baklavaI shared a picture on Facebook last week of a dessert I made for my 30th wedding anniversary celebration. It got a LOT of likes and comments, as well as requests for the recipe, so I thought it best to post it here.

It’s actually a variation of a very easy recipe I make whenever I want to “impress” guests. I call it baklava because it looks like my old favorite, the Greek dessert baklava.

Baklava is made with layers of filo dough (made with gluten rich white flour). My variation used Paleo Wraps – made with coconut meat. They come from Julian Bakery. Another option is Pure Wraps, from Improv’ eat. Both are available on Amazon US, as well as many other online retailers. You can also make coconut wraps by blending young coconut meat with just enough water to make a thick batter and dehydrate for approximately 8 hours, flip, and dehydrate until done.

The baklava filling is traditionally made with honey and walnuts. My variation uses some sort of nut or seed butter with whatever nut I am in the mood for – sometimes walnuts, sometimes pecans, sometimes pistachios. I sweeten with luo han or stevia, so they are low-glycemic. I sometimes add cacao for a chocolate flavor. Be creative and have fun. They take just a few minutes to make and have been a hit with just about everyone who has tried them.

Recipe for my Anniversary Chocolate Baklava:

  • 1 Paleo Wrap or Pure Wrap
  • Approximately 2-3 Tablespoons of coconut butter (I used Artisana Brand)
  • 1 tsp raw cacao powder (substitute carob or vanilla if sensitive to chocolate)
  • A few drops stevia concentrate and a pinch of luo han extract (I combined so there was less of a stevia aftertaste)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cacao nibs
  • Water – if needed – just a little to thin so it’s spreadable)
  • Optional: Sometimes I add a teaspoon of cherry juice concentrate – I use Purium brand. I don’t remember if I used it or not this time, but it tastes great, so if you have it, give it a try.

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix everything except the wrap. Once well combined, it should be spreadable – like soft nut butter.
  2. Lay the wrap out on a cutting board and cut on the diagonal to form 2 triangles.
  3. Spread filling mixture on one of the triangles, getting close to edges but not all the way to edges
  4. Lay the second triangle on top and press lightly to seal.
  5. Cut into triangles by cutting in half on diagonal, then again – to desired size.
  6. Eat and enjoy, and store the rest in the refrigerator.

Optional (more work, but I have done it): Cut the original wrap into 4 triangles (or double the recipe and use 2 wraps). Spread 1/3 of the mixture on the first triangle, cover with the second triangle, spread the next 1/3 of mixture on top and cover with the 3rd triangle, then spread remaining mixture on top and cover with the 4th triangle.

For big parties, I’ve made a huge amount of filling and used 4 wraps, then cut into little triangles for all to enjoy.

The sky is the limit on variations.

Other “butters” I’ve used: almond, sesame tahini, pecan, cashew
Other nuts/seeds I’ve used: pecans, pistachios, macadamia nuts

Sometimes I leave the nuts out and just use cacao nibs, sometimes I don’t put anything crunchy and just keep it smooth. One of my quick and easy ones is almond butter with cherry juice concentrate. Sometimes I use with hemp seeds.

Have fun with this! Please comment and let me know if you’re going to try this. If you come up with any great variations, please let me know.