I really wanted to make something totally gruesome for a Halloween Party tomorrow night, so I came up with this recipe. It's a spin off from my scary dream monster Freddy Krueger. He was the terror in my dreams when I was younger, chasing after me with those razor sharp claws. Baklava reminded me of skin with its many layers of phyllo dough. Once baked it has the crispy look of baked skin - add some blood food coloring - presto you have a totally grossed out dessert that is so yummy and bloody all at the same time!!!
Happy Halloween Cut Out and Keep
What you will need:
1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
1 good amount of mixed chopped nuts
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
red and black gel food coloring
lime curd - for puss optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C)
Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon in a bowl then set aside.
Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn off heat then set aside and let cool.
Melt 2 sticks of butter.
Once melted completely, butter the bottoms and sides of a 8x8 inch pan.
Unroll phyllo dough.
Cut whole stack to fit the size of the pan. I just set the pan on top of the dough and cut around it to get the shape. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work.
Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly.
Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered in the bottom of the pan - this will be the base for the baklava.
Sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. I had about 4 layers before I got to the last layer.
My last layer I used Craisins Dried Cranberries to give a tart flavor.
My last layer mix.
The top layer should be about 6 - 8 sheets deep.
Using a sharp knife cut into the skin either in a diamond or square shape all the way to the bottom of the pan. I cut the baklava into 5 long rows then turned the pan and cut again for a rectangle shape.
Using the same sharp knife - in each section make deep cuts or slashes on the tops of the skin (baklava).
Your oven should be ready now to put your skin in. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp. Watch it about every 15 mins so you do not burn the dish.
Once you have removed the baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool before you add your blood.
Here I just some lime curd in a plastic bag with the end cut off very small - my cheap version of a pastry deco bag. This can be the puss.
With a plastic knife and the gel food coloring, add some blood along the cut lines.
I used black in the very center of the cut for a more dramatic look.
Lastly I made the basic blood recipe out of Karo syrup and red food coloring for the blood splatter on the plate. I placed the plate on the ground and stood on a chair letting gravity take over. With a spoon I just let the blood fall on the plate and splatter - super easy.
Once you have finished adding the bloody touch to all of your baked skin - put them on your grossed out plate then serve to your Halloween guest!!!!!!
Hope you enjoy this treat.
Happy Halloween to all the Cut Out and Keep