Baklala is a Middle Eastern dessert made up of layers of paper thin phyllo dough filled with chopped walnuts that is layered or rolled then drenched with a syrup or honey. With my Chocolate Walnut Baklava Rolls I opted to roll them and form into crinkled pieces then drenched them with a citrus flavored syrup.
I’m excited that today’s post is sponsored by my friends over at California Walnut Board. I figured with the holidays here what better way then to start baking with walnuts!
I remember having the best baklava a few years back while visiting Istanbul, Turkey. I had never seen them squished up like these cigar-like shape baklava and they wee so amazing. The sweet syrup coating and soaked into the still crunchy then layers of baked phyllo dough. So good!
I live near a international market and asked the baker about them and after a few test runs came up with this version to share with you.
For this baklava you still use layers of phyllo dough slathered with melted butter and then fill it with finely chopped walnuts and mini chocolate chips. Gently roll it up using a wooden dowel (mine was 3/4 inch or handle of any wooden spoon) to hold the shape. Roll starting from longest side nearest you. Brush another layer with butter and lift previously rolled dough on the one layer and roll one more time.
Place seem side down and squish the two ends together to make the crinkled baklava and then slide off dowel into a baking pan. Repeat for 12-14 total. Bake in 350°F oven for for 30-45 minutes until golden brown (depending on oven or convection oven).
For the syrup (not honey, although feel free to use it), add the ingredients to a saucepan and boil for 10 minutes, stirring often. Let it cool for 15 minutes and pour evenly over the baked, cooled baklava and allow to rest for 1 hour. Heaven awaits!
While Mediterranean versions use honey this has a sweet syrup flavored with orange water and lemon juice.
In reading about baklava and it’s origins, I found that the chopped walnut filling is more prevalent in the Levant, with pistachios and pistachio-almond fillings are preferred in Iran. There is also a Hungarian version made with apricots.
I opted to fill mine with mini chocolate chips along with the chopped walnuts.
Per the California Walnut Board’s site “you can maintain the fresh taste of California walnuts by keeping them cold. Walnuts go rancid when exposed to warm temperatures for long periods of time. Heat causes the fat in walnuts to change structure, which creates off odors and flavors. Fresh walnuts smell mildly nutty and taste sweet. If your walnuts smell like paint thinner, you know they’re rancid. And if they’re rancid, you should throw them away!”
I keep mine in a stored in a sealable bag in the freezer. Always fresh and ready to use. Like in these Chocolate Walnut Baklava Rolls!
What I love about these is that California-grown walnuts are not genetically modified either.
The California Walnut Board works closely with the University of California’s walnut breeding program to release new walnut varieties for planting that have been developed through conventional breeding methods.
Take a look at this video on How Walnuts are Processed. It’s pretty interesting.
Did you know that walnuts are naturally a gluten-free food? If you have Celiac Disease or are sensitive to gluten, please be sure to check the packaging to ensure that the product was not processed in a facility with products that contain gluten.
So grab yourself some California Walnuts and give this decadent dessert a try. It’s great for any special occasion, party, or holiday dessert table! For other holiday inspired desserts, try my Slab Pecan Pie Bars, Creamy Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, Gingersnap Cranberry Lime Pie, Creme Brulee, Slab Pumpkin Pie Bars, Maple Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cookies. Enjoy!
Thanks again to the California Walnut Board for sponsoring today’s post. Thank you for supporting the companies that continue to make Kevin Is Cooking possible.
Chocolate Walnut Baklava Rolls
- 16 oz Phyllo dough 2 sheets each
- 1 cup butter melted
- 2 cup walnuts chopped fine
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp orange water optional
- Melt butter and set aside. Chop the walnuts and in a small bowl mix in cinnamon. Set aside.
- On a clean surface lay out phyllo dough and brush top layer with butter, top with cinnamon nut mixture and chocolate chips. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Use a small long wooden dowel or handle of any wooden spoon, lift one sheet of dough and roll starting from longest side nearest you. Lay at end of sheets. Brush another layer with butter and lift previously rolled dough on the one layer and roll one more time.
- Place seem side down on working surface and squish the two ends together to make the crinkled baklava and then with one hand slide off dowel into 13x9” or 2 8”x8” baking pans. Repeat for 12-14 total.
- Bake in 350°F oven for for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
- For syrup, add the ingredients to a saucepan and boil for 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Cool for 10 minutes. Pour evenly over baked, cooled baklava and allow to rest for 1 hour. Top with chopped walnuts and slice.