. This CAN’T be fixed!
That is why I chose to use honey instead. I think it allows the dough to stay nice and crisp while still getting that syrupy flavor.
It is also a bit healthier than straight sugar water which makes me feel better about eating dough brushed with butter! 😉
Other quick bite sized dessert recipes you may like:
Rolled Baklava Cigars With Citrus Honey
Mini Baklava Rolls With Citrus Honey
- 1 Package Frozen Phyllo Dough ((About 20 sheets))
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter
- 2 Cups Walnuts or Pistachios (or both) ((finely chopped))
- 1 Tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Tsp. Clove
- 1/2 Tsp. Salt
- Flour for surface
Citrus Honey Syrup
- Zest 1 Orange
- 3/4 Cup Honey
- 1/4 Cup Water
- Defrost your phyllo dough in the fridge. I recommend popping the dough in the fridge at least the night before or even days/weeks prior. Phyllo stays fresh in the fridge for up to 30 days.
- Prepare your nut mixture first by combining the chopped nuts, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl.
- Melt butter in a small bowl using the microwave. Add almond extract to the butter.
- Unroll defrosted dough and keep moist with damp towel as you assemble your rolls.
- Take one phyllo sheet and lay on a lightly floured surface.
- Brush lightly with butter. Take the top and fold in half downwards. See photo.
- Brush again with butter and about 3 tbsp. of nut mixture spreading evenly across the folded phyllo sheet.
- Roll the sheet carefully making sure not to puncture dough. Lightly butter top of roll.
- Place on baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the sheets.
- Bake at 350 F for 18-20 min. or until golden brown.
- While baking, add honey, water and citrus to small bowl.
- Spoon the citrus honey over each roll while still hot. Let cool and serve sprinkled with nuts!
- Freeze pre/post baking and then allow to defrost in fridge when ready to serve or bake!
- Serve sprinkle with nuts or sift powdered sugar/cinnamon on top.
- Place a skewer or toothpick in each for easy biting
- Try serving with ice cream!